Social rides should never be deterred by a little winter chill, right? We’ve got a solution with Zwift, a virtual cycling program, that supports group rides just for clubs. Over the winter months, NCC will post scheduled group rides on the NCC calendar – and you can join in on the fun from the comfort, warmth, and safety of your own home. Below you will find details and instructions on how to join these rides.
So what is Zwift ?
Zwift is a virtual riding, running, and training software that runs from your computer, connecting to you via electronic sensors, showing you in an animated, graphical environment with other riders. Basically, it is a real-time interactive video game that you control with your bicycle (or feet). One of the newest features is the ability to create group rides, which places all participants in the group together from start to finish- rather than randomly with 3k+ other riders. Zwift is subscription based, but they do offer free trial to see if you like it. You can join based a monthly subscription for those dark days of winter or use it all year, when riding outside just doesn’t work for you.
Here is what you need to get started:
- REQUIRED– An account at Zwift.com. A trial period (based on km ridden or time) is available
- REQUIRED – A computer (Mac or PC) with a decent graphics card, or an Apple i-Device. Support for Android is in beta, and not quite fully stable as of December 2018. Please see Zwift’s recommendations
- REQUIRED– A stable Internet connection
- REQUIRED – A bicycle (duh!)
- REQUIRED– A stationary trainer. For those new to this, a trainer is a device that either connects to your chain (where your real wheel usually is) or presses up against your rear tire to provide resistance as you pedal. Both smart trainers and classic trainers are supported, however with a classic trainer, you must have a speed sensor. Please read this article regarding supported configurations
- OPTIONAL- A power meter
- OPTIONAL- A heart rater monitor
- OPTIONAL- A Smart Phone with the Zwift Companion & Discord (for voice chat) apps loaded
Ready to ride? Great! Be on the lookout for calendar postings on our website. Have a quick reed about how meetups work. Anyone is welcome to ride with us, but we strongly encourage you to join our club. It is a very small fee and goes to a great cause. The entire club is run by volunteers so no big CEO is pocketing your money!
You can (and should!) get our kit on in the game. Once you are logged in to the game, press “p” on you keyboard and enter: NCCMAKIT
At the moment, the only way to be in on a group ride is to be invited. These are called “Meetups“. You will need to “follow” the member organizing the meetup so they can invite you. Each calendar post should include the name of the ride organizer so that you can follow them. Additionally, we will use the club discussion list to post information, and you should post back with your name so the leader can add you to that ride.
Please plan to arrive around 15 minutes early to ensure everything is working, so we start on time. Ride leaders will help you get setup if needed.
Questions? Please feel free to post to our discussion list. See you on the virtual road!