I completed my first couple of laps of Zwift Island last night. Overall it was a great experience and has me even more excited than I was before about the potential. Some initial observations and/or comments:
The graphics were fairly laggy for me. I suspect that mostly has to do with the graphics card in my laptop, an Nvidia 3300M. I have most of a fairly high-end gamer machine sitting on my workbench. It’s probably going to get built out as a Zwift machine this weekend.
My rider lagged by 5-10 seconds when I started or stopped. I’m not really sure about speed lags when I accelerate. I didn’t notice it last night, and I was watching speed, so my feeling is that it wasn’t bad. I’ll pay more attention tonight.
I saw a fair number of AI riders going in the opposite direction. I’m not sure if that’s normal or not.
In at least one place I saw an AI rider apparently stuck in a loop where he came toward me in the wrong direction, turn toward me like he was about to reverse course, then disappear, reappear, and start the cycle over again. He seemed like he was stuck in that particular place so I saw him doing this as long as that location was in my sight line.
I found it impossible to latch onto anyone’s wheel. It seemed like all of the real riders on with me were really fast. They’d close with me quickly, pass me, then instead of moving smoothly away they “hop” away quickly from my perspective. I believe this is probably an artifact of my graphics frame lag.
The environment and setup sucked me in. I’m on a “dumb” trainer, a Kurt Road Machine, so no power control. Once I grasped the concept of my speed in the virtual world I very quickly found myself riding like I do in the real world; i.e. upping the effort to keep my speed up on climbs, hammering toward sprint points, etc. I even found myself leaning into corners a few times. Very immersive.
Once support got me through the issues of the software crashing on start-up, apparently due to old video drivers, everything else went flawlessly. The software linked to my devices (Power2Max power meter, Garmin GSC-10, and Garmin HR strap) with no trouble at all. After previous experiences with this type of thing I was impressed with how smoothly it went.
I’m really glad to be part of the beta and I’m really excited to see where all this goes!