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.
Many group rides on Zwift are “one size fits all” and try to keep everyone together at the same pace.
The SZR Evening Joyride does things a little differently. It’s basically four group rides in one, with different levels so you can pick the type of ride you want. The pace is steady, but at the end each group gets the chance to test their limits – or just cruise together to the finish.
“The goal of the SZR Evening Joyride is to have fun while doing a good training ride without going ‘into the red’ all the ride through,” said SZR Manager Martin Björgvik.
- Schedule: Mondays at 19:00 CET
- Length: Around an hour
- Pace: Varies by category
- B: 3.2-3.5w/kg
- C: 2.5-3.0w/kg
- D: 2.0-2.3w/kg
- E: 1.7-2.0w/kg
- Routes: Often flat, but a variety of routes is used – including hilly ones – to keep things interesting.
Organized by Swedish Zwift Riders (SZR), the Evening Joyride is divided into categories at different pace levels. Most categories have sweepers, either officially assigned or unofficial volunteers. They’ll help out if riders start to fall off the back of the group. The last few minutes or kilometers of the ride are a “mini-race.” Those who want to race can take off, and the rest stay riding steady with the group.
This format has grown popular among more than just Swedish riders. The event now has 600-1,000 riders from across the globe joining each week!
“We think that we have got a winning concept with all these different groups in the same ride. We have not seen many others do this and it seems to attract a lot of people,” Martin said. “Some have been with us since the beginning and we really enjoy the chat and banter going on during these rides.”
How It All Began
This is the group’s history according to Martin Björgvik:
The SZR Evening Joyride was first ridden in October 2015 when the SZR FB (Facebook) community just started. One of the first rides was on Richmond.
It was I and a friend who started the SZR group (and) got in contact with a few other Swedes that started the Joyride. One of our first ride leaders was Andreas Ek, who is still with us and from time to time still leads rides.
Andreas leading an early ride on Richmond
Leaders of the SZR Evening Joyride include:
- For the B group: Frille Sundin, who has been leading the Bs since 2015, and Neil Cresswell, who also has been leading SZR rides since 2016.
- For the C group: Joakim Sundin, a new leader who started leading in autumn 2019 when Andreas Ek had to step down as a leader to attend other IRL (in real life) events. Joakim has been leading most of the events during the winter in the C category.
- For the D group: Mikael Aronsson, who has been on the SZR Evening Joyride as a leader since early 2016.
- For the E group: a few different leaders, but mostly Urban Mårtensson a.k.a “Swedish Gofika.” Hans Laakso and Bengt Landin have also been leading a few rides over the winter. Urban and Hans were doing last year’s events too.