cycling · fitness · Zwift

Happiest songs of all time, virtual lavender fields, and a great #ZwiftAcademy group ride wrestle Sam out of a pandemic funk

This morning I did the Zwift Academy women’s group ride. I did it as a recovery ride after last night’s TFC race and as part of my effort up complete Zwift Academy before the time runs out.

I’m getting closer!

Sam’s Zwift academy progress

While riding I listened to the happiest songs of all time according to neuroscience. I’ve been in a bit of a pandemic funk lately as covid-19 case numbers grow here in Ontario. I’m from the East coast of Canada where things are going great. I’ve lived in Australia and New Zealand, also where things are going great. Here? Not so much. I’ve been missing my kids and worrying about everyone. This hasn’t been an easy week.

It might also just be time change related sadness. It is that time of year.

And then I read this Neuroscience Says These Are the 10 Happiest Songs Ever: Now might be a good time for all of us to remind ourselves of this useful bit of classic research. 

Frankly I’m not sure if the music helped or if it was the group ride. Probably the combo. But I was smiling while I was on the bike this morning.

The route was in virtual France, Casse Pattes.

I love the France routes, weirdly in part for the beautiful virtual countryside vistas. Check out the lavender fields below.

Here’s Zwift’s description of the route, “French cyclists use the term “casse-pattes” (literally “leg-breaking”) to refer to particularly difficult parts of a ride, or roads that awkwardly change gradient and break a cyclist’s rhythm.

Released with Zwift’s France map for the first-ever Virtual Tour de France, the Casse-Pattes route covers the large outer loop of the map in a clockwise direction. The first 12km is pan-flat with two timed sprint segments, but then that rhythm is broken up in the back half by two timed KOM climbs.’

As you might expect I loved the first flat 12 km and suffered a bit on the climbs. Still, the ride leader stuck to the advertised pace and it was fine really.

How was the ride? Pleasant. Nice pacing. People stayed together. There were lots of riders from the UK and Europe, because it’s later Saturday there. The chat was mostly about completing Zwift Academy, who was close and who was not. There was also a lengthy discussion of how to make brownies.

Recently I posted about some great group rides on Zwift. If this was a regular Saturday morning thing I’d certainly do it again.

Sam in the pink hat on the Zwift academy group ride. I slowed to take a photo of the lavender field.

When I shared my last post about Zwift groups rides Jennifer S also had some more recommendations: “CMA – Cycling Mums Australia sometimes matches up with afternoon times in North America.”

And more, “ZHCC “We Ride as One” have some nice rides. 6:30 GMT/1:30 pm EST most days. Some are ladies only rides, some recovery rides, some higher paced group rides. “

Tomorrow is my club ride, Team TFC. And if you ever decide to join us, drop me a line and I’ll ride with you. Promise!

I ride in the D group, under 2 watts per kilo. And it’s at 315 pm, Eastern time.

3 thoughts on “Happiest songs of all time, virtual lavender fields, and a great #ZwiftAcademy group ride wrestle Sam out of a pandemic funk

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