Ride the 6Points Mallorca in May 2020!

May 15/16/17th 2020 is only 6 months away!

What a way to celebrate the onset of summer and enjoy 3 days of fantastic riding in the sun and see whole perimeter of the beautiful island of Mallorca.

We will go to some great restaurants and hotels and you will also enjoy the signature camaraderie of all 6Points events.

Get your Registration in now at https://6pointschallenges.com/sign-up-to-6points-mallorca-2020/

Weʼre raising funds to help children’s charities on Mallorca. 6Points Cycling Challenges has raised over £66,000 in 3 years, and our work continues. Please support us at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bryan-visser-4

You can enjoy this taster weekend on Mallorca on 15/16/17th May 2020 as part of a whole week of cycling (as I am again!) doing some of the other climbs mentioned and shown in my blog such as Sobremunt (the hardest climb in Mallorca), Port Valdemossa, Port Canonge, Col de Soller, Orient, Cold de sa Bataia and/or many others.

You can fly out to Mallorca on Tuesday 12th May, and return on Tuesday evening 19th May by EasyJet, having ridden the Big Daddy Ma10 across northern Mallorca (100+ miles) on Friday 15th, 115kms on Saturday 16th May from Port Pollensa (via Cap Formentor) to Cala Millor, and from there back to Santa Ponsa (100 miles again) on Sunday 17th, with two wonderful hotel nights and dinners.

Anyone who wants to take my approach of going for the week, Tuesday to Tuesday to Mallorca is welcome to let me know, and keep me company, either side of the 440kms weekend (with the odd 7500m of climbing).

You can’t have missed that I did the Mallorca 6Points in May this year and it was a brilliantly organised event; more riders (up from 50 to around 75) will be coming next time, and there might even be a partners’ programme to allow families to enjoy the sights.

My rider view of the 6Points Mallorca in May 2019

This event in May 2020 offers a perfect taster for the year: wonderful spring cycling weather in the Balearics; very easy travel to and from this popular cycling destination; and very cycling friendly roads, cafés and people.

Sunday 8th Dec 6Points Mallorca Watopia Waistband!

Hello Sunday Zwift 6Pointers! Our Zwift training ride is on as usual at 11.40am UTC on Sunday (see link). It’s not such a tough one, 2 laps of the Zwift Watopia Waistband, flatter than all official routes except Tempus Fugit and Tick Tock. The only noticeable uphills are the rise outside of Saddle Springs, the ramp out of Ocean Boulevard and the climb to the Italian Villas which follows, the volcano kicker and the shallow climb back into the desert.directions.

Watopia Waistband

We look forward to seeing you and your avatar there for a hilly 27kms, a tough rolling course with sprints and KOMs, with very little flat riding. Prompt regrouping to the yellow beacon (riding at ~2.5w/kg) after each sprint section, please; and the closing minirace is to start at or behind the beacon, with the fence in use to assure that. David Smith is your beacon leader this weekend

Route details are at https://zwiftinsider.com/watopias-waistband/

Route is 2 laps of:

Distance: 25.5km (15.8 miles)

Elevation Gain: 83m (273′)

This perimeter route covers portions of Watopia’s three “flat” routes, (Tick TockVolcano FlatWatopia Flat). It’s called “Watopia’s Waistband” because it nicely encircles key landmarks in Watopia proper including downtown Watopia, Fuego Flats, the Italian Villas, the Volcano, and the Fishing Village.

We begin on Fuego Flats at the spawn point. Just after the start is the first marked sprint section. 

The we ride clockwise around the desert loop until it drops us off on Ocean Blvd. Take Ocean Blvd toward the Fishing Village (away from Downtown), turn left toward the Italian Village, then another left at the fountain to head toward the Volcano.

Ride around the Volcano clockwise, make our way through the downtown start/finish line and onto Ocean Boulevard before a quick left back to Fuego Flats.

At the end of the first lap, we sprint on the sprint marked section again.

The we do it all again, but this time, when we turn left off the Boulevard, we finish the ride with a 4km minirace to the end of the ride, which finishes at the sprint finish arch.

Veloviewer profile of Watopia Waistband

Our 6Points Mallorca events are every Sunday at 11.40am UTC, over 8 different courses – nearly as varied as Mallorca riding!

As always, please leave time for any Zwift and Companion updates, (there was one today) and don’t use a TT bike for group rides or races, except for TTs, unless you want to work even harder! TT bikes don’t draft.

https://zwift.com/events/view/268075

Results

A very large turnout for this event this week, must be the change of leader, from me to David Smith! Amazingly 284 booked to ride, with 253 actually riding, including late starters, and 108 finishing. Well done David!

Mid-ride, this picture shows the number riding, 253, with an aerial shot of the peloton:

And the full results on Zwift show the 108 finishers in order…

Finally, we can see the results for those registered on ZwiftPower, which is generally those who sometimes race on Zwift, so that they get more detail on their performance

ZwiftPower results

6Points Ibiza and Formentera

Looking back at our 6Points ride to the 6 Compass points of both Formentera and Ibiza over the weekend of 4/5/6th October. Quite different in their nature – Formentera is flatter and smaller but a delightful island which we enjoyed a lot. Ibiza has one or two quite stiff climbs and quite a bit more elevation overall. Take your pick!!

A reminder of our wonderful 6Points weekend in Formentera and Ibiza in early October

6Points Mallorca meets Yorkshire

The Royal Pump Room 8 course

What a tough course! Its also quite complicated, so I had to give and repeat quite a lot of information at the outset!

Instructions I gave to quite a large starting group, 88 at 2 minutes. We had 146 eventually

There is a 14% wiggle (the Strava segment is the Pot Bank reverse wall (in this direction)) at the stream at the western extent of the course – see it here:-

14% incline…and quite a long, steep hill altogether

This is quite apart from the two sprints, the first KOM (the Harlow climb) taken at tempo as a peloton, and a second, reverse KOM taken as part of the 10kms minirace to the finish. Probably a good thing my HRM wasn’t working, I might have frightened myself! All ride data is at https://zwiftpower.com/events.php?zid=262499 for those registered, and on Zwift Companion for everyone.

1st page of ZwiftPower results

We had 162 booked to ride, with 146 riders and 64 finishers which says something about the difficulty of the course!

162 booked to ride – I just beat the hour!

Companion dropped out three times in this ride, but David was able to keep communications going on screen. He, Sean Ekblom and I were on Discord which is a BIG help in coping with any tech issues!

It’s a difficult course to keep a peloton together, as it is so undulating with stiff climbs, as we saw in the “wiggle” picture above. This figure 8 course also has the sprints and KOM too close together to regroup easily in between. Eventually the course flattens for the last 4kms run into the finish, but by then the damage is done! I did have a little group to sprint with to the finish! I beat Bisani, but the “nearly” philosopher Nitschke beat me!

The little subgroup I sprinted with to the finish (but that beacon chevron isn’t very “aero”!)

I lost too many to the fence for my liking, some quite near the beginning, as the first sprint is only 2kms from the start, and the fence needs to be tight for the lead-in to that.

21 removed by the fence in this picture, after only 5.6kms, just after the first sprint

Maybe two forward or two reverse laps would be better – to be researched! Congrats to Christiaan Stange for his win (he suggested this course and now we know why!) and to Sean Ekblom for his podium, both regular riders of ours. Sean will get his Tron bike on his next big ride later today, following the 490m(!) of climbing on our 6Points course. Here are all the results:-

As we can see above, this week I was actually slightly under the advertised pace, averaging 2.3w/kg and 177 watts. To be honest, I was having to peer so closely at my pace notes to make sure where the sprints and KOMs were, I couldn’t press on as hard as I might have done.

Clockwise from bottom – Companion on iPad, annotated map, sprint/Koms, and all distances

6Points Mallorca Zwift ride: Yorkshire Royal Pump Room 8

Our Zwift ride this weekend, at 11.40am UTC, is over one lap of the Royal Pump Room figure 8 circuit, a very undulating course. As Zwift Insider says at https://zwiftinsider.com/royal-pump-room-8/:

From the start, we ride under the start banner, then north to the Queen’s Highway loop. This is the smaller, northern loop of the Yorkshire course, and we ride it here first in a counter- clockwise direction. This northern loop contains the Yorkshire sprint segments (a different segment in each direction), and this time around we will hit the longer sprint, the Hereford sprint.

Next, we proceed through the start/finish banner and onto the much larger, southern loop portion of the course, in a clockwise direction. Ride up the forward KOM segment, then catch your breath as you descend to the next portion.

Now it’s back to the northern loop, this time in a clockwise direction, with the Yorkshire sprint to the same sprint arch as before but in the reverse direction. This small loop makes up the Duchy Estate route. Finish this loop and head south for one more lap of the big loop, this time in a counter-clockwise direction, beginning with the reverse KOM segment. The route finishes at the start/finish banner.

The following map shows the essentials of the route:

Royal Pump Room 8

The blue arrows show the direction of travel on the sprints and KOMs for the first half of the ride, and the yellow arrows show the corresponding sections for the return loop of the figure 8. Distances are shown in kilometres in red figures, to a total ride of about 27.2kms (~17 miles) for an elevation of 480m (~1500ft).

The first “Hereford” Sprint starts at about 2kms; the first (forward) KOM climb starts at about 11.5kms, and is 1.2 kms long at about 5.5%. The second “Yorkshire” sprint starts at about 14.6kms, and the second climb, the reverse KOM, starts at about 17kms, and is 1.2kms long, at 3.8%.

We look forward to seeing you and your avatar there for this hilly 27kms, a tough rolling course with sprints and KOMs, with very little flat riding. Prompt regrouping to the yellow beacon (riding at ~2.5w/kg) after each sprint section, please; and the closing mini-race is to start at or behind the beacon, with the fence in use to assure that.

I will likely start that minirace at the bottom of the second KOM ascent, with roughly 10kms to go.

Our fifth 6Points Mallorca Zwift ride – Sand & Sequoias

Another record ride today, with 195 bookings, 159 starters (of whom 98 on ZwiftPower) and 93 finishers. Watopia’s Sand & Sequoias is certainly a lovely route, probably my favourite at the moment, starting and finishing in the Fuego Flats desert:

Heading for Zwift’s Las Vegas equivalent, Saddle Springs, past the dinosaur…

and taking the forest route back to the start through Titan’s Grove, which takes riders up and down the KOM.

Alerting riders that we start racing here second time around
The full map of the route shows the varied terrain

David was my backup beacon, and all went very well; my averages were 2.5w/kg and 183w, spot on as advertised.

The closing minirace on the second lap of this course is, if anything, tougher than London 8 up and down Box Hill – it’s longer (10kms), and as well as the KOM itself, it’s quite undulating both before and after the KOM.

All ZP results are at https://zwiftpower.com/events.php?zid=256904 for those registered, of whom there were 98 starting:

or on Companion for everyone, with 93 finishers in all today.

Sobremunt, the essentials

I have put together more of my GoPro video of Sobremunt, exploring the summit area in more detail, which can be quite hard to find amongst the various private estates up there, one of which IS Sobremunt. This was part of the wider circuit I did, reported previously.

The turn to Sobremunt from the Palma to Puigponent road, the Ma 1041. The side turning here is Cami de Casa Calixtro

Fourth 6Points Zwift ride

A very good ride today with a responsive peloton (although we lost 11 to the fence early on, despite fair warnings and fence toggling). I was able to flex the fence between 10 and 5 seconds with no problem, and also to 2 seconds for the start of the minirace.

3 minutes to the start, with 60 riders already arrived

The InnsbruckRing course is a really good blend of flat riding with a usefully difficult hill, but just one, so it’s quite easy to keep a group together as well as have a demanding course.

4 laps of the InnsbruckRing town course

Quite a few regulars were out, and help from David Smith again as backup beacon. All ride data at https://zwiftpower.com/events.php?zid=251293 for those registered…

The ZwiftPower results, for those registered

…or at Companion for everyone else.

178 riders were booked, with 144 starters and 86 finishers, the best yet in all categories for 6Points Mallorca rides. I was on the button at 2.5w/kg, or 187w average for the ride as advertised.

144 riders in the peloton since we started (some were Late Joiners)

It was also good to get appreciation from riders during the ride, and at the end, as usual. This one was particularly effusive, from William Kletzien during the ride, on Zwift messaging, that I (as beacon and ride leader) and riders use to communicate on screen, using Companion to type our messages. As you see above, William finished 10th on ZwiftPower.

Internet backbone glitch yesterday affecting Zwift?

I had an Internet glitch yesterday morning, but I think (hope) it was a national backbone issue. All sorts of sites (including my ISP, BT) had outages at the same time. I carried on pedalling alone, and after the main ride I got Internet back and could save the (60 minute) ride, but I wasn’t in ZP or Zwift “results” as I crossed the 60 minute point (with a banner telling me how far and how fast) without Internet. That’s the first issue I’ve had for a long time, I definitely think it was in the network.

Finishing the ride alone!

It all ended OK, but 2/3 the way through my C-G ride today, I started riding alone. I was OK in the Volcano, and sometime between then and the next screenshot I lost Internet.

All’s well at this point

This usually indicates a Wi-fi dropout, which I haven’t had for a long time, and it usually short-lived, but this lasted until beyond the end of my 60 minute ride (the Zwift game runs in the device, so Internet isn’t needed except for login, seeing other riders and saving the ride).

Alone in the desert!

I have learnt that it’s best not to panic, especially on the Apple TV which doesn’t have an easy local way of retrieving a partial file from the device, as for laptops and mobile devices.

Companion seemed to run OK for a while, connected to the game (indicating local Wi-fi was OK) but that disconnected eventually (maybe a coincidence) and it was hard to get it to reconnect (or even start on my iPad, although it would start but not connect on my iPhone).

Then I looked at my DownDetector app, which tells me what problems any well-know public Internet services might be having, including ISPs like BT (mine), and LOTS had a spike in problem notifications (although not Facebook and some others). Maybe this was a geographically local issue, perhaps UK only.

Unfortunately Zwift isn’t one of the services DownDetector monitors, but I think there must have been an Internet backbone problem in the UK affecting a lot of services, including BT, and this is why I lost my Zwift connection.

I eventually restarted my BT modem (remotely by Wi-fi), and although I wasn’t reconnected to Zwift immediately, it came back soon after.

The usual service resumed, with Zwifters Nearby list populated

Also, Companion then connected OK. It seems as if it not only needs to be on the same Wi-fi network to connect, but also that the Zwift game needs to be Internet connected (as it now was).

I had kept kept riding all this time (having photographed the screen a few times, without stopping the ride yet) and I went onto Zwift.com. I saw my warmup there, and also a ride (at 38.1kms) which for some reason had saved (but not on Strava!) even though I hadn’t stopped or saved the ride.

I had also decided, through all this, NOT to try to save the ride since then I might have lost it (no Internet) and also NOT then be prompted when starting Zwift again that I hadn’t saved a previous ride (this happens if for some reason your device closes down before a save of the game).

So seeing a 38.1km partial ride up on Zwift.com, though, and now that I wasn’t riding alone (ie the Internet link was re-established) I decided that rather than just turn off my Apple TV, hoping that I’d be prompted to save the ride properly when logging in next time, I would photograph the screen and attempt to save the ride normally and see what happened (I was a bit over 40kms at that point so would only lose a couple of kms at most as a 38.1km ride was already up there (somehow!)

The ride report just before saving – which worked!

I saved and closed as normal, and then looked at Zwift.com to see what was there – two rides, perhaps, or just the old 38.1kms.

What was there was the full 42kms I had now done. It also had loaded up to Strava.

The full activity has replaced the 38.1kms version which had been there before

So, conclusions?

  1. the Internet has had some kind of backbone blackout at about 11.40am for a lot of services including my ISP, BT. Maybe not for Zwift itself (servers in the US?)
  2. Zwift is now saving partial ride files for the Apple TV up at Zwift.com the way it does locally for laptops and mobile devices ON those devices (and maybe at Zwift.com?)
  3. Zwift.com only uploads to Strava once the ride is complete (presumably flagged by the rider’s final save of the game).
  4. Therefore, this is perhaps the reason that, in the past, if I have had a glitch at save time, and no ride is there on Strava, I’ve always (so far) been able to find it on Zwift.com. I had not realised before, but that file would have been an auto-saved file (every 10 minutes I think for other devices, on the device).
  5. So Apple TV is even better than I thought! Not only is the Apple TV virtually bullet proof itself, but when I MIGHT have a ride saving problem, the ATV isn’t all or nothing (as I had thought, because there is no easily accessible Documents/Zwift/Activities folder on the Apple TV) but in fact there is a partial ride file available (it seems) on Zwift.com, up to the point there is any loss of Internet connection.
  6. So – it’s best to keep the game alive until the Internet comes back, or when you can provoke it to come back. I lost other avatars (riding alone) well BEFORE the 38.1kms point (probably at 20-25kms) but I’m sure when the Internet came back The Apple TV sent its periodic ride file to Zwift.com at that point, not provoked by me.
  7. Patience is key!
  8. Just a bit worrying if leading a ride as beacon. It’s why it’s always good to have a backup buddy beacon riding with you.
  9. As I completed the 60 minute ride while still off the Internet, just as for a normal ride that finishes on a given lap or at a given distance, Zwift doesn’t record you as finishing the event if you aren’t on the Internet at the end, and so ZwiftPower doesn’t have an entry for you either, as it picks that up from Zwift.