Zwift has always been about connecting cyclists from around the world, and since early beta days volunteers from the Zwift community have helped make that vision a reality by leading group rides on the platform.
Nowadays, the calendar contains hundreds of weekly events, but we still rely on community leaders to organize and lead most of the social rides.
One way to show our admiration for these tireless leaders is to highlight the great work they’re doing, week in and week out. And that’s what the Great Group Rides series is all about! Each post focuses on a popular, long-running group ride led by community volunteers. We hope you enjoy this glimpse into the stories and people behind the rides.
Zwift Riders Germany (ZRG) started in 2015 and is now the largest German-speaking community of Zwifters. Its Facebook group has more than 7,000 members, and more than 1,800 racers have signed up for ZRG’s racing team.
The club’s most popular event is the ZRG Gruppenfahrt, or ZRG Group Ride. In the busy winter months, it can attract up to 800 participants! While it was created for Germans and German-speaking riders, the ride includes Zwifters from many countries around the globe. Anyone is welcome to ride along and join the fun.
Here’s what the ZRG Group Ride is all about, according to member Kai Rapp:
“We just want to create fun amongst German-speaking Zwifters and we are very proud to have all the guest riders from other countries. The more the better is our objective. For some it’s a regeneration ride, and for others it’s high performance.
The communication is mainly in German and the participation figure is quite high. Some people from other countries say they like our German discipline. Which means [if] nothing else we generally keep the bunch relatively good together.”
The ZRG Group Ride was started by Stephan Picker about two years ago. He’s a 42-year-old short distance racer and has been Zwifting since July 2015. Picker shares leadership of the ride with Stefan Bzdok, a 46-year-old mountain biker and a Zwifter since January 2016.
The ride is just one of seven different events offered by Zwift Riders Germany each week, including women’s group rides that use the label “ZRGirls.”
Kai says, “Never forget the other ride leaders and sweepers (Andreas, Mike, Martin, Tom, Barbara, Jenny, Rena, Christian, Jochen, Roman, Heiko)! So thankful for their reliable work.”