6Points Mallorca Zwift training ride led by Dame Sarah Storey

Dame Sarah Storey, British Olympic cycling champion, led our 6Points Mallorca Sunday training ride today. See the live stream at YouTube at

For those that enjoyed the ride, we also highlighted the 6Points Mallorca charity JustGiving page which helps a disadvantaged children’s charity, Asdica in Mallorca.

See more about Asdica, and our other charities and sponsors, at the 6Points website. Over €66,000 has been collected through 6Points events over three years.

The ride today, a mixture of peloton, sprint and minirace riding, was over 2 laps of Watopia’s Sand and Sequoias course, about 43 kms, with the minirace from the bottom of the Titan’s Grove KoM second time around. It’s a lovely course, and the minirace is a tough one at 10kms, with that KoM to start, with even the descent after that a little lumpy too.

We do the Fuego Flats sprint twice, and then take it again at the end of the minirace, which finishes at the arch on that same sprint section.

It was a very well attended ride today, with a great lead by Sarah at even pace, keeping it very much together, until the minirace start 10kms from the end at the bottom of the Titan’s Grove KoM.

I was, of course, taking my red beacon duties very seriously, and had a good little group around me for a good part of the event.

We had 218 booked to ride, with 171 riding and 133 finishers. Our podium included a son and father combo, the Scotts, divided by Bruch Wu, always at the pointed end of our miniraces.

Regulars and locals riding included (roughly in finishing order): Jed Scott (Draft, a very rapid 1st, well done!), Bruch Wu (a regular podium in our 6Points and GGCC events, 2nd), Hamish Scott (Jed’s dad, a regular and strong rider in our events, 3rd), Tony Romo (4th), Martin Smith (5th), Sean Ekblom (GGCC beacon and 6th), Beth McIver (CryoGen), Alex Fthenakis (GGCC), Del Chattelle (GGCC), Roger Bloom, Alastair Pell (Nightingale), Charlie Farnham (Storey racing), Twinny Styler (Storey racing), Sarah Storey (Beacon and Storey Racing(!)), Heather Mayne (GGCC Zwift race team), Niall Hughes (GGCC), Gavin Stewart, Colin Sinclair (RACC), Derek Brown (GGCC), Leroy Nahay, Andrea McDowell, Andy Cattanach (GGCC), Euan Gordon (GGCC Beacon), Gavin Johnston (GGCC and graphics designer for our stream screen), Scott Ballantyne (GGCC), Leslie Tennant (GGCC), Christine Catterson (GGCC), Brian Sutton (GGCC and red beacon) and Fleury Stoops (GGCC).

All ride results are at ZwiftPower for those registered ZP, or on Companion (but with lots of flyers) for everyone.

I DQd 6 riders on ZwiftPower for being ahead of the beacon at the minirace start.

Sarah will be leading for GGCC again on 6th June, on the 11.30am BST (10.30 UTC) GGCC Saturday morning training ride, and we look forward to that!

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 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.

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.

The third 6Points Mallorca Zwift training ride

A surprisingly good ride today; having not ridden Richmond for quite a while, I was a little nervous beforehand that I might have forgotten the landmarks; but all was well!

I was also concerned that we had moved the start time back to its proper time of 11.40am UTC after the first two events; and also that Richmond is not liked by some Zwifters for some reason, and that this might have affected rider numbers. Again I need not have worried!

Zwift Companion end-of-Ride listing, 153 entrants

Actually, Richmond’s full UCI circuit suits the sprint and minirace structure we use – 2 marked sprints per lap (we only used one of them, twice, but could have used both) and then the closing minirace over the three hills that Zwift’s criterium racers like as a finish.

The group was good – particularly just before the minirace, they all withdrew from the fence so that I could bring it in to 2 seconds, to give a tight, fair start. No one was within 3 seconds of the fence at that point, great!! That means the finishing order is a true reflection of riders’ performance in the minirace. I did lose 9 riders to the fence in the first half of the event, but they had ignored repeated toggling of the fence off and on three times, to give them three times as much time to get back behind the fence, but they didn’t seem to want to play the team ball!

Fence at 2 secs, just before the start of the minirace, a fair start for 128 riders

All ride data at https://zwiftpower.com/events.php?zid=246258 for those registered with ZP. Zwift Companion shows that we had 153 booked to ride, 128 starters and 79 finishers, great numbers for only our third 6Points Mallorca event. I averaged 2.5w/kg, 190w, right on the money. And there I was, mid-pack!

Many nationalities, and some regulars – David Smith, Gerry Venditti…

And Zwift Companion shows the results for all 79 finishers…

The first Zwift 6Points Mallorca Sunday Training Ride

Every Sunday at 10.40am UTC we are staging a new series of Zwift 6Points Mallorca Training rides. This follows the great success of our Glasgow Green Cycle Club GGCC rides we have been running for two years.

The aim is to showcase 6Points worldwide, and in particular Mallorca, on the rapidly growing Zwift platform for all (open-minded!) cyclists who need, for one reason or another, embracing injury or illness, family or work commitments, weather (not everywhere has such wonderful weather as Mallorca!) predictability and efficiency of time and fitness outcomes, or simply personal preference.

Bryan Visser, founder of 6Points Challenges https://6pointschallenges.com, asked me to deliver on my suggestion of a regular Zwift presence, organising a weekly group ride, led by a “beacon” leader, embracing sprints and a closing mini race as my rides usually do.

The rides are over a variety of seven courses, in rotation, including one or more from all of the Zwift “worlds” – 3 courses from Watopia (a virtual world and the most developed of Zwift’s worlds); Richmond’s UCI race circuit; London, inspired by the Prudential RideLondon 100; Innsbruck UCI race circuit (the InnsbruckRing); and Yorkshire UCI circuit, the most recent of Zwift’s additions.

Yesterday’s ride was over 3 laps Watopia’s Jungle Circuit, and participation numbers exceeded even my own expectations, even knowing, as I do, that most ride bookings come in the last few hours before the ride. But this ride was brand new, and had only been in the Zwift schedule since the Tuesday before. It helps that I am known as an organiser of well-led group rides (the GGCC series, 3 rides, a race and a TT every week on Zwift) and I was able to rely on the support of close friends and backup leaders Steven Smith and David Smith (no relations, one based here is Glasgow, and the other from Erie, Pa in the US).

The numbers were extraordinary for our brand-new 6Points Mallorca ride:

120 booked to ride, of whom 9 were Zwift friends

Once the ride had started, we could see that the start line was pretty busy, and Steven was holding the fort, promising my imminent arrival!

We see at top right here 59 riders on the start line as I joined with 2:24 minutes to go

Since we had the Late Join facility enabled, that allows rides to join up to 1/2 hour later, after 30 minutes we could see that as many as 98 riders has started the ride at some point. In this image we can see that I (with the yellow beacon chevron over me) was “leading” from 41st position in a peloton of 98 who had started before the 30 minute Late Join cut-off.

I should know how to spell “booked”! I was thinking of SA vs. Wales maybe!

The full Zwift Companion results for the ride show 58 finishers altogether, and note that my own watts/kg was 2.5 for the ride, exactly as advertised; 2 to 3 w/kg at a 2.5w/kg average. One has to be careful, as leader beacon, because on flat terrain watts (are a better predictor of speed in the Zwift physics model, and my average was 186w. A lighter rider would have to generate MORE watts to keep up. Downhill heavier riders have even more advantage; lighter riders only get help uphill!

More screenshots from the ride show what a great job Zwift have made of the virtual world imagery for the Jungle Circuit ride. All of their worlds have very high quality game graphics, because Zwift, although a cycling resource, is in “reality” a video game with cyclists at the protagonists! In one of the images, note the red transparent “fence” that keeps riders within (in this case) 5 seconds of the leader beacon, thus enabling a good “blob” peloton – not a “snake” – and fair stats for sprints and the closing minirace to the ride. As you can see, I can choose 2 seconds (rather short in my view), and 10 seconds as well (too long; 5 seconds is my “goldilocks” setting). I turn it off during the sprints and the closing minirace, and after the sprints I choose 10 seconds, and then back to 5. Riders get 60 seconds, if beyond the fence, to slow down and return to the peloton. As you can see, 2 have been removed – “zapped” – by the fence. They can continue to ride, but aren’t formally in our group any longer and aren’t in the results, unless we are inside 30 minutes, in which case they can stop and re-join.

Setting up this ride for 6Points Mallorca, and leading the first ride, with its very high participation numbers, has been a pleasure and I look forward to growth of the series over the coming months, and its demonstration to the 6Points Mallorca sponsors and Mallorca authorities (who also support 6Points Challenges) that 6Points has world-wide reach, and can, and does attract tourism to Mallorca from all parts of the world. Nationalites of our Zwift riders yesterday spanned all hemispheres – Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific, as can be see from the nation flags on this ZwiftPower results list

ZwiftPower results for ZP registered riders