Joining the ARCC Zwift Event
This is a 2-step process.
Step 1 : Register for the event either on the phone app (Zwift Companion) or on www.zwift.com/events. Events tend to appear in the schedule around 5 days in advance and you can register anytime after it is showing in the event list. Alternatively, you can register on the day within the Zwift system itself when you log on – select the event from the list on the RHS of your screen.
Step 2 : Join the event when you log on to Zwift to ride it! If you have pre-registered you will be prompted on the screen to join but nevertheless there were people last year who didn’t notice this and then wondered why they couldn’t ‘find’ us. Zwift will give you the option of joining the event from 30 minutes before the start time. When you join your avatar will appear on a virtual turbo on the start line and you will see the other avatars and their names.
Important : Join at least 5 mins before the start time, preferably 10 mins so that you can see any instructions I am giving about the ride and you can make sure your set-up is working correctly and you’re ready. If you realise you’ve forgotten to move your fan close to the bike or get a water bottle after we’ve started you can’t fix it! The ride start is automated – I cannot control it so it will start at 9:10 sharp.
Bike and Kit Customisation
From within Zwift you can select the ‘Menu’ screen and from there go to ‘Customise’. Scroll down to the bike option and MAKE SURE YOU HAVE NOT SELECTED A TT BIKE. Any road bike option is fine but you will get no draft effect if you are riding a TT bike and you will find yourself having to ride at >3w/kg to keep up with the group riding at 2w/kg. This is a common rookie error!
When you join the event your avatar will automatically appear in the kit selected for the ride regardless of which kit you have chosen for your avatar. You still get to choose your own hair or helmet 😊.
The Social Group Laps
· Keep your eye on the countdown clock before the start – if you don’t start pedalling with everyone else you will have a very hard start to close the gap.
· Concentrate on your screen the entire ride – if you get distracted and drop off the back it is very hard work to get back on. Your focus should be to stay as close to the leader as possible. The leader has a bright yellow beacon over her head! Also, the graphic in top right of your screen shows where you are (orange triangle) relative to the leader (yellow icon) and all the other riders in the group (blue dots).
· If you can see you have a gap ahead of the leader group soft pedal until you are back with the group.
· Watch for my messages – I may slow the group down to 1.5w/kg in the first 2 laps to give dropped riders a chance to get back on.
· If at all possible, have the capability to use the messaging function during the ride so that you can attract my attention if you are dropped (plus join in the chatter which goes on in the group laps). You can message the group either using the Zwift Companion phone app (by using the ‘group text’ button) or your laptop keyboard (by pressing ‘m’ then typing into the text box). You may also want to make use of the ‘voice to text’ facility on iphones and android smart phones – click the microphone button on the text keyboard and you can dictate the message (although that may not work too well if you’re puffing and panting having got dropped!).
· If you are dropped and I can see that via the screen or you have messaged to tell me that, I will send one or two sweepers back to you – these will be riders who I know are very strong and also experienced with Zwift. Get on their wheels when they reach you and they’ll try to tow you back to the group. I’ll do this at any point in the first 2 laps. In the 3rd lap I won’t use the sweepers as they will be gearing up for the race lap.
· A FYI: there is usually a 2-3 sec delay between what you do and what your avatar does – regardless of which set-up you run. This is fine once you are used to it but initially it can lead to you yoyo-ing off the front and back in a group ride.
The Race Lap
· As we approach the end of the 3rd lap, you MUST be behind or with me. It doesn’t matter if your avatar is ahead of mine in the group as long as there is no gap between you and me – if you cross the start/finish line with a gap ahead of me you will be DQ’d from the race results.
· I will give warning of the impending race lap start with messages giving a countdown.
· The use of ‘POWER-UPS’ (see below) is allowed in the race lap.
· Position results will appear on your screen when you cross the finish line – don’t take too much notice of this – there will inevitably have been ‘flyers’ from guest riders who will have gone off the front before the race lap and will be DQd.
· To be placed in the race lap you need to register with www.zwiftpower.com.
· After the race, click on the ‘History’ tab and find our event. Note that ZADA (Zwift anti-doping 😊) can take a few hours to apply the DQ rules.
· Once the results are final I will produce (and update) a league table just for ARCC members.
Best explained by reading this: https://zwiftinsider.com/powerups/
You may or may not receive a power-up when you cross the start/finish line on each lap. If you get one it will appear as one of 3 pictures in a circle at the top of your screen. If you receive one you will not receive another until you have used the one you have. Read the details and use them wisely – they add an additional tactical element to the ride 😊.
As I want to make the event accessible to all club riders, if you feel you can’t ride at 2w/kg over 23 miles you can dope your weight (downwards!) in your Zwift profile to something that will enable you to ride with the group. BUT, you can’t do the race lap and will need to exit the event after the 3 social laps. Please be honest. In any case, the weight you have entered on the system will be on display in the Zwiftpower results if you race!