tiistai 24. maaliskuuta 2020

Zen-like flow of road cycling at home: BigRingVR

As transport and outdoor exercise are currently restricted in many places, athletes have found virtual cycling platforms their safe haven for keeping fit.

Naturally the biggest platform has benefited most. For example, there were almost 23,000 people on Zwift during my ride there this evening – more than double compared to February.

Zwift has done many things right: The gamified structure allures us to reach always the next something (level, badge, virtual bike). The social aspects make us feel as part of a community. All the racing and other events spur oneself to push always a bit more. No competitor can offer these like Zwift.

Look at the map on the upper right corner. Quite crowded!
Then again, after having ridden the virtual ride from Taurito to Maspalomas on BigRingVR just prior to my Zwift visit, I understood that Zwift offers just certain nice aspects of virtual cycling. BigRingVR covers a very different, yet as important field.

BigRing is less about bells and whistles, and more about the zen-like flow of road cycling. There isn't stuff happening all the time – it's you, the road, the bike. Onwards.

I almost lean when taking the curve.
Compare the screenshots of the two platforms. Very different takes on cycling. Both have their strengths, and neither is perfect.

BigRingVR really shines when you want to re-ride memorable roads, or reconnaisance certain mountain climbs before actually travelling there.

I've done that stretch from Taurito to Maspalomas in real life a couple of times two years ago. It was on a very special week, dedicated solely for cycling. Now, on the virtual platform I felt like living it again. These kinds of affections related to IRL riding are something that Zwift doesn't cover.

So, maybe you need more than one virtual cycling platform.

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