Ep 88: La Belle France and the Tour virtuel + all the Zwifty chat

La belle France est arrivee! Simon, Shane and Nathan  celebrate the arrival of brand new roads in Zwift.

The inaugural Tour de France Virtuel, itself a landmark in the history of the platform, has co-incided with lots of new Tarmac - always a good moment for Zwifters.

The Zwiftcasters pick out their favourite bits as well as giving their overall impressions of the new roads to ride.

We have an interview with Zwift marketing grand fromage, James La Londe to get some insight into the importance of the vTDF and later in the episode, ASO, the owners of the Tour de France talk about why this deal made sense to them.

Simon, Shane and Nathan play a silly game - assigning marks to the various new road painted slogans that have sprouted in Zwift - with the award of a Yellow Jersey and a Lanterne Rouge.

And we have an interview with Freddie Ovett, the Israel Start Up Nation rider who has lit up the racing so far in Stages One to Four. Getting the narrowest of second places on St 2 and a great win on St 4, Ovett discusses Zwift, Power Ups . . . . and his dad.

The Zwiftcasters chew over the big improvements in race coverage, with new broadcast tools getting their debut in the vTdF.

And of course there’s always room for more teasing of Simon over his continuing Tron Bike Fail.

We hope you enjoy listening.


Episode 87: New Roads to Ride? TdF on Zwift and all the Zwifty chat

Could we be about to get a series of new roads to ride? Simon, Shane and Nathan assess the impact on Zwifters of the (as yet officially unconfirmed) news that Zwift is to stage a virtual version of Le Tour de France, complete with the IRL planned start and finish stages in Nice and Paris.

Perhaps more excitingly, there is speculation that the talk of a “marquee climb” may be a new TdF climb, rather than the existing recreation of L’Alpe D’Huez.

If so - and it’s still an “if”, which one might it be . . .Simon boils down the likely choices and the Zwiftcasters decide which one of those candidate climbs it might be.

Taco Cat has made a name for himself with his occasionally bizarre, and very frequent, posts in the Zwift forums online . . . .Simon tracks down Taco Cat to his lair to find out more about his owner, Craig Hulce.

Despite an uninvited guest in the form of a large and very noisy jackhammer directly outside Zwiftcast Central, the podcasters push on to discuss the recent Race for Heroes and how successful and entertaining the charity event was. Could this be a pointer towards the chase format figuring more strongly in Zwift racing?

Zwift CEO Eric Min has been named as the 30th most influential person in cycling . . . . did Cycling News’ Power List get this right?. . . . .the Zwiftcasters discuss.

Pride Month has seen a whole series of events across the platform spreading the inclusivity message and Zwift has backed the initiative with a substantial donation to Athlete Ally, an advocacy group. Simon talks to the organisation’s executive director Hudson Taylor.

Finally the Zwiftcasters wrap up the episode with a tech round-up, including a plea to Strava to sort out the “long straight line” quirk which would, for example, make linking rides in Paris and Nice not possible on Zwift.

We hope you enjoy listening.


Episode 86: Game Updates, the massive success of Team TT and all the Zwifty chat

The Zwiftcasters are back - coinciding nicely with a game update and Simon, Shane and Nathan have lots to discuss.

Simon chats to Steven Milliken, one of the founders of the WTRL race series which is making team time trialling into a massive thing on Zwift. The promoters’ difficulties with data privacy have now been resolved and Steven discusses how the small team manage the huge demands from Zwifters wanting to time trial together.

The Zwiftcasters follow up Steven’s interview with discussions on how people who donate large amounts of time to the community may be able to get their costs covered.

We have a new Power Up in game - the Steam Roller and the chaps discuss how this might best be used.

Simon talks to Ashleigh Moolman Pasio, the standout rider from the Tour For All race series. Ashleigh has some fascinating thoughts on how Zwift racing can advance the cause of women’s racing.

In a fun spot, Simon asks Shane and Nathan to turn interviewers and find out why he’s spent the last few weeks stranded in Girona. The role switch experiment is not entirely successful!

In the final feature Simon talks to Tri coach Phil Ellison about how changes made to the coaching regimes as a result of Lockdown are likely to become permanent because they’ve been so successful.

There’s a few other bits of Zwifty chat - including the continuing saga of Simon’s lack of a Tron bike.

We hope you enjoy listening.


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.



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.


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


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


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.


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


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.

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