By Michael Bello
Published 01/08/2022; Updated 01/08/2022

On this frigid morning, four of us (Melissa, Tiffany, Tim, and me) rode the Petit Boucle route in France.

The Petit Boucle route is the longest route on the France map. The name of the route references the Tour de France’s nickname, “Grand Boucle,” which means “big loop.”

Despite the small group, we covered a lot of topics in our Discord conversation. At the beginning of the ride, Discord kept freezing on me. Eventually it settled down and behaved normally. Tim and I were each in our basements, which were colder than normal this morning. Perhaps Discord was responding to the 12 degree weather.

I admitted to the group that I had challenges walking upstairs after Thursday’s race. I had a brief lifting session on Wednesday and was slightly sore going into the race. Afterwards, my legs did not want to cooperate. This got us onto a conversation about mixing up workouts and weight training. Melissa and Tiffany are much more experienced with weights than Tim and I.

Although Melissa was with us on Discord for the entire time, she joined the ride late. She was finishing up a route achievement in New York City.

We discussed avatars on Zwift. Tim and I are relatively close in weight. Yet, my avatar is very puny compared to Tim’s broad shoulders in game! We thought this was based solely on weight, but looking it up afterwards, it is based on body mass index. There are three body sizes for men, while there are two sizes for women.

Melissa shared that the new Apple Watch commercials have been playing with her emotions, especially the ad where the driver calls 911 as their car is filling with water. This got us chatting about smart watches, cycling head units, and headphones. Tiffany told us how phones and headphones are not allowed in Ironman competitions. This surprised a few of us, but it make sense so that coaches cannot communicate with their athletes during the events.

We talked about Thursday’s race. It was fun racing with so many other NCC members. Tim asked about the strategies that Melissa and I employed. Through Jonathan’s selection of races over the past two years, we are trained at this point.

Since Melissa is curious, I did not get locked in the basement this morning. My wife did forget I was downstairs, but only turned the lights off on me.

Tim completed level 36 and earned his avatar the Bell Javelin helmet. Tim also earned the Petit Boucle route achievement, which doubled his XP points for the ride.

In total, we covered approximately 39 miles with 1,581 feet of climbing. The ride took us just over two hours.

Here is the NCC Zwift schedule:

  • Tuesday 6:00 PM – Time Trial / Hill Climb (invite required)
  • Wednesday 8:00 PM – Social Ride (invite required)
  • Thursday Evenings – Road Race (times will vary between 5 PM and 7 PM EST)
  • Sat 9:00 AM – Social Ride (invite required)

Join the NCC Club on Zwift or select the link in the discussion board/calendar for invite-only rides.

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