About The "Great Group Rides" Series
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.
If you’re looking for a social ride whose length and pace is manageable by just about anyone, The Herd’s “Tuesday Social Group Ride” is an excellent option. Add in solid leadership and some fun banter via Discord voice chat and you’ve got a weekly event that shows off what’s best about the Zwift Community.
You’ll never ride alone with The Herd. It’s in their name! This ride typically hosts 350-700 riders, and a strong team of helpful sweepers makes sure anyone who falls behind the main pack gets helped back to the group.
With multiple weekly events ranging from social group rides to races, The Herd has developed a reputation in the community as a supportive and fun group open to riders of all abilities. We spoke with the Tuesday Social Group Ride’s sweeper Marius Midtskogen to learn more about what makes this ride special.
- Schedule: every Tuesday at 17:55 GMT/18:55 CET/12:55 EST
- Length: 60 minutes
- Pace: 1.5 w/kg, and leaders stick to the advertised pace, and anyone struggling can be helped back to the group by the sweeper (red beacon) or their helpers.
- Routes: typically held on flatter routes such as Watopia’s Waistband and Greatest London Flat.
The Herd’s ride leaders are known for their excellent pacing. This ride is advertised at a 1.4-1.6 w/kg pace. If you’re still figuring out how to hang with the main pack in a group ride, Marius offers some tips:
Your best bet when joining our rides is to stay next to, or within 10 meters of, the Yellow Beacon (Ride Leader). This helps ensure you are doing about the same pace as the beacon. If you go too far ahead, you might find yourself involved with riders going at a faster pace, and may also get in trouble with the fence (for the rides where we run the fence). If you fall off the back of the main herd, you might have to put in 25-30% more effort to make it back. In this case try to group up with the Red Beacon (Sweeper) and their helpers to help you get back to the main herd.
The Herd was founded on the principle that all are welcome, no matter your ability. They encourage riders to join Discord voice chat to take part in the banter or just listen in. Got a question? No problem. “We were all beginners at one time, and have probably made the same mistakes as everyone else. Don’t be afraid to ask questions before, during or after the ride,” Marius says.
Experienced riders often join the Tuesday Social when looking for an easy recovery ride. If you’re looking for more of a challenge, head to the back and help the sweeper team as they bring riders back to the main pack.
About the Leaders
The ride is led by Chris Shelton, a level 46 zwifter who’s been with The Herd since the beginning. Chris has been leading this ride since it began with another team around January 2017. A keen racer who was recently promoted to category A, Chris is a 33-year-old father of two from North Carolina, living in Oklahoma.
Marius Midtskogen is the regular sweeper, but he also leads the ride occasionally when needed, along with Herd regulars Dave Turner and Rafe Aldridge who step in from time to time to make sure the ride is led consistently each week.
About The Herd
The Herd is a very supportive group, created with a focus on compassion and encouragement. All Zwifters are welcome to join! Looking for some company while riding on Zwift? Team members often ride together in big non-Herd events such as Fondos. Marius explains, “We will hang back at the gates for 2 minutes before we ride out together. You’ll often see us shout MOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! in the in-game chat.”