Episode Ten

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Simon and Nathan get their teeth into a possible future for Zwift – in the form of Virtual Reality. With the Oculus Rift headset becoming more available and with Zwift already VR-capable, could this deeply immersive technology catch on in the fitness arena?

Shane gives his first reactions to using the headset with Zwift and Simon and Nathan discuss some of the more obvious downsides as well as looking at the possibilities of this exciting technology.

Some think the superb Zwift Academy scheme  – which aims to use the platform to identify  a potential professional female rider – has been flying a little under the radar. Not the hundreds of women who’ve been taking part in the rigorous programme of training over the summer, but perhaps this scheme isn’t as well known in the wider Zwift community as it might be.

The podcast has three interviews with graduates of the Academy. Leah Thorvilson, Rachel Elliot and Bel Flint have all made it through to the final 12 riders – hear how they reacted to getting the news.

Andrew Tilin is a veteran cyclist, an ex-racer and a high profile cycling journalist and author. He’s just completed an assignment investigating the appeal of Zwift for Outside magazine. Simon interviews him to discover more about his journey from cynic to convert.

Scottie Weiss is a real Zwift veteran – he’s been on the platform from day one and the ex-professional rider is as used to showing the field a clean pair of heels as he is helping new Zwifters and leading Group Rides. This summer Scottie achieved two magnificent wins at the World Masters Championships in Austria. Simon talks to Scottie about the role Zwift played.

And we have a little more from the sports tech guru Ray Maker, aka D C Rainmaker, who Simon spent some time with at Eurobike. This episode puts Ray on the spot and asks him to identify his favoured trainer at various price points.Ray also raises a tricky issue for US buyers – should they consider buying a trainer from European retailers who sometimes offer great deals and free shipping? “All good” says Ray, “until something goes wrong.”

Episode Nine: Eurobike

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Simon, Shane and special guest D C Rainmaker are at the biggest bike show in the world.

These are exciting times for indoor riders and the excitement is reflected at Eurobike, where trainer manufacturers are showing their wares for the coming indoor season.

D C Rainmaker, otherwise known as Ray Maker, makes a special guest appearance to discuss all the news with Simon and Shane, and concludes:”There has never been a better time to buy a Smart Trainer”

The Zwiftcast tours the gigantic show, stopping for interviews with Tacx, whose Flux Smart Trainer was a show stealer; Wahoo, who launched the new Kickr;  Elite, whose new Drivo is claimed to be the most accurate Smart Trainer in the world, and Cycle Ops, whose Hammer and Magnus are also promising great things.

The Zwiftcast trio discuss how trainer manufacturers have responded to the new indoor riding  world Zwift has helped create and how Zwift itself may cope with competitors in the market.

We also discuss the trend for manufacturers to announce new product earlier and earlier – but struggle to deliver trainers to meet the demand at the start of the season.

Shane and Ray also give their verdict on the most impressive thing they saw at the show.

 

 

Episode Eight

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Simon, Shane and Nathan discuss the incredibly active smart trainer market, with a raft of new models announced in the past couple of weeks, including an eye-catching offering from Tacx.

They go on to speculate on what might be the likely effect of an expected launch of Zwift on iPad.

There’s a feature on Married Zwifting, with a look at how couples balancing jobs and kids can use Zwift to maximise training, sometimes Zwifting together.

Nathan’s other half, Lindsay and Shane’s partner, Von, make guest appearances – and share some of the secrets of their joint pain caves!

Australian hero Mat Hayman makes a special appearance on the Zwiftcast to bring us up to date on what’s he’s been doing since that memorable win in Paris Roubaix and to let listeners know how Zwift is fitting into his training plan.

There’s a feature with ZTR race organiser Christian Wiedemann who reveals the results of a fascinating experiment: He tells the Zwiftcast what happened when he went to tackle a very familiar local climb in real life after spending two years exclusively riding on Zwift.

Simon, Shane and Nathan tackle the thorny issue of deliberate weight-doping. Is it ever acceptable to change your weight on Zwift? Maybe you want to keep up with buddies on a group ride – can it be right to adjust your weight down a bit to make it possible?

 

 

Episode Seven

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For this episode we are also trying a new way of listening to the Zwiftcast. Look out on selected Group Rides and Events on Zwift where you may find a button to enable you to listen as you Zwift, in-game, using the platform’s new audio functionality.

 

Simon, Shane and Nathan get together to discuss the latest Zwift news, plus a series of features on matters of interest to all Zwifters.

Nathan relates how he broke his collar bone racing and how Zwift is helping his rehab.

There’s a feature with Tim Searle, leader of the Australian HDR ride, which is drawing huge numbers and may now be the biggest group ride on Zwift.

Charlie Issendorf, VP of Events for Zwift, tells us how the new Event Module is bedding in and forecasts how it’s going to develop in coming weeks.

Simon, Shane and Nathan discus the new London course, the advent of bad weather on Zwift and speculate about the possible introduction of a velodrome..

Team Sky’s Head of Innovation, Simon Jones, a keen Zwifter, talks about how augmented reality and virtual reality may have a part to play in pro rider training in the future.

In part two of our interview with Charlie, we discuss the next stage in the development of the platform towards a general fitness arena, with the testing of running in the virtual environments.

This episode of the Zwiftcast wraps up with a discussion on a slew of new trainers which have just been announced.

Episode Six

Welcome to Episode Six of the Zwiftcast – and a new format.

I’ve been joined by Nathan Guerra from the US and Shane Miller from Australia. Together we’re chewing the fat over all the latest news and developments from Zwift as the focus shifts towards the Southern Hemisphere’s indoor season.

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The episode features an interview with Zwift’s creative genius and co-founder of the company, Jon Mayfield. Jon has some really interesting things to say about a division between Z Power users and those with Smart Trainers/Power Meters. He also talks about how the draft in Zwift is still at an early stage and raises the prospect of introducing steering into the game.

There’s a great interview with Australian hand cyclist Alex Welsh and myself, Shane and Nathan discuss the issues he raises about avatar customisation.

The KISS races have now launched all over the world and are attracting huge fields in the Southern Hemisphere. I talk to Glen Knight, one of the originators of the wildly popular series and afterwards we discuss the genius of the http://www.zwiftpower.com tool.

Matt Hayman’s coach, Kevin Poulton, still buzzing from his rider’s amazing victory in Paris-Roubaix, talks about how Matt used Zwift in his training – and gives his views on the value of indoor riding for training for the rest of us.

There’s also a lively review of the indoor season so far in Australia with Shane and I discussing the massive popularity of the Aussie HDR group ride.

I hope you like the new format – let me know on the Zwiftcast Listeners Facebook page.

 

 

 

Best of Season One

This is a compilation Zwiftcast, featuring some of the best material from Season One. I hope that listeners in the Southern Hemisphere, just starting their indoor season might like it.And for new listeners elsewhere, it’s a chance to hear what the podcast is all about.

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Virtual coach David Lipscomb, of CIS Training Systems, explains how he guided his rider to a win whilst racing in Zwift – as he actually rode the race.

Zwift staffer Mike McCarthy explains his “don’t be afraid to fail” training philosophy.

There’s a compare and contrast, including sound level tests, between the two big beasts of the Smart Trainer jungle, the Tacx Neo and the Wahoo KICKR.

Zwifter Marcus Neil explains how cycling – and Zwift – rescued him from depression.

We meet Nathan Guerra, the “voice of Zwift” and Rachel Elliott talks about how she coped with being accused of cheating after she won a race.

Episode Five

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In this episode US Zwifter John Hampton joins me to discuss the latest talking points in Zwift. We cover his One True Scotsman theory; the Fort Bragg police and ask why cyclists are so fussy.

Rachael Elliott made Zwift history when she became the first woman to win a race in a male dominated field. Some questioned her performance – but they were wrong. Rachael reveals how it felt from her side.

Special Guest G Master is on the Zwiftcast – or at least someone who seems to know a bit about who the mysterious figure is and what he does.

David Desrosiers discusses his brilliantly useful new resource for Zwifters – the Zwift Riders knowledge base. Knowledge Base

The article in the kb about improving frame rate is here. Frame Rate improvements

Lots of people are now completing the 12 Week FTP Builder programme – we hear from a Zwifter whose FTP has rocketed thanks to his commitment to the plan.

And we’re in Belgium to hear how Zwift is being received in the land of the hardman cyclist.