ZWIFT Cycling program

Having always been enthusiastic about cycling, I decided in the early summer of 2020 to finally give in and buy a new bike. The modern racing bikes have some features older bikes do not have: disk brakes, shifters in the handle bars, easier on the “old” legs front gears (50/34 vs 52/44) and 11 gears (vs 6) in the back, which make the whole experience more enjoyable. Because of the Covid situation, the delivery of the bike was postponed until October.

By the time I received my new bike, Fall had arrived, with it’s many rainy days. Having a huge aversion to biking in the rain and on wet roads, I looked for a bike trainer for my old Koga. I wanted to get a trainer that can be used with the ZWIFT program, but none of these trainers could be used with the “outdated” 6-gear shifter of the Koga. In addition, even if I wanted to buy one of those new trainers, they were not available at all, due to manufacturing delays caused by Covid. After complaining about this to my nephew Sander, he suggested I try a trainer he had gotten from his parents. This trainer did fit my old Koga, and I was in business!! For 3 months I happily used this trainer in our small storage unit on the ground floor of our building.

In February of this year, I was talking to my old biking friend Harry Boek, who mentioned he had just bought a Wahoo bike trainer which he connected to the cycling program ZWIFT. When I told him I had been looking for such a trainer but could not find one for sale anywhere, he advised me to call the store where he had bought his, and lo and behold they had ONE! I did not hesitate and bought it on the spot!! After my initial euphoria, I realized that in order to use the trainer with ZWIFT you need both power and an internet connection. Not having either one of these in the storage unit, I had to bring both the bike and the trainer into our apartment, where Teresa now graciously puts up with my sweaty self!

Using the ZWIFT program has changed my biking regimen tremendously! I now try to bike every other day, not having to deal with the weather. ZWIFT also has 80 different routes you can bike, from easy relatively flat level 1 rides, to extremely hard level 5 mountain rides. It also lets you compete in races with other riders, as well as join a large number of events they organize. Lastly you can set up your own training program. So far, my goal is to ride all of the 80 routes they offer in the program. The rides take place in different “worlds”. One of them is Watopia, where you ride through desserts, jungle, mountains, etc. Others take you to various parts of the animated real world: New York, London, France, etc. All in all it is soooo much fun, I may never bike outside anymore…..

MARCH 10, 2021. 

After a month of using ZWIFT, I reached the half way point of the 80 routes in the program, most of which were the easy peasy level 1 rides.  The hardest ride was the climb up Alpe Du Zwift (D'Huez), a 12 kilometer slog up the most famous mountain in the Tour de France.  (Route #70).

MARCH 21, 2021.

A week and a half after reaching the half way point, I hit another mark: 50 routes completed.  Five of them were roller coasters in New York Central Park, with some short stretches of 15% - 17% inclines!  The others included some fun rides in Innsbruck and London.

APRIL 8, 2021.

With the weather still not being cooperative, i.e. the temperatures still way below comfortable for outside biking, and getting daily amounts of rain, snow, and hail,  I keep on ZWIFTING, and have now completed 60 routes.

APRIL 14, 2021.

Today, I finalized the NEW YORK routes, and removed my bike from the Wahoo trainer, since it looks like the temperatures and sunshine are finally getting to where biking outside is the way to go!  I have really enjoyed riding with ZWIFT, and completed 80% of the routes they offer, leaving the 16 hardest routes for later this year.                       

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