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Zwift questions and impressions

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Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

Zwift questions and impressions

Old 12-16-19, 12:40 PM
  #176  
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One thing that may be of interest... I mentioned earlier in the thread how Canyon-SRAM have signed a Zwift competition winner to a contract each year since 2016. Although these ladies aren't winning major stage races yet, they are getting re-signed, so it's not strictly a marketing exercise, they are getting some real talent out of the competition-

https://www.cyclingnews.com/news/can...arris-in-2020/
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Old 12-16-19, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
As someone that has raced a real bike plenty of times, and has now also started racing a virtual bike, I can tell you that the physical load on my body is exactly the same in a virtual race as it would be outdoors. The skills required are far different, of course, and the element of risk that hangs over every corner and every pack of riders in a real race is completely removed from virtual racing, and no one is denying that. In fact, as a new parent, it's mostly because of the inherent risk and time/financial costs of "real" racing that I find myself Zwifting far more often than riding/racing outdoors. That's the biggest appeal of Zwift for those of us with time constraints.
Mine are 4 and 7 and we don't have consistent babysitting, so this coming year, I may get to do 2 fondos and 2 triathlons. My wife will likely do about the same amount. Mostly, we'll do events near where my parents live so that they can watch the kids (we don't want to drag them to too many boring races). Doing a race takes, at minimum, an entire day of our weekend. We simply don't have time to do more. We both used to also compete in powerlifting, but one of the big reasons we lost interest was that we didn't want to commit an entire day to doing a contest, and in particular, didn't want to subject the kids to having to sit through several hours both in the car and at the venue.

On the flip side, I decided on Saturday that I'd do the third stage of Zwift's "Tour of London" on Sunday. For a race that took just over an hour, my total time commitment was likely 1:45 between setting up the bike, a quick warm up and sitting on the couch recovering while my butt was cramping afterwards. Had an emergency happened, I could have quit at any time and gone to help. Of course it doesn't mean as much to me, but it means enough that I'll push myself and the cost is also essentially 0.
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Old 12-16-19, 01:14 PM
  #178  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
Mine are 4 and 7 and we don't have consistent babysitting, so this coming year, I may get to do 2 fondos and 2 triathlons. My wife will likely do about the same amount. Mostly, we'll do events near where my parents live so that they can watch the kids (we don't want to drag them to too many boring races). Doing a race takes, at minimum, an entire day of our weekend. We simply don't have time to do more. We both used to also compete in powerlifting, but one of the big reasons we lost interest was that we didn't want to commit an entire day to doing a contest, and in particular, didn't want to subject the kids to having to sit through several hours both in the car and at the venue.

On the flip side, I decided on Saturday that I'd do the third stage of Zwift's "Tour of London" on Sunday. For a race that took just over an hour, my total time commitment was likely 1:45 between setting up the bike, a quick warm up and sitting on the couch recovering while my butt was cramping afterwards. Had an emergency happened, I could have quit at any time and gone to help. Of course it doesn't mean as much to me, but it means enough that I'll push myself and the cost is also essentially 0.
Our little one just hit 4 months, so my daily routine is just putting her in a little electric swing thing next to the trainer where she smiles and laughs while she watches me suffer each morning for an hour before mom wakes up. Can also stop at any point and help if she has a meltdown, something I can't do if I'm driving to a criterium in North Carolina or something like that.
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Old 12-16-19, 01:47 PM
  #179  
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Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
Our little one just hit 4 months, so my daily routine is just putting her in a little electric swing thing next to the trainer where she smiles and laughs while she watches me suffer each morning for an hour before mom wakes up. Can also stop at any point and help if she has a meltdown, something I can't do if I'm driving to a criterium in North Carolina or something like that.
Congratulations! It sounds like you've got a good strategy going there. We could do something similar (but back then it was lifting weights) up until about 18 months. Then our son started getting bored too quickly and we pretty much had to exercise one at a time.
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Old 12-16-19, 03:22 PM
  #180  
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Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
Our little one just hit 4 months, so my daily routine is just putting her in a little electric swing thing next to the trainer where she smiles and laughs while she watches me suffer each morning for an hour before mom wakes up. Can also stop at any point and help if she has a meltdown, something I can't do if I'm driving to a criterium in North Carolina or something like that.
Yeah, that phase is sweet, but it doesnt last very long.
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Old 12-16-19, 08:43 PM
  #181  
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Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
As someone that has raced a real bike plenty of times, and has now also started racing a virtual bike, I can tell you that the physical load on my body is exactly the same in a virtual race as it would be outdoors. The skills required are far different, of course.
Well that's kind of the point, isn't it?
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Old 12-16-19, 08:50 PM
  #182  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
This will seem to go against my prior comment in this thread, but it really doesnt- I am one who struggles to accept e-sports. I dont fully view zwift as an e-sport though. A zwift race(that is legitimately run and not hacked or whatever) requires athletic talent, even if its just being able to turn your legs fast and with power.
.
So physiological talent. Because for sure, actually riding a bike in a bike race requires a very specific set of skills not used on Zwift.

Bike racing itself is a skill. Pedaling hard...isn't. You're either genetically capable and trained to do so, or you aren't. You can learn to bike race. You can't learn to get a 400 watt ftp.

Zwift does not teach you to bike race. It teaches you how to video game and pedal hard. Zwifting is not racing a bike. It's playing a video game with your aerobic system.
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Old 12-16-19, 08:55 PM
  #183  
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Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
As someone that has raced a real bike plenty of times, and has now also started racing a virtual bike, I can tell you that the physical load on my body is exactly the same in a virtual race as it would be outdoors..
Coming back to this because it's very much inaccurate.

A zwift race is physiologically nothing like a real race. I've said this a number of times. The power is 100% different in a zwift race and an actual race. Physiologically they are very dissimilar. Comparing a Zwift A race with a p/1/2 race, a zwift race is very steady state with little to no coasting and far fewer and lesser peak outputs (500 watts is typically more than enough for nearly any surge save for the finish). Real races are typically way more stochastic with way more and way higher peaks, and way more lulls and coasting. 700-1000 watt surges are essentially the norm in crits and road races with hills or attacks. And significant amounts of softpedaling/coasting are also the norm.

Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
I ultimately think a few of you guys are ranting against a strawman.
Ranting against a strawman? I responded to a question about why the UCI wouldn't get involved with zwift and you went off on a tangent trying to legitimize it as racing while saying it's not actually bike racing.

So if it's not bike racing, but the UCI governs bike racing... well, seems to fit.

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Old 12-17-19, 05:25 AM
  #184  
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Some of you might remember the old dog race game at carnivals where you advance your dog by keeping a water gun on target, or some such task. With that as my Boomer baseline, Zwift looks pretty realistic.
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Old 12-17-19, 07:01 AM
  #185  
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
Some of you might remember the old dog race game at carnivals where you advance your dog by keeping a water gun on target, or some such task. With that as my Boomer baseline, Zwift looks pretty realistic.
Ok boomer.

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Old 12-17-19, 08:24 AM
  #186  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
So if it's not bike racing, but the UCI governs bike racing... well, seems to fit.
If the UCI can govern cycle-ball, I don't think it's a stretch to ask them to govern Zwift (or e-racing in general) as well.
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Old 12-17-19, 08:50 AM
  #187  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
So physiological talent. Because for sure, actually riding a bike in a bike race requires a very specific set of skills not used on Zwift.

Bike racing itself is a skill. Pedaling hard...isn't. You're either genetically capable and trained to do so, or you aren't. You can learn to bike race. You can't learn to get a 400 watt ftp.

Zwift does not teach you to bike race. It teaches you how to video game and pedal hard. Zwifting is not racing a bike. It's playing a video game with your aerobic system.
sure, I pretty much agree with all this.
It aligns with whatnive posted so far in this thread too.
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Old 12-17-19, 09:12 AM
  #188  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Coming back to this because it's very much inaccurate.

A zwift race is physiologically nothing like a real race. I've said this a number of times. The power is 100% different in a zwift race and an actual race. Physiologically they are very dissimilar. Comparing a Zwift A race with a p/1/2 race, a zwift race is very steady state with little to no coasting and far fewer and lesser peak outputs (500 watts is typically more than enough for nearly any surge save for the finish). Real races are typically way more stochastic with way more and way higher peaks, and way more lulls and coasting. 700-1000 watt surges are essentially the norm in crits and road races with hills or attacks. And significant amounts of softpedaling/coasting are also the norm.
I'm sure there are differing power demands in a P1/2 race versus a similar level race in Zwift because of the drafting and such, I was stating that for me, as someone who is usually just a pack surfer in 3/4 races, my HR and power are remarkably similar between a Zwift race and a real race. There are surges on hills and out of corners, coasting on downhills, etc. Again, it's not exactly the same for all racers, I'm sure, but for me I've found that it's as close to a real race in terms of training as I can get. Have you done any Zwift racing yourself, or is this based on having looked at other people's data?
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Old 12-17-19, 09:15 AM
  #189  
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It's been a while since I've been on Zwift (and never did much in the way of racing - just tried to see if I could get on some odd sprint leaderboards in the very early days). Is there any strategy/skill involved? Is staying in someone's draft something people do/care about? Or is it blast as many watts as you can and see who can drope the hamer the most for the longest?
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Old 12-17-19, 09:23 AM
  #190  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post

Ranting against a strawman? I responded to a question about why the UCI wouldn't get involved with zwift and you went off on a tangent trying to legitimize it as racing while saying it's not actually bike racing.

So if it's not bike racing, but the UCI governs bike racing... well, seems to fit.
I'm trying to say it's a legitimate athletic endeavor, and the fitness requirements are similar to real bike racing. I am not saying it is bike racing, it's virtual bike racing. I don't see why the UCI being involved has to be up for debate... like I'd said before, the FIA sanctions an F1 e-sports series, which is even further removed from driving than Zwift is from cycling.

My strawman statement is in response to comments like this-

Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Zwift feeds the delusion of being a good bike rider without actually being good!
Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
So physiological talent. Because for sure, actually riding a bike in a bike race requires a very specific set of skills not used on Zwift.

Bike racing itself is a skill. Pedaling hard...isn't. You're either genetically capable and trained to do so, or you aren't. You can learn to bike race. You can't learn to get a 400 watt ftp.

Zwift does not teach you to bike race. It teaches you how to video game and pedal hard. Zwifting is not racing a bike. It's playing a video game with your aerobic system.
Where are you seeing people express their delusions that because they're good at Zwift racing, they therefore are accomplished bike riders? In my experience, people who do well in Zwift acknowledge that they're good at virtual bike racing, not real bike racing. I'm sure there are exceptions, but there are also people who do nothing but time trials and probably also think they'll be great pack racers.
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Old 12-17-19, 11:00 AM
  #191  
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
It's been a while since I've been on Zwift (and never did much in the way of racing - just tried to see if I could get on some odd sprint leaderboards in the very early days). Is there any strategy/skill involved? Is staying in someone's draft something people do/care about? Or is it blast as many watts as you can and see who can drope the hamer the most for the longest?
Drafting matters. But, because cyclist avatars don't really take up space, you don't see fights for position and you can just drift directly backwards in the pack so there's no real set rotation or anything. In general it seems to me that there are also far fewer successful breakaways. So, it often becomes the following:

1. Start hard so you get in a fast group
2. Ride a fairly steady pace in the group. When you creep up to the front, you'll naturally have increased resistance and then creep backwards where you'll get a draft and creep forwards again.
3. Try to stay attached during the hills (this is where separation happens).
4. Sprint at the end. Possibly with a "power up" from the game.

Corners don't really matter (no need/way to brake), and you can't be boxed in or anything. So (and I'm speaking largely out of ignorance here so take it with a grain of salt) tactically it isn't the same and is generally much simpler.
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Old 12-17-19, 12:42 PM
  #192  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I agree with a lot of this- that zwift does a good job of making a mind numbing activity fun. And agree that its absurd to have someone use zwift numbers as a base for ability on the road.

Totally disagree with your views on why racing is down. Having read your posts and listened to your podcasts for years- its clear to me that you are pretty annoyed and bitter. Not just annoyed and bitter by the industry in general(pretty common to be burned out like this), but also annoyed and bitter at what you see in the sport at the local level. I can only imagine the frustration of dwindling numbers for road rides when you have invested to much time into the support and promotion of cycling.

Your hostility is misdirected here. Sure, I bet there are people who dont race outside because they are 'afraid' of putting themselves out there for critique. But that is just 1 of many reasons. Time required to race outside vs on zwift is significantly different. Cost is less on zwift. Equipment needs are less on zwift. Talent/ability is less on zwift.
All those things create barriers to entry for road riding and zwift makes it easy.
that last one is HUGE- the talent/ability issue. You have referenced riders being yanked off courses for years now. Why would someone waste their time, money, and effort only to be yanked off a course?
Basically, zwift allows many who arent good enough to race in real life, still race.
Zwift is what gravel racing has been to you for the last few years. You've ranted and thrown fits over how gravel races arent real races because they arent UCI sanctioned and/or dont have insurance, blah blah yada. You've instead called the races big group rides where some people are competitive.
That same attitude and view seems to be how you view zwift races.

It's an unfortunate view to take, really. Exclusivity is slowly losing out to experiences and inclusivity, and you are standing on the sideline bemoaning the change.
Meh - I question everyone and everything that is on top. If you've been listening you also know that while I can sit and complain about something like gravel - It's about all I am "competing" in anymore. While I enjoy taking shots at Zwift - I still rode an hour on it yesterday. I just refuse to think that anything is an all knowing savior of anything. A lot of times my probing and pot shots are meant to pull the zealots out of the conversation and find those that use it with a critical eye in hopes they can truly quantify the long term value of it and it's place in the sport. Without doing that then I feel all I am doing is listening to a Peloton commercial given by a bunch of disciples.... when the last commercial really pointed out some of the flaws in what they think is their mission.

In reality I am paying for an account and I am trying it with an open mind. My skin still will crawl when people try and draw some sort of comparison between Zwift racing and real world performance but I am not alone in that. I truly wish we could just embrace it as a game without trying to make it seem like real life racing. Change the graphics but give it the same tactics. I think it could be interesting that way. Like why can't we have a race on a course that resembles a large rollercoaster with loops? Sections that float in space? Sections that act like their powerups do where people can develop tactics that in a way mimic racing tactics (not saying they don't already as I don't race on there yet).

It's the stuff where people sit around and do video comparisons between zwift's Alp d'huez and the real thing that make my eyes roll hard enough that it distracts me. I've never had the time or money to ride the thing in real life but i know enough to know that no approximation of it will ever be accurate so take it at face value. If the idea of riding an analog of it gets your training done then bravo...just don't destroy it by trying to analyze the hell out of it.

Apologies on not having any new podcasts lately. Cross season is always the busiest. 7-day work weeks for months on end. now officially over. Have a few in the can and a couple of topics I want to pick up. This will probably be one of them. I've been a lot less disagreeable lately and that honestly doesn't make for good podcasting. Try thinking of the last time you listened to a podcast where people talked about something and no one ever disagreed. Believe it or not sometimes we have an outline and have agreed beforehand which sides we are going to take if it's an issue that we all agree on in advance.

The hate of the hand-wringing about racing comes from this place. Always full of a bunch of people that want to emulate what they perceive to be the racing culture but unwilling to take the step to try it. After doing it - yeah draw your own conclusions. It's not for everyone of course. The reasons cited for not doing it get old. I have heard all of them over the years.

You alluded to me talking about what is killing racing? Nothing is killing racing. That's the part that I don't think people get. They always seem to insert their own narrative and attribute their own experience as somehow being some sort of cause for racing dying. It's dying at the same rate it always has....it's just that no one is trying it anymore. If people were trying it we would be chugging along like always. Some would love it. Some would hate it but the people leaving every year through natural life shifts would be offset by those coming to it. They just aren't coming to it anymore. It's not gravel. It's not Zwift. It's not money. it's not gear. It's a general shift in what people want to do with their time. Racing (IRL) is just not one of those things. Playing a video game where racing happens is.

Hell we should shoot a video blog where I try a Zwift race. If it's like real racing then I should be crapped out the back in the first 90 seconds or so....

At the end of the day it's still riding a trainer. Like I said I rode for an hour yesterday. That's an hour I wouldn't have done without the distractions of Zwift. I am grateful for zwift in that regard.
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Old 12-17-19, 01:24 PM
  #193  
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Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
I'm sure there are differing power demands in a P1/2 race versus a similar level race in Zwift because of the drafting and such, I was stating that for me, as someone who is usually just a pack surfer in 3/4 races, my HR and power are remarkably similar between a Zwift race and a real race. There are surges on hills and out of corners, coasting on downhills, etc. Again, it's not exactly the same for all racers, I'm sure, but for me I've found that it's as close to a real race in terms of training as I can get. Have you done any Zwift racing yourself, or is this based on having looked at other people's data?
I've been on zwift each winter since Jarvis Island.
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Old 12-17-19, 01:30 PM
  #194  
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Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
I'm trying to say it's a legitimate athletic endeavor, and the fitness requirements are similar to real bike racing. I am not saying it is bike racing, it's virtual bike racing. I don't see why the UCI being involved has to be up for debate... like I'd said before, the FIA sanctions an F1 e-sports series, which is even further removed from driving than Zwift is from cycling.

My strawman statement is in response to comments like this-
I assert the fitness requirements aren't the same.

And again, you're responding to my response to someone else. It wasn't your debate, so why engage in it only to decry it?

Comments made after your statement? Okay.

Real lack of logic and continuity here.
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Old 12-17-19, 01:33 PM
  #195  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
I assert the fitness requirements aren't the same.

And again, you're responding to my response to someone else.It wasn't your debate, so why engage in it only to decry it?
You're saying the same thing as me. I haven't said the fitness requirements are the same. They are similar in that they require pedaling hard on a bike and recovering quickly. They are disimilar in that there is no risk, no requirement to be adept at positioning and bike handling, no team dynamics, no cornering, etc etc. We can agree there.

For my response to your response... aren't we on a public discussion forum? The purpose of this place is to engage in debate publicly. In fact, the thread was originally intended to discuss one user's enjoyment and impressions of Zwift, so all the posts complaining about the gamification of cycling and whether e-cycling has any place in the universe of bike fitness are off topic, no?

Anyway, thanks for the critique of my logic and continuity, duly noted.

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Old 12-17-19, 01:38 PM
  #196  
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Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
It's a discussion forum, the purpose of this is to have public debates, no?
Except you're merely lamenting that that particular debate is occurring. That's just whining.
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Old 12-17-19, 01:53 PM
  #197  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Except you're merely lamenting that that particular debate is occurring. That's just whining.
I contextualized it by citing examples of how other sanctioning bodies (FIA) are supporting e-sports in a similar way. I think it's a smart move for them to capitalize on something that could be a new revenue stream and draw more viewers to the sport. If you guys want to have a private debate about whether the UCI should be involved in Zwift, maybe send a PM.

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Old 12-17-19, 02:00 PM
  #198  
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The more people in the actual course itself, the faster you will be. You are almost in a constant draft as you pass people or people pass you.
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Old 12-17-19, 02:50 PM
  #199  
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Originally Posted by Genaro View Post
The more people in the actual course itself, the faster you will be. You are almost in a constant draft as you pass people or people pass you.
It's like a SUPERMUP, without the risk of running over small children.
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Old 12-17-19, 03:12 PM
  #200  
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Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
It's like a SUPERMUP, without the risk of running over small children.
What's the hot-key for ON YOUR LEFT ?
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