LeJog – April’21 Challenge

Days: Arrived after 27 days
Distance: Completed 1744km (100%)

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Zwift (bike simulator) explained

Two days of rest / today is rest (pick the one of your choice, they both apply) in my LeJog challenge journey (Day#15) and that makes a good opportunity for explaining to you the application I use along my smart trainer (see my virtual bike setup if you haven’t already) namely « Zwift ».

Zwift is one of many applications available on the market, each of them has its own characteristics ( realistic view using real movie filmed by cyclists, workout oriented, etc.). Zwift fits in the « more social interactions » category, there is a huge community of cyclists (and runners actually since it works with both sports) using it on a regular basis and there is always others riders on the road and it’s the main reason I’ve chosen instead of others.

There are several worlds on Zwift, the main, largest and historical one is called « Watopia ». It is all virtual and has been created specifically for and by Zwift. Every world is composed of several routes that you can choose to ride from. The only « real » part of this world is called « Alp Du Zwift » and replicate the famous « Alpes d’Huez » climb with all its 21 hairpin turns an average elevation grade of 8.5% (1035m) over 12.2km.

Watopia course map

Beside Watopia, you can also choose to ride on one of the others world available : France, Innsbruck, London, New-York and Yorkshire which are all a mix of real and virtual places depending on the world.

At this point, you must be eager to see how does the Zwift’s screen looks like, well here it is below with an external camera since yes you can choose to see your avatar from different perspectives.

At the center of the screen, you can see my avatar on his biker riding at 51 kilometers per hour on a -7% grade slope, how can I tell by just looking at this picture? Let’s find out together what are the most interesting information on Zwift’s screen to start with.

If you look closely on the above screenshot, you’ll see some orange numbers on white circles with orange borders going from one to three :

  1. In this blue rectangle at the top left you can see three interesting live data :
    • 150w is the live power (in watts) delivered by the cyclist (me on the screenshot)
    • 91 rpm is the cadence (round per minute) at which the cyclist pedals
    • 125 bpm is the heartbeat in (beats per minute) of the cyclist’s heart
    • Note: All these data might see close to useless at first but trust me they’re all very useful when you know a bit more about how to interpret them
  2. In this white rectangle at the top center you can see four interesting information in the top part :
    • 51kph is the cyclist’s current speed (in kilometers per hour)
    • 79.8km is the distance (in kilometers) since the beginning of the ride
    • 677m is the positive elevation (in meters) climbed since the beginning of the ride
    • 2:09:57 is the total moving time (hours : minutes : seconds) since the beginning of the ride (the counter stops if the rider is not moving)
  3. -7% is the current grade (percentage) of the route the cyclist is on, it turns to red when it get steep.

If you want to know it all about Zwift’s screen, I invite your to read Using the Heads Up Display on Zwift’s official site since I only covered the main ones here and below you’ll find a commercial video from Zwift explaining all the features you can find.

What is Zwift? by Zwift

I hope it makes more sense now, feel free to add comments or ask questions using the form below!

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