Car-free riding, the Supertuck and a QOM battle: introducing two Catalans to Zwift

Together with two cyclists who were completely inexperienced with Zwift, Nafent went to the Chpt3-studio in old-town Girona to try out indoor training.

It is two o’clock in the afternoon when Cristina Almirall and Txell Claret ring the bell at Studio 3 on the Rambla de la Llibertat. Former professional cyclist David Millar opens the door. The two women carry their bikes up to the first floor, unmount the rear wheels and install their frames onto the Tacx Neo indoor trainers. Within a few minutes, they’re riding in the virtual world.

Zwift’s training programs

To give the two Catalan cyclists a sense of what Zwift is like, they are doing a two-hour session. First Almirall and Claret follow the ‘Workout of the Week’, one of the numerous training programs Zwift has which allow its users to effectively train and become stronger. Then the two follow the virtual road signs of the ‘Hilly Route’, one of Zwift’s most favorite routes in their virtual map Watopia. Both cyclists normally use a power meter on the road, and
are straight away surprised by how realistic Zwift is. “I can feel it straight away when the road rises. The watts I have to push to reach 20 kilometers per hour on a 4% incline are similar to real-life,” Almirall says. “It is even getting easier
when I draft behind Txell!”

Claret is trying to drop Almirall in the game, but then gets a reminder from the platform that she is not sticking to the training schedule. Luckily for her she will be able to challenge Almirall on the Zwift KOM after the training.


The supertuck on Zwift

After half an hour of riding, both realize that Zwift is more exhausting than riding on the road. They experience that
the ‘micro rests’ that cyclists have when they do not spin the legs, for instance towards a roundabout or traffic light,
do not exist on Zwift. “Actually,” Claret says, “I haven’t even seen a car yet.” 

A few moments later she is going down a hill in Watopia, and she is running out of gears to keep pedaling. Her avatar on the platform gets extra aero and does the ‘supertuck’. “Look at me,” Claret laughs as she imitates her virtual self in real life. “Now we are both doing the supertuck!”

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