Competitive electric bikes on Zwift make you a champion in your apartment


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Ultimately, the founders of Zwift hope that this new form of competitive cycling will one day appear at the Olympics-this may happen if the Olympic cycling organization UCI provides support. It can be said that things have moved in this direction. In June last year, Zwift made its debut in a new event called the “Olympic Virtual Series” established by the International Olympic Committee. One of the differences between electric bicycles and other elite circuit events is that it is relatively easy for anyone to participate.

“Anyone anywhere in the world, in the comfort of their home, can pass the qualification process,” said Sean Parry, Zwift’s director of strategy.

Working through the team

This is how Easler successfully advanced. She was unsuccessful in the qualifying open to American users, but entered the U.S. national team through a separate qualifying match. She is not a complete novice and participated in triathlon as a student. But virtual games are no worse than outdoor activities. “You will feel the adrenaline secretion,” Isler said. “You know you are dealing with very powerful people in real life.”

Isler and her other participants in the World Championships will all receive the same smart trainer-a device that replaces the rear wheel of a fixed bicycle-so they can compete on a level virtual arena. The smart trainer will automatically increase or decrease the resistance to match the feel of the virtual road surface in the Zwift course. It can even simulate pebbles.

Data plays an important role on platforms such as Zwift, and riders often constantly monitor their performance. Their heart rate, speed, power output in watts, and other statistics are always visible on the screen during the game. Commentators can select some of the statistics on the spot to show the audience how hard a single participant is.

For example, Easler knows that she needs to keep her heart rate (in beats per minute) below a certain level to avoid a crash. “If my heart rate reaches 185, I can recover, but if I reach 195, I can’t,” she said. Tracking her numbers on the screen allows her to get close to her limit without exceeding her limit, and she says she gets better over time.

Real-time data on the performance of each driver will also enable Zwift and UCI officials to spot any possible cheaters in the championship. Competitors who are not exercising may use a variety of techniques-from misreporting their weight (which may give them a strength advantage) to trying to manipulate the game.



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