Automatically managed group rides

Zwift group rides can be a lot of fun, but I have noticed that there seems to be fewer group rides now than a year ago. One reason may be because the group leaders are tired of trying to corral the group and prevent flyers. A solution would be to have the software automatically manage a group ride. Here are some ideas:

  1. The group leader would plan out the ride in advance setting a maximum w/kg ratio for different sections. One option would be for sections to be based on physical location. For example a ride may have a lead up of 2 w/kg up to the volcano loop, then alter laps around the volcano with one lap being 3 w/kg and the next lap at 2 w/kg, and finally climb the volcano with no limit. Another type of group ride could be based on time. Perhaps there could be a 10 minute warm up at 1.5 w/kg followed by 1 minute sprints at a maximum of 4 w/kg followed by rest periods of 2 w/kg. A final option would be to have the maximum w/kg be randomly generated around some specified average. This could put some surprise into group rides.

  2. The w/kg ratio should be based on an idealized rider say 150 lbs.

  3. Group leaders should be able to re-use group ride plans they created, or other group leaders are willing to share.

  4. Riders would be penalized for going past the front of the group line. This line would be drawn  on the road and move at the maximum w/kg allowed. If a rider goes past the line, then they would be penalized by having to put in say 10% more effort to travel at the same speed as if they were behind the line. Once a rider was more than 100 meters past the line the penalty could go up to 40%.

  5. In certain situations, the group leader may want to have periodic sprints during the ride, or at the end of the ride. If points are being awarded, any riders who want points, would need to be behind the front group line at the beginning of a sprint.

  6. The front group line could either be drawn as a line, or perhaps as even a 1 foot high semi-transparent fence.

  7. Some races could begin using the same controls as an automated group ride. This could prevent the sprint at the start that decimates many races. Imagine a race that started with a minute at 3 w/kg, and then increased .2 w/kg every minute.

  8. If a rider got too far behind the group, they could be given the option to use special power ups to help them catch up.

Group rides are important for Zwift. Races are a lot of fun, but not everyone has the wherewithal to race, or race every day. A managed group ride  could have race like segments, but also have rest sessions. The group workouts are OK, but they feel quite artificial. A managed group ride could be structured so it is similar to a group workout, but wouldn’t feel artificial. 



These are all fantastic ideas! I’ll log these then send them over for the devs to see. If you have any more suggestions please put them in here, more than few developers scour the forums to see what you all want in Zwift. :) 

i agree as a group leader trying to keep flyers in check is the hardest and most frustrating part, there have been times when i just wanted to quit the lead for that day.  but i dont becaues there is still a fair number riding like they should.   but i dont think we need to get nearly as complicated as the post spells out,  a simple eject button for the leader for any rider he chooses would be sufficient.  so if some one is rude, a flyer, or just plain obnoxious,    EJECT.   the fear of that alone will keep 90% of the potential flyers in check


I vote for Eject button. Great idea. Riders always have option of racing and not disrupting group rides.

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I agree. Having an eject button might make rides easier to manage. However, I think it would be a big win for Zwift to have the automatically manged rides I described. I don’t think what I described is that complicated and surely Zwifts developers could probably implement something like this in 2-3 weeks.