Closing the real world gap

I dedicated the next few months to improving my biking, and that is why I am on Zwift. The question is simple, how does the virtual world close the gap in the real world, or the real world gap. The metrics are simple:

  1. Increase my fitness and athletic performance
  2. Increase my socialization around biking
  3. Increase my personal financial or professional opportunity
  4. Increase my bike knowledge and understanding

I was looking at fitness and athletic performance, and I am not convinced for me beyond 2 watts/kg in biking as an above average road biker (never close to superior let alone elite), there is much for me to gain in the real world, as there is a fairly high commitment to train to increase FTP once you are in shape, and a low marginal benefit. Furthermore, in the real world, there is almost no benefit from a health perspective for me to ride for more than one hour on the trainer every other day, and I think that is true of the vast majority of the population.

In the real world, I think I would benefit more from upgrading my real bike to disk brakes and buying really cool sun glasses that are offer progressive shading than actually working harder and harder to improve my times.

My point is simple, the smart trainer and the software driving the smart trainer is still an incredibly small fraction of the overall recreational biking market. Whether a person uses Zwift 15 hours week or 3 hours a week, Zwift makes the same on the monthly subscription cost. Perhaps revenues could increase through in game advertising, it is a very reasonable approach used by nearly every media company at one point.

Ideas would be greatly appreciated. I am even willing to look at fashion and bike gear. How does the trainer affect our fashion, bike gear, fit, etc, etc,

And also, if we are riding with other people, who are they? I left Facebook overall because there was too much banter about political ideas or adolescent reposts. I am surprised that Zwift did not develop an internal social network, which is common now, allowing users to aggregate their biking pictures, etc, etc, no different than facebook.