In recent years, the world of cycling has undergone a digital revolution, giving birth to a new and exhilarating phenomenon – virtual racing – and Westerley is a leading club in the area.
Cyclists around the globe are now strapping into their stationary trainers, donning their virtual avatars, and pedaling their way through digital landscapes.
For many it is replacing traditional short club time trials and team time trials allowing riders to access the physical exertion and thrill of racing in a very time-efficient way, in any weather. Others race daily over a range of distances, and use these races and time trials to improve fitness.
At Westerley we run a squad and compete in Team Time Trials (with race radio and a DS), time trials and races most weeks throughout the year. It’s great fun and really keeps the interest going during those days and evenings you don’t really want to be out. We are competitive too and can be can be found mixing it up with some of the best in the business.
Cycling Equipment Needed:
- Smart Trainer: The heart of virtual racing lies in the smart trainer. These sophisticated devices simulate real-world terrain by adjusting resistance based on the virtual landscape. Cyclists experience a lifelike ride, feeling the burn on climbs and the speed on descents.
- Power Meter: For accurate and fair competition, a power meter is essential. It measures the force applied to the pedals, providing a precise reflection of a cyclist’s effort. Many smart trainers have built-in power meters, but some cyclists prefer additional accuracy or dual readings.
- A bike to put on the trainer!
- Indoor Bike: Some cyclists opt for an indoor-specific bike. These bikes are designed for stationary use, offering stability and comfort during virtual races.
- Heart Rate Monitor: Monitoring heart rate adds another layer of data, helping cyclists gauge their effort and ensure they’re pushing themselves within their limits.
- Space: Designate a dedicated space for your virtual racing setup. Ensure proper ventilation and lighting for a comfortable and immersive experience.
- Internet Connection: A stable internet connection is crucial for seamless connectivity to virtual racing platforms. High-speed internet reduces lag and ensures a smooth riding experience.
- Device: Whether it’s a computer, tablet, or smartphone, choose a device with sufficient processing power to run the virtual racing platform smoothly.
- Bluetooth/ANT+ Connectivity: Ensure your devices, including your smart trainer and sensors, can communicate with each other. Most smart trainers use Bluetooth or ANT+ technology for connectivity.
Virtual Racing Platforms:
- Zwift: Overview: Zwift is a pioneer in the virtual cycling world, offering a vast and immersive digital landscape for riders to explore. Features: Races, group rides, structured workouts, and social interactions. Special Events: Zwift hosts various events, including virtual versions of famous races like the Tour de France.
- IndieVelo: Overview: IndieVelo is gaining popularity for its realistic graphics and challenging courses. Features: Customizable avatars, diverse terrains, and a growing community. Special Events: IndieVelo frequently organizes races and challenges to keep the community engaged.