LWA virtual rides - coming your way this offseason!
We've reached that time of the year when the days are shorter, and colder as well. There are fewer LWA rides on the calendar as a result, but there is an alternative to grinding it out by yourself on a trainer. The advent of "smart" trainers has greatly changed indoor riding. Using Zwift or other similar applications, it's now possible to have an interactive workout and to see the road ahead of you, be it via real video or a simulated reality. But the one thing still missing was the ability to ride with, and talk to your friends. Well, here is an alternative that can get you a little closer to the real thing this winter.
Soon, you will see some virtual rides posted on the calendar by Rich Ferrara and myself. We have chosen Wednesday and Friday mornings, since we have regular rides on those days during the Spring, Summer, and Fall. We have also chosen Rouvy as our application. Rouvy offers rides with real video of the route, and has avatars that show the locations of other riders on the course. To get an idea of how this works, visit Rouvy.com.
The best functionality is to be had with a "smart" trainer, although you can hook up with these virtual group rides with other trainers as well. Take a look at this document on the website for an overview of what virtual riding has to offer. An additional capability is that we have created a way to chat with your fellow riders using Discord, an application that is also described in the document linked above.
This system has some other possibilities. If you ride indoors with another application, such as Zwift, you can post rides in the same way and connect with others who use that application. If you are not able to ride in the morning, just post your own ride at another time, such as weekday evenings or weekends.
Important note: These rides are being posted as an alternative. If the weather is fairly nice, and someone posts an outdoor ride, you are of course free to ride outside instead. If you do so, please change your RSVP for the virtual ride to "No" so that others will know who to expect. This also applies to the ride host, who may decide to join the outdoor ride as well.
We had a nice group of about 5 or 6 riders who participated in some virtual rides last winter. Cycling with your friends, outdoors or indoors, makes the miles more enjoyable. I hope to see more of you out on the virtual roads this year!