For the month of March, velofix Ottawa is hosting the #velofixGive30 Challenge. This “challenge” is meant to be fun and engaging – NOT difficult and stressful. The challenge asks its participants to exercise for 30 minutes a day, for as many days as possible.
This idea was an idea brought forward by one of our velofix Ottawa ambassadors – Tamsin. She’s an avid cyclist and commutes to work on two wheels regularly. She also fat-bikes, does cyclcross, rides road and does the occasional time trial! She also loves lots of other sports, including xc skiing, snowshoeing, swimming and running. She’s a great example of someone who embraces sport and tries to exercise every day.
The article below was written by Tamsin about her most popular form of exercise during the month of March – riding Zwift. Zwift is an online software that pairs with your “Smart Trainer”. With a Smart Trainer, you can ride your bike indoors, like a stationary bike. While you ride, you can see your avatar riding along the course, matching the effort of your ride. Read below for Tamsin’s summary of how #velofixGive30 is going and how/why she enjoys Zwift.
#GoZwift! By Tamsin:
You don’t hear those words often, but sometimes it just makes sense to jump on the trainer more than freeze your toes off riding outside. While I fat bike and commute to work throughout the winter, I know that there is nothing like an hour on my smart trainer riding a Zwift course. It’s both an efficient workout and the opposite of boring. I encourage anyone wanting to stay active in the shoulder season in Ottawa – in between primo XC skiing conditions and clear roads for cycling – to consider Zwift as an option.
Zwift is my go-to workout when the weather is either too gnarly to ride outside (raining cats and dogs, frigid temps, sheets of ice) or I have a time constraint. Don’t get me wrong, spin classes are also amazing workouts, but I can’t always fit them into my schedule between work and other fixed workouts like swim practices. Zwift, on the other hand, is available 24 hours a day on my iPad or laptop. I can fire it up on my own schedule. I love the flexibility that riding on Zwift offers.
Another thing I love about Zwift is that it controls my smart trainer. When the app indicates I have hit a 10% grade, I can feel it as the cranks feel like they are submerged in molasses, and I can barely turn over the pedals. And boy, I need to gear down fast or rip my legs off ????The downhills are a blast, though- I would never pedal so hard that I hit 70K/hour in real life. Seriously, I forget I am riding a virtual course on my smart trainer as I ride up and down mountains on Zwift.
Zwift offers everything from group rides and races to interval training. You can ride as an individual or part of a peloton. Sometimes, you can engage in friendly sprinting with other riders sharing the course with you. I admit I have ‘raced’ other riders on Zwift ????This surprises me as in real life I am rarely so competitive. I guess I know I can back off anytime on Zwift…
More than anything, Zwift, and my smart trainer are my backups when other options like XC skiing, fat biking, or running are not possible due to poor weather or time constraints. It’s good to have alternatives. While I respect the elements, I know I can overcome them when I need to. And that is comforting.