Taking the Group-Ride Leap

Taking the Group-Ride Leap

ON September 6, 2017 by Andrew Burke

Group rides are what make Zwift so thrilling and addictive. You’re one person training at home, but every stroke connects you to a larger pack riding in sync.

Joining a Zwift group ride is easy. Within the Zwift Mobile Link app, search for daily events happening across multiple time zones. Or check out the events page. There’s a group ride for every level.

Need a little more convincing? We asked a few leaders to share why they’re such big group-ride believers, along with some pro tips for first timers.

Phil Ruokis/Zwift World Social Riders (WSR): We stick together

“I just want everyone to ride together, and one of our core principles is nobody rides alone. When we get 50-60 people in a really tight bunch, it doesn’t matter that we’re in our own pain caves. There’s a real sense of community. We feel like we’re pedaling one bike.”
Pro tip: Get accustomed to how your speed varies because of changes in your pedaling efforts, and changes in Zwift’s terrain.

Hugo Vegter/Team World Bicycle Relief (WBR): A safe way to race

“I love racing and hard riding, but personally I don’t know if I have the skills to ride very well in a real-life road race. I’m afraid that I’ll crash. That’s one of the great things about Zwift: You can be bad at steering, and good at Zwift.”
Pro tip: During a ride, never hesitate to ask your group-ride leader for help.

Monica Holmes/ZSUN and ZZRC: Women have a place in every ride

“I’m happy to ride with men and women. But one of the biggest hesitations I see among women is that they’re apprehensive about riding with the guys. I always encourage them to ride together. Honestly, I can say that I have not come across anyone who has overstepped a boundary.”
Pro tip: Start pedaling the second that the group ride begins.

David Lipscomb/Back to Work North America Ride: Persistence pays off, big-time

“Leading my first Zwift group ride was one of the toughest things I ever did on a bicycle. So I always welcome people by saying, stay in the group, and don’t get frustrated if the group ride goes faster than you want to go. Stick with it as long as you can. Develop over time. At the end of my group rides, people are always telling me, I would’ve never thought I could hang with this group.”
Pro tip: Give yourself 30 minutes to prep ahead of a scheduled ride start.

Tim Searle/Aussie Hump Day Ride (AHDR): You’re in good company

“When I first got on Zwift, the social side of it really intrigued me. I quickly realized that Zwift can be such a social experience. The fact that you can have group rides with so many people around you is what makes indoor cycling so appealing.”
Pro tip: Stay in the middle of the group to enjoy the draft, and to avoid playing catch-up.