Zwift group rides are a big part of what makes Zwift amazing. There’s just something motivating about hanging with the peloton as it flies around the course, everyone in the same kit with a yellow and red beacon accompanying.
Ever wondered what it takes to put a group ride together and have it show on the official Zwift calendar? Here is the “unofficial” official guide to get started. Please note: at this time there is no “official” method of putting a group ride together. From ZwiftHQ:
We don’t have an official process for group rides at the moment. It’s a little bit hidden to make sure future leaders are really tuned into Zwift before they reach out to us about events. We still end up with a large number of requests with it not even listed on the site.“
I am going to guide you through the process of getting a group ride of your own. This is through my personal experience and it has worked for me. Your outcome maybe different.
Looking at Zwift’s statement above, it is clear that Zwift wants dedicated ride leaders. There are only so many time slots available and they want to make sure they are not giving one to a leader/group who may not show up.
How do you get Zwift to “see” your dedication? Easy: volunteer on other group rides. Step up and Lead, Sub-Lead and Sweep, make sure it is an “official” volunteer effort where your email is submitted to the ride organizer and you get the appropriate beacon(s). This simple step will pave the road for your own group ride.
Planning Your Ride Specifics
So you‘ve put in the work and now you want to organize your own ride. Here are the specifics you’ll need to firm up:
- Day & time
Be prepared with multiple possible dates and times, since Zwift’s initial response may say your desired day and time is not available. You might also check the event calendar to make sure other rides aren’t already scheduled for that date/time.
Purpose: what is the purpose of the ride? Training, Social, Rehab, Introduction to Zwift? Remember, you are the ride leader and it will do you no good to plan a 2.5 w/kg ride when you are not capable of sustaining at least that for the duration. So plan accordingly.
A great example of a properly planned and led group ride is the ZSUN Back to Basics Ride led by Monica Holmes. Here is the ride description:
ZSUN Back to Basics event is our friendly community group ride held every Monday. This is a group ride that targets people who want a supportive ride that keeps to a steady pace (1.5w/kg), which will not exceed 18-19mph (29-30kph) on the flat parts of the course. All riders are welcome to join this event and be part of the ethos of community group riding within Zwift.
Join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/985532344865361/
Our Discord voice service can be found @ https://discord.gg/pj2WVqn Please use Push to Talk to avoid echo feedback.
This ride is a solid ride and provides an “intro” to group riding for new Zwifters and a Great Recovery or Warm up for seasoned riders.
Once you have settled on the specifics of your group ride, here is what you need to provide to Zwift.
- Official ride name
- Day of the week
- Time (in USA-EST please) Note: While we do our best to schedule your event at the time of your choosing, we cannot guarantee your requested time will be available.
- Distance (Ex: 3 laps or 1 hour plus miles/km. If we use time or distance the ride may or may not end under a finish banner. If we use laps it will).
- Course (Ex: London Loop, Watopia Flat). We change courses frequently so please let us know the Watopia, Richmond and London course you would like to use so we know in advance your course selection.
- Pace (Ex: 2-3 w/kg)
- Ride leader name + email (who is the ride leader? races don’t need ride leaders)
- Ride description (a good description increases the success of the ride so provide as much detail as possible).
- Is this ride recurring? Do you want this ride to happen the same time every week?
- Results (would you like results enabled so riders can see how they finish, normally only used for races)
- Kit auto-assign (do you want all riders to wear the same kit? if yes, please state the desired kit – sorry, we are not making custom kits at this time)
Once you have completed the above you are ready to submit to Zwift. But how? Who do I contact? Well… that’s the secret. Remember earlier when I said to volunteer to Lead, Sub-Lead and Sweep? That is how you will learn who to contact, so you can get your own group ride. (It may seem a little odd, but I actually agree with this approach as it cuts down on Zwift staff time and wasted ride slots.)
There you have it folks… the “unofficial” official guide to starting up a group ride on Zwift. Stay tuned for more ZwiftBlog posts on the topic of leading group rides!