By Michael Bello
Published 12/18/2021; Updated 12/18/2021

We had four riders today (Dick, Melissa, Zinj, and me). We attempted to ride the Legends and Lava route, but Zwift had a mind of its own this morning. The Legends and Lava route was launched in August as an event-only course, but this week’s game update released it for general riding.

Zinj and I were at the start line at 9 AM. Dick was with us on Discord, but figured out how to officially join the ride seconds after the start. He rode the route and could see us, but we could not see him. At a fork in the road, I went right and Zinj went left. That should not occur since Zwift is steering. Zinj ended the ride and rejoined and we thought everything was back to normal. Melissa joined us seconds later and the three of us rode on. Then it happened again. I turned one way, while Melissa and Zinj went the other direction. We were unsure which group had the correct path.

It turned out that Dick and I completed the official route, while Melissa and Zinj did not. The Legends and Lava route is not a loop, but a point to point route. At the route’s official end at the top of the volcano, around the 15 mile mark, we descended and started riding laps of the Volcano Circuit route.

Our Discord conversation covered a variety of topics. Upon introducing Dick to Zinj, Dick knew him through the remarkable story of Zinj’s bike accident a few years back. Fame is an odd thing. Zinj filled us in on the next steps in his home moving process.

Not surprisingly, most of us were still exhausted from Tuesday’s Hill Climb and Thursday’s race. The pace and elevation of today’s ride was very relaxed.

We also chatted about the Vegan Cyclist and his Impossible Route series. I started watching the newest episode last night. Dick and I both recommended Steven Colbert’s Lord of the Ring video, which must have taken forever to film.

Dick revealed that he is related to Zwift royalty. His brother is “Buddy the Elf,” who is running a holiday Zwift challenge.

We discussed old computers and joked about Windows 95. Zinj was a huge fan of that operating system and was ready for its launch on August 24, 1995. Zinj supplied the date and I confirmed after the ride that he was correct. Melissa and I should not be speechless at this point.

Dick and I earned the Legends and Lava route badge, which doubled our XP points for the route.

In total, we rode 31 miles with 1530 feet of climbing. It took us approximately 1 hour and 44 minutes to complete the ride.

As mentioned last week, a few of us are interested in riding the Four Horseman route before the end of the year. Here is a link to a short survey to pick a date and ride options if anyone is interested.

With the holidays upon us, we will have a modified schedule next week. On Tuesday at 6 PM we will have a group ride on the new Climber’s Gambit route. On Wednesday at 8 PM we will have a flatter social ride on the Wandering Flats route.

Check the NCC calendar for full details on all events. To learn more about the NCC and Zwift rides, please visit our Zwift page.