Zwiftcast

6
May

Episode 85: Zwift beyond the crisis; Private MeetUps and Boost Mode plus all the Zwifty chat

Simon, Shane and Natahn return for more chat on the latest in Zwift.

This epsiode, Steve Beckett, Zwift's Chief Marketing Officer, is a special guest, with lots to say on Zwift during and beyond the crisis, plus thoughts on Family Subs, Club Functionality and community racing.

The podcasters range across the new Boost Mode in game; how Private MeetUps could be revolutionary and the current Tour For All.

There's also an interview with Guy Voisin, the head of cycling at Eurosport on what changes he'd like to see in game to make racing  a more appealing TV proposition.

We hope you enjoy listening.

 

28
Apr

Episode 84: Celebrating the Zwift Community

A special episode featuring the very best of the Zwift Community in these lockdown times.

Simon talks to BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin about the overwhelming response to her charity ride on behalf of the NHS. Louise tackled an imperial century - in the company of more than 1,500 other Zwifters.

Simon also chats to Jason Dyck, the Canadian coach who organised what’s thought to be the first ever group ride for para-cyclists on Zwift. It was a resounding success and will now become a weekly fixture.

And finally Simon gets to know a little bit more about Netto Smith, the South African Zwifter who’s become a bit of a star because of his joyful videos riding Zwift in Lockdown.

We hope you enjoy listening.

22
Apr

Ep 83: Pro Riders on Zwift, the good and bad; Monica is the Route Hero and the Pants Podium!

Simon, Shane and Nathan reconvene for Episode 83 - and to celebrate a minor victory; the return of the famous First Attempt Very Intens Strava segment on Zwift. Simon has a little insight into how it happened.

Lionel Birnie, one of the co-hosts of the popular Cycling Podcast joins Simon for a chat about the recently updated Meetups in the game and to discuss what the prospects may be for a return of IRL bike racing this year.

The Zwiftcasters spend a few minutes riffing on the behaviour of pro riders in Group Rides on Zwift, ranging from the exemplary . . . to the not so good and the chaps have a few thoughts on how things may be improved.

Monica Schlange, writer for Zwift Insider, is recovering after her monumental Route Hero achievement. Simon talks to Monica about the best bits and the hardest bits.

Do we even need to see The Fence back? Simon, Shane and Nathan discuss whether self regulation on Group Rides has settled into something acceptable.

And the podcasters round off this episode with awards made on the Zwiftcast Pants Podium . . .jeans, track pants and all day pyjamas . . . . who’s wearing what and why?

We hope you enjoy listening

15
Apr

Episode 82: Anti Sandbagging “catches’ the boss! The Ineos Weekend and Cops called to Zwifter!

Simon, Shane and Nathan are back with another of the weekly round-ups of all matters Zwifty

The podcasters kick off with a brief discussion on the Ineos Weekend - and the loss of the legendary First Attempt-Very Intens Strava segment, thanks to the ride logging app’s clean-up.

Owen Newbury talks about his awesome scheme to project Zwift on the side of his house, then the chaps have a light hearted discussion on whether Zwift CEO was “caught” sandbagging before Zwift Insider’s Eric Schlange gives his reaction to the early tests of the measures.

There’s further discussion of the Ineos events and streams before an interview with Keith Jardine who was taken by surprise when the police were called to him Zwifting in his garden shed.

Finally Simon talks to acclaimed ride leader Sharron Yaxley on passing her 100,000kms on Zwift milestone.

We hope you enjoy listening

8
Apr

Episode 81: Is this the Solution to Sandbagging? Plus all the Zwifty chat

Another week - another Zwiftcast. Simon, Shane and Nathan unite to discuss the boom times on Zwift as the platform provides welcome relief from the burden of the virus.

The headline feature on this episode is the long-awaited Solution to Sandbagging. This is a short term fix which Zwift hopes to implement within days (for testing) and weeks (for a full roll out)

The approach sees four types of warnings/sanctions applied to Sandbaggers . . . listen to a full explanation of the system from senior game guy Jordan Rapp.

The Zwiftcasters move on to discuss the measures Zwift is putting in place to prioritise the stability of the platform as truly enormous numbers flood the events which are proving so popular as Zwifters look for a challenge to distract them from the concerns caused by the pandemic.

One of the biggest rides has been with Mark Cavendish - and Simon talks to a Zwifter who got picked out of 3,500 riders for a live Insta chat with the Manx Missile himself.

Later the podcasters speculate about the cryptic clues on a new feature outlined in the latest update and wonder whether some interesting development work on enhanced Power Ups described by Jordan may offer further hints.

Simon also gets behind the story of one particular Event on the Zwift schedule. The Bike Breaks Shop Ride is an IRL institution. Now transferred to Zwift, this ride is proving a source of much needed comfort and support for a bike business which has been hammered by the travel ban across Europe.

And finally, the Zwiftcasters talk about the implications of other platforms muscling into the online eSports area and whether they’re making a good job of it.

We hope you enjoy listening.

1
Apr

Episode 80: The Fence is Back, Clubs Launches and Tour de Quarantine

Simon, Shane and Nathan are back with the second of the new cycle of weekly Zwiftcasts - and there sure is a lot to talk about.

Special guest Wes Salmon from HQ appears twice to give us a ton of detail on both the return of The Fence and why it went wrong, plus the thinking behind the limited launch of the much-awaited Clubs feature.

We also have another honoured guest, Brad Sohner, the genius behind the funny and uplifting Tour de Quarantine, which now has a Zwifter in the mix.

Elsewhere the Zwiftcasters range across the very busy period on Zwift, with a few changes that come under the “let’s be nice to noobs” category, plus the turbo trainer famine and why rowing won’t be coming to Zwift anytime soon.

And of course, the podcasters make room for discussion of Peak Zwift. It seems we have a winner ;)

We hope you enjoy listening

25
Mar

Episode 79: Crazy numbers on Zwift; will there be a trainer shortage and changes at HQ

In a worried world, Simon, Shane and Nathan try to look at the positives whilst recognising some of the serious matters facing Zwifters.

Episode 79 marks the first of the weekly episodes during the virus crisis.

Simon kicks off with a Zwiftcast plea to HQ- let’s turn the Unemployed Badge into  a Work From Home Badge . . . it just seems kinda better right now.

The podcasters move on to discuss the remarkable figures in the game as new Zwifters pour onto the platform in huge numbers. Simon is confident of victory in the Zwiftcast’s Peak Zwift Guessing Game.

But could a limiting factor end up being a trainer shortage? There are signs it may happen although an update from Elite on the unprecedented measures they’ve taken to ensure supply provides some hope for those keen to get their hands on a smart trainer.

The chaps discuss and dismiss the several calls for Zwift to be made free - and Dick, if you’re listening  . . .we don’t mean to be mean!

In a packed episode Simon talks to a Dad and Lad team who’ve been on Zwift for years - and looks at how the company is dealing with another huge influx, the number of kids getting signed up under the company’s excellent Kids Go Free scheme as parents look for healthy diversions in the home.

Simon, Shane and Nathan take a look at the news that Zwift has undergone a management re-organisation, with lay offs, and what that may mean for Zwifters.

There’s lso a feature on Group Meetups - part of the game which has come into very sharp focus in the crisis. . . . .with lots of advice to HQ on how it may be tweaked.

And finally, the podcasters seem to have gone challenge crazy - listen to find out who has now challenged who to what!

We hope you enjoy listening and we hope you stay safe.

19
Mar

Episode 78: Peak Zwift Revisited, Community Reaction to the Virus + Operation Cofidis

The Zwiftcasters are working from home! But then we always do :) Simon, Shane and Nathan are back together to discuss how the extraordinary events of the past weeks have been impacting them personally, the sport they love - and the cycling game that is providing both escape from, and therapy for, a troubled world.

That doesn’t mean we are ignoring the virus - that’s impossible. And we hope Listeners understand that we can’t not talk about what everyone is talking about.

In the light of the huge surge of Zwifters onto the platform, many of them new, the Zwiftcast has re-opened Peak Zwift Guessing Game. Tune in to see how big Simon, Shane and Nathan think the surge will be.

The importance of online communities in these difficult times is elevated and the chaps discuss how the Zwift Community is responding, with increased participation in events and lots of special guest riders, in the form of pro riders, turning up and helping to foster a sense of togetherness.

And we have the full extraordinary story of how Zwift staff negotiated their way through a locked down quarantine zone in the UAE to bring some relief to pro riders stranded in their hotel rooms by the virus.

These are difficult and distressing times.  . . .but remember: you never feel worse after a bike ride. We hope you enjoy listening.

5
Mar

Episode 77: Richmond refreshed, Ella wins big and the Minterview verdict

Simon, Shane and Nathan convene for another hour-plus of Zwift chat.

The podcasters begin with their reaction to the big refresh for the Richmond course and conclude that it’s a huge improvement.

Throughout this episode Simon, Shane and Nathan discuss the biggest and most significant aspects of last episode’s interview with Zwift CEO, Eric Min. Amongst the subjects forensically analysed and discussed are the pace of development on the platform; Eric’s unusual comment about “digital destinations” and the state of play with  trainer manufacturers’ innovation.

Simon also chats to Ella Harris, the NZ winner of the Zwift Academy who is now making a name for herself winning IRL races.

We hope you enjoy listening!

6
Feb

Ep 76: The Minterview . . . Zwift CEO and Simon in conversation

Simon sits down with Zwift CEO Eric Min for the now traditional “ask me anything” annual interview, covering a huge range of topics from the health of the company to, yes, the possibility of a velodrome. The conversation provides deep context and background on why some things happen, and why others don’t . . . . plus quite a bit on the pace at which things happen, or don’t, on the platform.

We hope you listen to the whole of the interview, but if there’s one subject in which you are particularly interested, maybe you’d like to skip to that first. So here is a log of where to find the topics covered.

00:00Hello and a word on transparency

01:45 Zwift’s new London office

02.45 What’s made Eric happy in the last year?

GENERAL ISSUES

04.30 Pace of development for Zwift

05.40 Peak Zwift and growth

07:15 Fun is Fast marketing campaign

09:40 Is eSports a massive, risky bet?

15.20 More on pace of development, specifically Game Development

19:50 Zwift’s new Hardware division

COMMUNITY ISSUES

27:15 Trainer Difficulty confusion

29.30 Juniors’ Racing

32:00 Race Categorisation/Sandbagging

38:30 Is eSport in danger of diminishing general user experience?

43:00 Family Pricing Plan

45:30 Zwifting for people with disabilities or different abilities?

47:20 Is Zwift listening to the community?

FEATURES

51:15 Steering

52:45 FutureWorks

54:00 Ghost Rider/PB Bot

56:25 World Switching Expansion

57:15 Workout Mode

60:15 Allow Saving Without Exiting Game

62:15 Hang out after end of ride

63:35 Velodrome

64:55 Can remote racing ever be credible?

68:15 What’s the next new map?

COMPANY

69.30 When will Zwift be profitable?

70:25 Future of running

73.05 Effects of lack of direct competition for Zwift

75:45 Marks out of ten for Zwift’s potential

77:55 Zwift’s carbon footprint