Zwift’s Watopian Landscape

Hats off to the programmers and developers at Zwift. They really have created a fully immersive and impressive landscape in “Watopia” for us to lose ourselves in. It sure beats staring at a garage wall or numbers on a screen! Paired with a smart trainer that changes resistance to simulate gradients, it’s the ultimate in indoor cycling.

From cruising along the Ocean Road boulevard to climbing through Swiss style villages into the Watopian Alps to circling an active volcano, there really is an abundance of highly detailed landscapes to amaze the rider. Of course it’s hard to soak it all in when pushing hard, but it does take your mind off being on the trainer! #RideOn

Winding roads through the virtual Alps.

Descending like a pro as the sun rises over the virtual ocean!

The “Zwift Me” is totally cool and calm when climbing hard, just like real me…

Watopian whale selfie though the underwater tunnels!

Some evenings are just too good to spend on the trainer!

Some moments are just too good to waste on the trainer. My plan for the evening was to get home from work and jump on Zwift for an hour’s sweetspot session, but perfect weather (combined with an internet outage, hehehe) convinced me to unshackle myself from the trainer and head outdoors for some magically mellow miles.

A quick photo stop on the jetty to capture a perfect late summer evening…

I took my trusty time trial bike out for a spin as I need to clock up some more time in that position. Well, what a fantastic evening for it! I wasn’t pushing super hard or staring at my Garmin stats, just enjoying the fresh sea air, but I still managed to pick up some Strava PRs (including a couple of Top 5 times). Some days, there’s just no better way to spend and evening than outside on two wheels. #moremilesmoresmiles

* Photo critique: Yeah I know, I didn’t remove my light, saddle bag or water bottle and also forgot to line up valve stems properly. At least it’s in the big ring! ;-)

One Year Time Trial (again)

Looks like Steve Abraham is at it again. After having to abandon his first attempt when taken out by an inattentive moped rider, then  cutting his second attempt short, he is once more hitting the road for a third time in an attempt to break the Year Record. In his usual subdued and understated fashion he’s taking to those less than ideal English roads at midnight on the 4th of March to begin his attempt.

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He’s going to have a tougher slog this time around. Last time he was chasing Tommy Goodwin’s 1939 record of 75,065 miles, but since then the record has been pushed even further. Kurt Searvogel pedalled his way to 76,076 miles! Only a few miles more but still. More.

amanda-cokerThen there’s Amanda Coker! She is cycling circles (quite literally) around the rest to destroy the women’s record and may even go further than the Kurt.

She surpassed the women’s Year Record in only four months and is currently averaging 220 miles per day – a higher daily rate than Searvogel! It does help she’s picked to do it almost entirely on a pan flat circuit flanked by other strong club cyclists for a helping wheel to draft. Nothing wrong with that of course, it’s that’s the way I’d choose to do it if I were mad enough. I wouldn’t bet against her cruising past the 80,000 mile mark.

Good luck to Steve of course, he’s hard as nails and knows how to suffer while covering crazy distances. I just hope he avoids those pesky mopeds.

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Sun, Zwift, KOMs and Crashes! My cycling 2017 starter…

I’ve had a pretty good start to the cycling year and I hope you have too, no matter what season you’re currently in the middle of. I kicked off 2017 with a very warm and also very wet New Years Day ride in the Blue Mountains two hours west of Sydney. The owner of the AirBnB we were staying in left me his spare bike to ride. What a champ!

img_3026Matching bar tape, hubs and socks. So totally pro…

Yesterday I took to local roads for a a little Saturday spin, not pushing hard just using it as a bit of active recovery and tan line sharpening. Even so I managed to clock a PR around the TT loop and take 2nd on the leaderboard. All that Zwifting is paying off!

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It was a fun ride. Well, it was until a bird flapped out of a roadside bush and collided with my chest! I must have grabbed too much front brake or turned abruptly as I was sent over the bars and hit the bitumen! Luckily nothing broken (on me, the bike or the bird) just a few grazes and some scuffed levers.

week-one-stravaI’m a bit stiff today, but otherwise it’s business as usual. I opted for some easy time on the rollers listening to the Zwift Podcast to work out the stiffness and keep the legs turning.

Next job is to check over the bike to see if there’s any damage I may have missed, then off to the beach for a bit of lazy Sunday afternoon recovery time! #keepcycling

Stealthy Bike P**n

Just a bit of weekend bike porn for you. :-) I’ve had my Planet X Stealth for a couple of years now without many changes except for the wheels. They were a bit of a “you only live once” purchase while I was working for Sigma Sport. Those Roval CL60 carbon deep section babies really hum along! Now I’ve just got to get back to fighting fitness so I can do this bike some justice over the summer months.

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#ridelots

A couple of broken, ugly bikes?

So in recent cycling related news, Specialized find out that creating the “world’s fastest bike” is no good if your flagship aero frame doesn’t stay in one piece. Stop sale notice issued on the Venge ViAS super-bike:

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p865536742-5That’s a photo from “SMP123” who posted it on the Road Bike Review forum. Check out the total separation of the seatstay from the seat tube! Not what you want from your expensive new frame. He gave this description of the incident:

“I pulled away from some traffic lights and I came to a sudden stop, at first I thought it was the rear wheel but then noticed the whole rear triangle on the right side failed! I’m glad I was at a standstill and not in a sprint!”

And then Cervelo released their April Fool’s Day joke:

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Oh wait, they’re serious?!?! What… The… Actual… I’m sure the triathlon market will eat this thing up but damn that’s one pig of a bike. Disc brakes as well? Errrr. Sure they’re pushing the boundaries of innovation and all but come one. Oh well. I’m sure it’s fast. It’s in no way UCI compliant so don’t expect to see it in any World Tour time trials just yet, but those rules are under review. At least there’s plenty of room to tuck your hidden motor in there… ;-)