Zwiftcast

19
Oct

NewYork, New York and more:Marvellous Marge, Rachael’s battle and esport

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This episode is dominated, as you may expect, with analysis and chat of the new world in Zwift: New York City. Simon, Shane and Nathan talk about the first “future-world” ever released by Zwift, ranging across the quality of the artwork, the number of intersections and what it may tell us about game development. The Zwiftcasters have plenty to say, some of it, possibly a little controversial.

But there’s room for more in Episode 56 – with hints about what may be to come in this important period for the company and indoor cyclists. With the number of worlds on Zwift now reaching five, it’s inevitable that the question of world switching is discussed again.

There’s an interview with Marge Kaufmann, who makes light of her hop-on-and-keep-going approach to completing the Kona Mission, followed up by some chat about the value, and indeed age, of some of the longer-running challenges on the platform.

Zwifter Rachael Elliott has been through a tough year – but now, as she recovers from her life-threatening stroke, she’s ready to get back to competitive cycling. But it looks as though Rachael may face a barrier in competing as a Paralympian. We get the latest.

And finally the podcasters discuss virtual cycling as an e-sport, in the context of what’s expected to be a big announcement from Zwift in the next few weeks.

We hope you enjoy listening.

1
Oct

Episode 55 - Trainer talk, the new baby named for Zwift, essential Zwift extras and Eight Days of Innsbruck

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Simon, Shane and Nathan chew the fat on the latest happenings in Zwift. . . . with some speculation on where the platform may be heading this indoor season in terms of numbers of riders and runners.

Shane reports back on his trip to HQ and to the other big bike show of the year, Interbike.

The Zwiftcasters spend a few minutes discussing trainers – as it’s that time of year again, when many Zwifters may be considering a purchase or an upgrade. Simon talks to the CEO of Stac, a Canadian company launching an innovative “no contact” resistance mechanism.

Would you name your new baby around a Zwift theme, working on suggestions made by the community? One Zwifter is doing just that – Simon chats to him.

As the indoor season really starts to get going Simon revisits a well-worn subject – just what little extras do you need the most to complete the Zwift experience. Simon has one of his own (which he’s very pleased with) and he asks Shane and Nathan for theirs.

The Zwiftcasters do a little live detective work as they chat – trying to get to the bottom of Simon’s observation of a regular-as-clockwork micro-glitch around 35 minutes into every session. The chaps think they they’ve found the answer.

After a roundup of the latest drama and histrionics in the racing community, the Zwiftcasters consider whether the Eight Straight Days of Innsbruck has been a success.

We hope you enjoy listening.

10
Sep

Episode 54 - New York is coming . . .soon. Zwift’s Smart Bike, the Academies and in praise of slow rides

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The Zwiftcasters are back on their winter schedule  . . . with more regular episodes packed with Zwiftiness. Simon, Shane and Nathan discuss when we might see New York, what we might see in it and speculate on whether it may be the best course ever.

The podcasters discuss the potential implications of Zwift's acquisition of an interest in technology owned Virtu Pro who make a highly rated smart bike - could we see a Zwift-branded Smart Bike any time soon? The Academies are roaring ahead with record levels of completion. Zwift commits to their future and Simon, Shane and Nathan discuss their participation and we hear from a husband and wife enrolled on the programmes.

After a newsy roundup covering Zwift's TV advertising; recent game updates; an attempt to deal with gender doping in Zwift racing and the relaunch of a Zwift forum, Simon interviews Julie Haugh, one of the most dedicated ride leaders who has perfected the art of riding slow. 

We hope you enjoy listening!

 

7
Aug

Episode 53 - It’s All About Innsbruck . . . and Mark Cavendish

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The Zwiftcasters are back with an episode dominated by discussion around the launch of the new course on Zwift, the replication of the UCI Innsbruck Worlds Circuit.

There’s a feature with one of the HQ development team revealing how the artists and devs went to enormous lengths to get the detail of the real world based course spot on.

Simon, Shane and Nathan discuss their reaction to the course; whether it’s the best choice for the platform in the light of its stated aims to recruit more recreational cyclists and, in a lively exchange, the trio speculate on why Zwift continue to deny the user base the ability to switch worlds easily.

There’s also some philosophising about cake and icing – you need to listen!

We have  an interview with Zwifter Mark Cavendish who talks in some detail about his relationship with the fame and his dislike of cheats . . .

 Finally, Simon chats to Greg Leo, co-host of the new Zwift podcast for racers, In The Pens about a tough summer for racing and whether the race scene on Zwift can bounce back.

 We hope you enjoy listening.

9
Jul

Episode 52 - Eurobike 2018 Day Two

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Simon and Shane mop up the things they couldn't squeeze into yesterday's coverage - including a "no contact" trainer that works by magnets; what the Zwiftcasters think about delivery timelines for all the new stuff unveiled on Day One; the anti-perpirant for your bike (sort of) and a few other oddities and curiousities that caught their eye. 

8
Jul

Episode 51 - Eurobike 2018 Day One

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In a slightly challenging environment (Eurobike is loud) Simon and Shane wander the halls, checking out as much as they can which will interest Zwifters. Ranging from a designer Smart Bike aimed at "people who own yachts" to the new and almost ready to ship Tacx Smart Bike, via new products from Wahoo and Elite, there's plenty to chat about. 

21
Jun

Episode 50 - New courses, a catch up with the amazing Rachael Elliott and lots of tech talk as Eurobike looms

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Simon, Shane and Nathan are back for a minor landmark in Zwiftcast history, with the publication of the 50th episode. . . and as usual, there’s plenty to detain the Zwifcasters as they ponder developments in the Zwiftiverse.

The trio herald the half century with a chat that clarifies which new courses are due and maybe when . . . we now know we’re getting two new maps and late summer/early Autumn is looking favourite for release.

Switching gears, there’s a chat with Rachael Elliott on the progress of her recovery from her serious stroke, which left the noted Zwift and IRL racer with permanently impaired vision. Rachael is candid about her low moments, but equally positive about the effect of the support the community has given her.There’s also a chance to find out more about a special charity fund-raising effort for the Stoke Association, led by Rachael’s friend and the leading light of Zwift Power, Glen Knight.

Speaking of which . . . . . Simon, Shane and Nathan spell out what we know about the temporary suspension of Zwift Power and walk through some of the complex factors which have led to the much-appreciated service going dark.Sticking with tech, with the imminent arrival of Eurobike , the Zwiftcasters talk trainers, ranging over the slow pace of development around Smart Bikes and SRAM’s acquisition of Computrainer.

Shane’s review of the Wattbike Atom was less than flattering about its performance on Zwift and that leads to a discussion about the honesty of reviews and the reaction from brands whose products are put through Shane’s Lama Lab and come out battered and bruised.

This episode ends with Shane and Nathan instantly signing up for another 50! Have they thought that one through? Hope you enjoy listening

23
May

Zwiftcast Episode 49 - The (absent) Kickr Climb. Tanja’s Tour de Yorkshire, Simon Warren on the Alpe and Trans Athletes

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Simon, Shane and Nathan are back in their usual places of the UK, Australia and the USA for a look at the ever vibrant happenings on Zwift. The Zwiftcasters kick off with a chat about the KickrClimb, or, in fact, its absence. Despite it being ever-present on the Zwift Tour of Australia, where Shane's been hanging out, it's still not available to buy.

The trio move on to to discuss another rare bird - the special wheels you might get if you ascend the Alpe du Zwift, before climbing expert Simon Warren, of the 100 Greatest Climbs series of books, gives his verdict on the Zwift Alpe - and he knows the real thing like the back of his hand. Simon got to spend a bit of time with Zwift Academy Winner Tanja Erath at the Tour de Yorkshire and his report captures her feelings pre and post stage.

The Zwiftcasters debate how GDPR (it's not boring honest!) might affect Zwift, with the news that on the back of the legislation, ZHQ are due to launch a development platform.

Finally, Simon talks to Jillian Bearden, the trans athlete whose forced resignation from Team Fearless cause a huge ruckus on the Zwift social medias.

 

 

18
Apr

Episode 48 - Climbing in French, racing in London and Long Beach and trainers Made in America

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Simon and Nathan are in London whilst Shane is in Melbourne as the Zwiftcast trio get together for Episode 48.

It’s the first time the podcasters have had an opportunity to discuss the Alpe du Zwift, and there’s much talk of times, turns and training with all three agreeing that ZHQ got this one spectacularly right. . . . although Simon really would like a race-my-PB feature on the climb!

With the KISS Crit finals being staged in London and Long Beach, the podcasters discuss the new features revealed by Zwift to spice up competition, including an elimination format.

Simon has a report from the HQ of trainer company Cycle Ops, an insight into production of the company’s big selling trainer, the Hammer and why the company is so proud its Made in America.

15
Mar

Episode 46 - Zwiftcast Special with Academy Winners Leah and Tanja in Girona

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In a special episode in celebration of Women's Week on Zwift, Simon spends time in Girona with Academy Winners and pro racers with Canyon-SRAM, Leah Thorvilson and Tanja Erith. The women are now based in the Catalonian city, which is a magnet for cyclists and home to dozens of pro riders.

The Zwiftcast sets up camp in La Fabrica, a cycling themed cafe in the heart of the Old Town, and a familiar pre-ride coffee destination for the pros. There's also a tour of the apartment Leah and Tanja share with team-mate Alexis Ryan, which ends up mostly being a tour of the fridge! Just why do the three women need 5kg of Parmesan cheese? And whose is the can of 12% beer?

Simon accompanies Leah and Tanja on a training ride, and afterwards in a wide-ranging discussion the trio sit down to discuss life as a pro in Girona, the season ahead, their acceptance in the peloton and their assessment of the state of women's cycling.

There are also contributions from Zwift brand manager Kate Veronneau on the strength of the women's community on Zwift, the health of the Acadamy programme and The Trouble With Men.

We also hear from the "Zwift Sisters" - two women who use the platform to work out together and catch up despite living on opposite sides of the world. Plus pro rider and podcaster Abbey Mickey, of the Voxwomen website, gives her take on Leah and Tanja's position in the pro peloton.