cycling

Social distancing with The Swarm

This Sunday we hit peak Zwift, 34,940 riders.

I was part of that peak, riding with the Swarm, a ride for women riders many of whom are new to Zwift, led by experienced Zwifters.

Here’s my indoor bike and me.

The Swarm rides are meant to be easy paced with lots of chatter. A text exchange runs along the right hand side. “Greeting from Guelph, Ontario, Canada!”

I was curious to see what people talked about. In many ways, we’re all having the same conversations these days. Have you watched the Tiger King show? What are you all watching on Netflix these days? What’s your family baking? Have you cut your own bangs yet? How are your kids doing with school at home?

We also talked about what we wearing while riding our bikes at home. Bike shorts, socks, and sports bras yes, but opinion was divided about actual bike jerseys. The pockets aren’t so handy when you can keep snacks on a stool next to the bike. I’ve been riding in shorts and a sports bra. I wouldn’t ever have said the presence of other people affected what I wore and yet I’ve never ridden in just a bra in a spin studio. Live and learn.

There was some chatter about gear, bike trainer specifics, heart rate monitors, fans, and all of the household internet use. One partner riding on Zwift, another Zooming away at work, and kids watching Netflix or online learning all at the same time.

I was happy to hear women cyclists also talking about bikes, about Zwift, and about learning to group ride and race. The ride leaders were good at answering questions. I liked it that even the technical questions were answered directly. There was no “get your husband to look at it.” Phew.

There was good advice about beginning racing and selecting rides. In the weeks ahead I’m going to give that a try. I did my first time Zwift time trial and thinking about team racing. I’ll report back.

Sam in The Swarm

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