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!

Wheel Balancing for Road Bikes?

I saw this video over on Shane Miller’s YouTube page. I’d mulled over the idea of balancing road bike wheels a few times in the past, but never taken it any further than the odd thought. You balance your car and motorbike wheels, so why not your very expensive road bike wheels? Check this out:

As it turns out, balancing your road bike wheels actually does make a difference and is another one of those marginal gains for the OCD cyclists out there. This weekend I’m going to check out my deep section wheels and see just how out of balance they are!

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! ;-)

Update your Strava privacy

Strava have recently added some new privacy settings to your profile, so now is a time to have another look at your current settings and maybe tighten up the security on your account.

You should already at a least be using the “Hide Your House” option to keep the start and finish points of your regular rides from showing up (ie: your house or even work).  In the past there have been reports of clued up bike thieves using Strava data to target homes with expensive bikes. This privacy zone can be set from 200m up to a 1000m radius, which is good if you live in a more rural area.

The new settings can enhance your privacy further. Ever had loads of random kudos from Zwift riders or for a Sportive where Strava has shown you “rode with” a whole bunch of strangers? Well now you can also hide your activity from group rides, so it only shows to athletes you follow or that follow you. You can also remove an activity from Strava segment leader boards completely for added privacy.

Alongside the “Hide Your House” option, I have my Strava profile page and training log set to private, with my activities uploaded as private by default. So spend a minute or two now reviewing your settings to ensure you’re happy with your Strava privacy.

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.

steve-a-tt

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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More Meat Mondays?

If there can be such a “thing” as Meat Free Monday to appease the vegans and vegetarians, then I propose we can also have More Meat Monday! So on my all new #moremeatmonday us real humans can pile our plates high with the good stuff – you know you deserve that steak.

Surrey Sportive 2015 by SussexSportPhotography.com 08:29:35But you HAVE to earn it of course. This ain’t no Macca’s drive-thu Quarter Pounder Fatty McFatface value meal jobbie. No sir, More Meat Monday is for those who know how to hammer and sweat!

Grab some buddies, head out and smash the local chain gang (or hit the weights, play some ball or whatever badass activity you prefer) then fire up the BBQ and throw on some REAL meat! Add a few steaks, beef burgers, sausages, chicken wings, a rack of ribs, etc and chow down on that deliciously flame grilled muscle rebuilding animal protein goodness.

Get on board, you know it makes sense. :-) Say it loud! More Meat Monday!

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Don’t succumb to being a kale munching tofu touting salad bar nancy. Put down that wheatgrass infused spinach and soy smoothie. Be alpha, be awesome, be top of the damn food chain! Be a meat eating machine. Ain’t no mofo gonna mess with you because you’re not somebody’s prey! After all, vegans taste like bacon!

trexT-Rex would high five you for being so awesome, but he’s extinct (and has really small arms).

Once you’re done asserting your awesomeness congratulate yourself for working hard, exercising harder and fuelling your recovery the badass way because you sir or madam, are the real deal.

#moremeatmonday