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Seeking Zwift Course Recommendations

Old 03-08-23, 12:55 PM
  #1  
terrymorse 
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Seeking Zwift Course Recommendations

I just got a new Zwift Hub, and I'm looking for course recommendations.

I'm not interested in racing at the moment, just some courses that aren't boring to get in some zone 2 training I would normally do on the road.

Some hills are fine, just no extended climbs. Two hours is probably about right.

And is there a way to ride without other riders? They might push me out of my training zone.

Thanks.
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Old 03-08-23, 01:17 PM
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We have an indoor cycling forum with many threads on Zwift that might be worth checking out.

If you want to see a complete list of routes on Zwift, check this out:
https://zwiftinsider.com/routes/

You can sort that list by length and then click on it to see profiles. Most Zwift routes are 90 mins or less, but there are a few that are in the range of 2 hours. The Big Foot Hills route likely suits your needs. 42 miles, and 2300ft of climbing over 5 climbs, but they're all relatively short, 10 mins each (or so). The longest climb in Watopia is the Epic KOM, which is more like 20 minutes (for most people).

I'm not sure what you mean by other riders pushing you out of your training zone. Unless you're unable to stop yourself from chasing down other riders, they don't have any effect on you, other than providing some drafting if you happen to wind up behind someone. That draft wouldn't have anything to do with your training zones, just your avatar's speed on screen. ERG mode is useful for structured training/workouts.
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Old 03-08-23, 01:39 PM
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Here it is Indoor
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Old 03-08-23, 02:13 PM
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try the perimeter in japan. last i recall there were only a few small 2% grades in it making it nice for zone 2. the japan world in the country is probably the nicest visually in zwift but now that scotland came out i don't know.
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Old 03-08-23, 03:23 PM
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Four ways to tamp down your competitive urges to ride with reduced or no other riders:
1. You can "world hack" so you're riding in a non-scheduled world and the number of other riders is greatly reduced.
2. When I used to do testing for CdA and Crr of various bikes in Zwift to find out whether the physics model was about right, I used to go to a world and then disconnect from my wifi router. This makes everyone else disappear so you don't have to worry about drafting effects.
3. You can run in erg mode, at your Zone 2 power.
4. You can take a little yellow sticky, write "zone 2" on it, and stick it on the edge of your screen.
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Old 03-08-23, 03:46 PM
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5. Not without other riders, but ride with the Pace Partner of the appropriate W/kg.
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Old 03-08-23, 04:03 PM
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If you want to stay in Zone 2, just ride in ERG mode with your trainer set to whatever wattage is equivalent to zone 2. This takes both draft and gradient out of the equation.
The TT bike is unaffected by draft, so if you're worried for some reason about other riders increasing your speed due to drafting, you could ride that (though noting that the TT bike is more aero, so you'd be riding faster...).

I don't really understand the problem here.
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Old 03-08-23, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by asgelle
5. Not without other riders, but ride with the Pace Partner of the appropriate W/kg.
Yup. Also most of the pace partner rides are on relatively flat routes with minimal or short hills. Set it and forget it.
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Old 03-08-23, 04:44 PM
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If you want to ride alone, you can create a "meetup" where you will be the only one visible. Don't invite anyone else. The roads will be all yours.
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Old 03-08-23, 04:47 PM
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In Watopia, less than 2 hrs, hilly but not horrible
Big Foot Hills
Eastern 8
Three Little Sisters
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Old 03-08-23, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
I'm not interested in racing at the moment, just some courses that aren't boring to get in some zone 2 training I would normally do on the road.
Watopia is the "always available" course, on there the Watopia Waistband is fairly interesting and longer, so you get less repetition. Maybe one of the Jungle routes also if that's your thing.


Originally Posted by terrymorse
And is there a way to ride without other riders? They might push me out of my training zone.
If you switch off your internet connection once you are riding, all the other riders will disappear. Just switch it back on before finishing and uploading your ride.
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Old 03-10-23, 06:19 AM
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Terry,
For my longer zwift Z2 rides I turn off the data on the screen (h key) and use the phone Companion app to occasionally check watts so I'm keeping it easy. I don't get sucked into the KOMs, sprints, PRs, or see the constant drafting encouragements.

I've been removing my avatar too and use the plain POV (number 3 key) but that's preference and doesn't help the "keeping it easy" .

Both those switches are on the Companion app too.
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Old 03-10-23, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul
If you want to ride alone, you can create a "meetup" where you will be the only one visible. Don't invite anyone else. The roads will be all yours.
I donít believe thatís correct. Iíve done a fee meetups and started a couple-or-three, and in those experiences, there are other riders around beyond any invitees and regardless of whether the invitees are present (including when the only invitee didnít show for the ride).
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Old 03-10-23, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by asgelle
5. Not without other riders, but ride with the Pace Partner of the appropriate W/kg.
This is the only way I found to make Zwift tolerable for longer endurance rides. Group rides are more interesting, but zone discipline is nonexistent. I found endurance rides in erg mode crushingly boring and physically unpleasant, even while watching a film.

I recently canceled my Zwift subscription because I wasn't racing or doing group rides there and was starting to find staring at those cheesy graphics day after day aversive. My wife has a Rouvy subscription which allows sharing and with that I can occupy my eyes with real scenery while I plod along at LT1 with real and fake riders, listening to a podcast or a good book. Much easier on the brain so far.
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Old 03-10-23, 09:34 AM
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Zwifthacks has all the info you need.
https://zwifthacks.com/app/routes/

As I remember, when you log in to Zwift you get a choice of routes for the day with ft climbed in the description as well as difficulty level and approx ride time.
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Old 03-10-23, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster
I donít believe thatís correct. Iíve done a fee meetups and started a couple-or-three, and in those experiences, there are other riders around beyond any invitees and regardless of whether the invitees are present (including when the only invitee didnít show for the ride).
In the Companion app, when creating your meetup, you have to make sure the "Meetup Only View" button is turned on.

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Old 03-10-23, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha
This is the only way I found to make Zwift tolerable for longer endurance rides. Group rides are more interesting, but zone discipline is nonexistent. I found endurance rides in erg mode crushingly boring and physically unpleasant, even while watching a film.
For the sake of science and that thread on Polarized Training, yesterday I spent one of my precious few hours on the bike doing a Zwift ride, maintaining low-intensity discipline. It was boring. Maybe it's good for fat-burning but right now I'm leaning toward thinking burning fat isn't what I want to be maximizing.
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Old 03-10-23, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha
I found endurance rides in erg mode crushingly boring and physically unpleasant, even while watching a film.
+1 ERG mode for constant endurance power is soul destroying and completely unnatural. I tend to use group rides or pace partners for endurance training on Zwift. But if I was only using my trainer for Z2 training like the OP described, without other riders, I would say something like Rouvy is a better option for that. Zwift is king for racing and hammer-fest group rides.

Last edited by PeteHski; 03-10-23 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 03-10-23, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
+1 ERG mode for constant endurance power is soul destroying and completely unnatural. I tend to use group rides or pace partners for endurance training on Zwift. But if I was only using my trainer for Z2 training like the OP described, without other riders, I would say something like Rouvy is a better option for that. Zwift is king for racing and hammer-fest group rides.
Agree with all of this.
To go a step further, if the goal is to ride on a trainer solo with no distractions on flat roads at a steady Z2 pace, why bother with a smart trainer or training app at all? Just hook up a regular dumb fluid trainer and fire up Netflix like it's 2010.
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Old 03-10-23, 01:28 PM
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My 2hr Z2 view.
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Old 03-10-23, 01:43 PM
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Dust in the wind has a climb up Epic, but I'm a fan of routes that go through Titan's Grove.
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Old 03-10-23, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul
In the Companion app, when creating your meetup, you have to make sure the "Meetup Only View" button is turned on.
Ah, I did not know that! Thanks for the insight!
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Old 03-10-23, 04:20 PM
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So I tried that "meetup" hack to be able to ride alone, but it turns out you need to invite at least one follower to your meetup, and I don't have any Zwift followers.

Would someone mind following me on Zwift, so I can use this "meetup" hack? I'm just "Terry Morse, United States".

I did "Big Loop in Watopia". Pretty entertaining, but it would be better without all the distractions from other riders.

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Old 03-10-23, 05:40 PM
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You might try looking up the Zwift Offline hack. It lets you run Zwift while not on the internet so you don't see anyone else. You also don't accumulate points toward levels and new bikes and all that though.
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Old 03-10-23, 06:09 PM
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I had no idea it could be run off-line. We have frequent power failures and internet interruptions, so this would be ideal (while on generator power).
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