When the weather turns nasty, 'virtual' cycling is an option for maintaining fitness and enjoying cycling. By using electronic sensors (speed and cadence sensors) or a 'smart' trainer, combined with a computer program, cyclists can mimic riding outside in the comfort of their own homes. There is a great variety of equipment and programs available. For a more in-depth review of some of the options available, check out this virtual cycling site. The information below outlines some options SIW has so far.
SIW Zwift Club
For Club members who ride on Zwift, we now have a SIW Zwift club. At present, membership is by invitation due to limitations in the Clubs program, although Zwift is updating the program to provide more options. If you are interested in joining the SIW Zwift club, follow these steps:
- Follow the club owner, Joe Bolan KoS [ATP], on Zwift
- Contact Joe at email@example.com and be sure to note your Zwift name. There are some names that are shared by many Zwifters, so it helps if your name is distinctive.
- Accept the invitation.
NOTE: You may get a message about not being recognized when you e-mail Joe. DON'T PANIC. Joe will get your e-mail and will add you to his address book.
Zwift Clubs can put on rides for its members, and the riders can ride together. Zwift may also add more Club benefits, as outlined here.
RGT "Magic Roads"
Have you ever wanted to ride your favorite Southern Indiana roads while on your trainer? Maybe you need to check out the route for an out-of-town ride or race without travelling there. RGT which is part of the Wahoo app, has a "Magic Roads" function that allows users to ride a course up to 62 miles (100 km) by sending a "gpx" file to firstname.lastname@example.org. In about 5 minutes, your route will be listed as one of your "Magic Roads". Like all RGT routes, the visuals are drawn (not videos, like other platforms), so the route will not "look" like it would in real life, but all the turns and changes in elevation are there, so the route will "feel" pretty close to real life.
But I don't have RGT . . .
Wahoo offers a FREE RGT ACCOUNT for cycling clubs. Clubs may put on rides and races using any of the courses available, including "Magic Roads". RGT also has a free trial period and a limited FREE option. There are several ways that SIW can put on virtual rides on our favorite routes.
To see an example of a ride on a "Magic Road", check out this ride up Spickert Knob.
Much of the fun of a group ride is the banter between the riders. While Zwift has a "chat" function, typing messages can be difficult, and the meaning of the message can be misunderstood if just text. Fortunately, there are audio platforms available.
SIW has a Discord channel. The code is https://discord.gg/QDz6KbBf8F. This channel can be used for any audio meeting, not just a Zwift or RGT ride. For example, if you are riding on a Rouvy ride with another club member, you could both log into the server. If needed, we can always add sub-channels.
A main feature of Zwift Clubs is the ability to put on events for club members. ANY club member can put on a ride. For more details on putting on an event, check this article from Zwift Insider.
We can also schedule events on RGT, using "Magic Roads" or other RGT routes.
You can access cycling programs using computers, tablets and smart phones, depending on the program you are using. Check the requirements for the program you are using to see if your computer or phone is compatable. Programs are constantly updating these requirements, so be sure to keep your software updated!
There is a great variety of equipment available. Check here for a starting point, or visit our sponsor, Clarksville Schwinn for everything you need to enjoy your virtual journeys.
Zwift and RGT are not the only cycling platforms. Do you use another platform, such as Rouvy, FulGas or B-KOOL? Contact the webmaster at email@example.com to have your information included on this page. Hope to "see" you on the road, even if it is a "virtual" one!