Woohoo! Sam is now level 20, or on gamification and riding bikes

Whee! I’ve leveled up in Zwift.

The virtual cycling platform keeps me motivated in lots of different ways: competition and community are the main two. So much so that sometimes I forget the game-y features of it all.

But tonight I raced and came away with no great victories but I did get four new game notifications. I leveled up to level 20. I unlocked the snazzy pink kit for my avatar. I rode a new route and got the badge for Royal Pump Room 8, in Yorkshire. And I won a sprint and got a jersey.

Mostly I confess I don’t pay much attention to route badges etc but it was all a nice perk and cheered me up on this not very remarkable night of racing.

Here’s how it all works. See point 5.

“Zwift uses levels to encourage you to keep cycling and unlock certain features — from access to locked routes or climbs, to choosing new bikes and equipment for your avatar.You collect experience points (XP) as you cycle around Watopia, and the further you cycle, the more points you collect. They can also be earned by doing events, workouts and other challenges.Starting at level one, there are 50 different levels in total. Going up levels unlocks new bikes, equipment and clothing for the virtual you. It also unlocks some routes: for example, you need to be level 10+ to ride the Mega Pretzel and level 12+ to ride the Climb Alpe Du Zwift, a virtual recreation of the famous Alpe d’Huez climb in the French Alps.”

And here’s my avatar sporting the new level 20 kit.

Yes, she’s thinner than real life me. It’s not vanity on my part. It’s Zwift’s problem, not mine.

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