STCC on Zwift

How about a ride where you can wear your earbuds, ride a fixie, stay in your aerobars and not wear a helmet?   Or maybe you need a helmet.  Zwift is pretty realistic and sometimes you'll find yourself leaning going around the corners.  Not cool on a trainer…

Maybe you’ve heard about Zwift, but have never tried it.  Zwift is game based indoor cycling app, allowing you to ride hundreds of kilometers of virtual roads in 5 Zwift worlds.

Although you can use Zwift exclusively for training, it also gives you the opportunity to ride with friends and competitors in real time, just like on our group rides.  There’s no wind, real rain or lightning, unless you create it yourself.  And you can’t crash (unless you fall off your trainer).

STCC has set up a club account to use for Zwift meetups to make it easy for you to start and ride with your favorite cycling buddies, with no worries of the ramifications of getting dropped.  To start, we plan to take advantage of this on inclement weather days or for adhoc group rides when none other are running.  Or maybe set it up for that percentage of club members that insist anything below 60 is COLD.

What do I need to participate?

The Basics

  • You must be a member of Shawnee Trail Cycling Club.  If you’re not, that’s easily fixed, just go here: Become a Member of STCC
  • You need a Zwift subscription.  For details on setting that up, go to the Zwift website.  They do offer a 7 day trial period.
  • Download the Zwift Companion app to your phone or tablet
  • Once you have your subscription, you’ll need to follow the Zwift User “STCC Meetup1” on the Zwift Companion App.  From the list of followers, we’ll verify your STCC membership and invite you to meetups that you express a desire to attend.

You need a hardware setup

If you need a setup, visit your local Richardson Bike Mart and they can get you set up.  Even better, once you’re set up the experts there can help you with any problems or questions you might have.  The shops also have Zwift set up so you can see what it looks like. More benefits of a Local Bike Shop and a club sponsor.

  • A trainer.  Preferably a smart trainer (eg. Cyclops Hammer, Tacx, Wahoo Kickr or Kickr Core, etc), but any trainer will get you started.
  • A bicycle for the trainer.
  • A device that runs Zwift.   A PC, MAC, Apple TV, IOS phone or tablet supported by Zwift.
  • A bridge/receiver for the ANT+/BLE signal.  If you’re using ANT+, you’ll need an ANT+ USB dongle.

Zwift Support Recommendations

The STCC Meetup

Be sure you are following the Zwift user STCC Meetup1 (using the Zwift Companion App).   If you're not sure of some of the terminology, ask on Facebook.  Others will be happy to help.

  • For each meetup you wish to participate in, you will need to let us know you're coming [Meetup Registration].  This is because Zwift for the time being is limiting participation to 50 riders per Meetup.  For that reason, we are limiting participants to current members and asking you to register in advance.
    • Pace groups are very different in Zwift.  They range from A-D and are based on power exerted, not speed.  It may take you a ride or two to recognize the group that is best for you.
      • A: 4.0 w/kg FTP or higher
      • B: 3.2 w/kg to 4.0 w/kg FTP
      • C: 2.5 w/kg to 3.2 w/kg FTP
      • D: Under 2.5 w/kg FTP
  • After your registration, we'll send you an invite through Zwift and you'll be all set to go at the Meetup time.   A note here: Zwift does not allow anyone to join a meetup ride late, so be sure you're on time.
  • Once you've joined the meetup, prior to startup time, you'll notice that all are at the gathering point for the start.
  • We've decided to have all paces gather together and then roll with a designated Ride Leader, if there is one.  The Ride Leaders job is only one on organization and the rollout and to maybe answer questions and offer tips for any newbies.
  • These rides are DROP rides.  If you get dropped from your Zwift group and can't find your way home, follow the advice of that great philosopher Confucius and think "Wherever you go, there you are" and, when you finish - YOU ARE HERE!

Can't wait to see you on the road, even if its a virtual one.


3 Responses

  1. Cam

    Just renewed my membership. See you on Zwift and on the road.

  2. Allan Greeves

    There are a couple of ‘rides’ in Zwift that will allow you to determine your FTP, look for ‘FTP’ in the title. The one that I have used is about an 85 minute ride that ‘conditions’ you before you complete a 20 min FTP test. Completing that ride on your own will help you calibrate yourself to know your abilities and its a good reference point to train with to gauge improvement or otherwise.

  3. […] our Facebook page for those announcements. Setup and participation requirements can be found [here]. These meetups are limited to members […]

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