Zwiftcast

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.

 

 

8
Mar

Episode 45 - Rachael recovers, meet Jordan Rapp the workout king and behind the scenes at Nathan’s stream central

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Simon, Shane and Nathan discuss all things Zwift on the new episode of the podcast for Zwifters.

This edition begins with an intriguing tease dropped by the game’s creator Jon Mayfield that “hidden areas” which are “locked to the public” exist in Watopia. The Zwiftcasters discuss.

Rachael Elliott is one of the most admired racers in Zwift and a valued member of the community. Thousands of people were shocked to hear she’d suffered a serious stroke. She’s recovering – and Simon caught up with her in hospital for a chat about the astonishing reaction in the community to her ill health.

Jordan Rapp is a multiple Ironman winner and former pro triathlete – he’s also now working for Zwift. Jordan will be concentrating much of his time in his new role as Game Designer beefing up the game’s Workout Mode. Simon caught up with him for an in depth chat.

In front of the camera, Nathan’s streaming operation is slick and super-pro. But have you ever wondered what his studio is like in real life? Simon finds out and you might be surprised what he’s got to work with.

The Zwiftcasters polish off this episode with a discussion about Shane’s first look at a rocker plate – which stirred up a little controversy in the DIY mod world.

18
Feb

Episode 44 - Zwift Run reaction, Strava’s data surprise, junior racing . . . and cheese

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Simon is with Nathan in Wisconsin and Shane is in Melbourne as the trio return to discuss all things Zwift. Simon has a few portions of humble pie to eat . . . . on cheese, on running and on beer, and he explains how it’s all going to get digested!

With the dust settling on the launch of Zwift Run, the Zwiftcasters assess the reaction in the community and debate the revelation from Strava that a large portion of the data uploaded to the ride tracking platform now comes from indoor activities.

Ben Shepherd, an Australian triathlete, is one of those who trains indoors for big events. He explains how a time-crunched life led to him using the treadmill and the turbo to get in shape for Kona and other events.

There’s an interesting chat with Nathan – and some behind the scenes material for video viewers – about his streaming setup, how far he’s come and how he manages to do so much in such a small space.

While kids racing on Zwift seems positive and inspirational, as personified by nine year year old Maya, the Zwiftcasters get in vent mode to air their frustrations at the seeming lack of positive forward movement in the adult racing environment.

Simon chats to big gamer, Zwifter and radio presenter O J Borg about his views on the development of the platform and the podcasters finish off with a chat about their experiences of being coached.

We hope you enjoy watching or listening.

11
Feb

Episode 43 - Zwift Run Launch, the Rocker Plate Revolution and CoachPod

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Simon and Shane are in New York City for a big moment in the history of Zwift - the launch of running. The expansion of the platform was marked with a splashy launch event and as well as Simon and Shane's views, there's comment from Zwift Insider editor, ric Schlange and pro triathlete Lionel Sanders. The huge flowering of innovation and ingenuity from the Zwift community has seen designs for rocker plates mushroom. Simon rounds it all up and gets expert comment from inside the trainer industry. 

Many Zwifters work (a little) while training or riding, but the staff of a cycling website have taken Zwifting-while-you-work to a whole new level. Editor of Cycling Tips website Neal Rogers talks about how the virtual lunch ride has become a forum for company bonding and brainstorming.

And there's a new Zwifty podcast coming along - Simon gets the lowdown on the Training Podcast featuring big names in the Zwift world.

Due to a bit of a mechanical in the production of this episode, this Zwiftcast is a little shorter than usual. We hope you stillenjoy it!

25
Jan

Episode 42 - World Switching, the Zwift Light Show, Cloud Gaming and Rehabbing with a Broken Neck

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Simon, Shane and Nathan are back with a packed episode, which kicks off with the Zwifcasters unanimously agreeing “it’s time” for Zwift to enable world switching. Zwift creator Jon Mayfield concurs, telling the podcast that be believes critical mass has now arrived as numbers on the platform grow ever larger.

The trio move on to discuss the Tour Down Under, where a duathlon race in the Zwft pop-up drew massive numbers. . . and was rated by Shane as the blue riband event – a sign of things to come perhaps as Zwift Run develops?

Graphics card giant NVidia announced its Cloud Gaming feature at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas – Simon takes a look at what this might mean for Zwift along with tech expert Mike Hanney, inventor of the Zwiftaliser tool. They conclude that whist the impact on Zwifters may not be immediate, cloud gaming could be a huge development for gaming.

Zwift is often used as a rehab tool, but for Dereck Bowen, it’s been a life saver. Dereck tells Simon how an ill-advised leap into a snowdrift cost him a broken neck – and how the platform has kept him sane as he recovers.

There’s a fascinating discussion around Jon Mayfield’s “weekend project” – a system that links Zwift to wi-fi controlled lighting – changing the ambience in your Zwift room to match the game.

The Zwiftcasters discuss the perennial problem of fliers in group rides with a thoughtful contribution from veteran Zwifter and ride leader Christian Wiedemann.

And this episode rounds up with a discussion about cheese!

We hope you enjoy listening or watching.

12
Jan

Episode 41 - Zwift Grows! The coming club portal and trainers sound tested

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The Zwiftcasters welcome 2018 with lots of chat about the Zwift getting bigger – in both senses. The roads are longer, with the London expansion, and the roads are busier, are thousands of new Zwifters flooding on to the platform.

Simon, Shane and Nathan try to make sense of it all – and look at the statistics, combining insight, public information and naked guesswork to try to assess the scale of the Zwift universe.

Meanwhile the chaps discuss the Surrey Hills expansion. It may not be as visually spectacular as recent developments, but there could be some very interesting business reasons behind the new roads.

The consequences of growth is a continuing theme as Simon sits down for a chat with Zwift’s VP of Events, Charlie Issendorf. Amongst other things, Charlie reveals that the Zwift HQ is seriously considering limiting entry to some events – Shane sniffs a clever marketing ruse. Charlie also reveals that a “club portal” is soon to launch, giving benefits like private rides and club kit to qualifying groups.

Simon puts three of the best trainers, the Neo, Drivo and Kickr into the Zwiftcast sound lab to get a rounded picture of just how loud or quiet are the competing top offerings from Tacx, Elite and Wahoo.

ZwiftQuest could be a whole new way of Zwifting – it’s competitive but it’s not a conventional race. Simon talks to ZwiftQuest pioneer Jonny Noblett.

And finally the boys riff on When Good Rides Go Bad.

23
Dec

Episode 40: Lotto Soudal launch on Zwift, Academy Winner, Zwift Insider and more . . .

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Simon, Shane and Nathan are back with the last Zwiftcast for 2017. It’s the usual mix of Zwift news and features – kicking off with a report from Belgium, where Zwift was involved in the team presentation by Lotto Soudal. Simon was there and caught up with sprinter, Andre Greipel, breakaway specialist Thomas de Gendt and Ladies rider Puck Moonen, Zwifters all.

The Zwiftcasters discuss how it may be best to marshall group rides on the platform when they’re led by pro riders . . . .for whom 3w/kg is barely breaking a sweat!

A new pro for next season is Tanja Erath, the winner of the women’s Zwift Academy 2017 – Simon catches up with her for a chat.

Next there’s a bit of a debate as Simon and Shane amicably disagree (and Nathan carefully referees!) about two things: should we be careful about “fake news” around Zwift and should Zwift CEO Eric Min continue to offer his personal tech help desk to Zwifters?

The very successful zwiftblog has changed its name to zwiftinsider. Simon catches up with the man behind the site to discus the name change and the continuing evolution of the community resource.

There are an ever-growing number of clubs on Zwift – and one of the lesser known ones does much to both promote group rides and raise money for a very deserving cause. Simon catches up with Caewlin Brown, the leader of Sprint and Spin . . . . and finds out why he has a red bucket by his trainer.

And that’s it for 2017 – thanks everyone for listening or watching and see you in 2018.

13
Dec

Episode 39 - Rocker plates, virtual Everesting and all the latest Zwift news

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Simon, Shane and Nathan are back with another episode packed with Zwift news and gossip.

Are we expecting to see new features, especially the London extension, pre-Christmas? The Zwiftcasters read the runes, before revealing what their ideal Christmas present from the Zwift developers would be.

Do you sing while you’re Zwifting, or do you only have enough breath to lip-sync? The Zwiftcast launches a fun contest to find the best lip-sync Zwifters.

No sooner had the price rise fuss died down than another storm rolled in across Ocean Boulevard, with ZHQ’s decision to cancel a crit race series, just as it was about to conclude. Zwift exec Emily Mullen explains the reasoning and talks about the debate over women’s racing which the decision sparked.

CVR, the organisation which promotes racing and live event and is headed by prominent Zwifter, Frank Garcia, has launched a whole series of new initiatives. Simon asks Frank some tough questions about the developments and CVR’s relationship with Zwift and Zwifters.

The Zwiftcasters discuss the possible reasons why Strava may have ignored virtual miles in its end-of-year round up publicity and speculate about the relationship between ZHQ and Strava.

If there’s one thing the Zwift community is really good at – it’s Zwift hacks, and the latest upsurge in DIY fixes has seen several Zwifters build their own rocker plates, which permit the trainer to simulate outdoor riding more accurately. Simon rounds up the various approaches and the podcasters discuss the possibility of rocker plates being made commercially.

This episode rounds off with a look at vEveresting, possibly the hardest thing you can do on an indoor trainer.

28
Nov

Episode 38: The price rise and much more

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After a tumultuous week or so in Zwift-world, the podcasters are back to discuss the price rise and its aftermath.

Simon, Shane and Nathan first of all lay their cards on the table and then analyse a detailed interview with ZHQ’s marketing chief, Steve Beckett, which reveals the fine detail of Zwift’s thinking on subjects that arose in the extended and passionate debate after the announcement.

A consumer psychologist, from outside the Zwift bubble, gives his verdict on the handling of the announcement.

There’s plenty of coverage of the whole subject given its importance both to the company and the community . . . but there’s lots more in this Zwiftcast.

The Zwiftcasters hear from the winner of the Men’s Academy Ollie Jones and consider whether, in the light of the price announcement, the funding of these schemes is something to admire, or the opposite.

Leah Thorvilson, the winner of last year’s Women’s Academy, is on the ‘cast for a catch up as she enters her second season.

In any other week, the arrival of Zwift on Apple TV would have been a very big deal. The Zwiftcasters wonder why the announcement seemed so low key and go on to consider the merits of Zwift on ATV.

Zwiftpower.com is undergoing some changes as the race results service readies itself for a crackdown on cheating. The podcasters wonder whether data confidentiality and privacy issues could leak out of the narrow world of virtual bike racing to influence, for example, a prospective employer.

Pro rider Laurens Ten Dam makes a quick appearance on the Zwiftcast to talk about how he’ll be extending his popular wake up rides to lead a ride on the WBR Zwiftathon on December 2nd, where the community is targeting one million miles ridden to raise money to get kids on bikes in Africa.

And finally, the chaps have some fun with a post on a cycling website which suggested that “Zwift is killing cycling”. A light-hearted end to a meaty podcast.