Indoor training sessions are boring, let’s be honest. Even with a high energy cycling video or loud music, you still don’t get anywhere. There is something about being outside, that makes the time fly on the bike, but indoors five minutes can seem like an eternity.
Enter Zwift, the Ultimate Virtual Reality Cycling Training system. Or is it a video game? Whatever it is, it’s awesome! If you have a compatible trainer and ANT+ devices you can transmit your speed, cadence, power and heart rate data to Zwift. This allows you to ride in the virtual Zwift world along with other riders. So if you want to go faster you have to pedal faster!
Zwift is easy to setup as long as you have the right gear. Sensors are found instantaneously and you can be up an riding in seconds. The premise is simple, your ride. You’ll see other riders and their positions. When you come up on a rider you are encouraged to “close the gap” sparking a competitive atmosphere.
So far I’ve only completed two Zwift rides, but they’ve been a blast. The game is beta so it’s limited at the moment. I’ve not noticed any bugs, which is great, but there are some features that seem to be lacking. I’m hopeful they’ll be added as the game is developed. For example, I like to listen to music while I ride, but there is no way to individualy set the volume of Zwift for an optimal mix.
I still have a lot of experimenting to do, but this is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in along time. While I’m always going to opt for an outdoor ride when possible, it’s nice to know I’ll always have someone to ride with on those days I can’t get outside.
When you are finished riding you can upload your session to Strava, and with map data and all! Check it out.