Giving Up Road Riding


This is not a technical or training topic, this is more of an existential cycling philosophy question:
Has anyone got to the point in their Zwift cycling, that they have given up riding outdoors anymore?

For me, when “that” happened three years ago, I started up in Zwift to help keep myself active and sane. It has made me a better rider by far, and I am in the best shape… age adjusted… in my life.
Where I live in North America, especially with Zwift available to me, the indoor season is 8 months, and the outdoor season 4 months. For a variety of reasons related to my age of 66 years, the very real and increasing risks of riding in traffic, and a health care system in crisis, I have made the decision to not put my bike back on the road this summer.

The community’s thoughts and experiences will be appreciated.


I live in the UK and have happily terminated my zwift membership till about October, zwift helped me get my cycling mojo back over the winter(and lose some weight), so now I intervene on making real use of that by getting out in the fresh air and sunshine.

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I have not given up road riding but road riding has changed.

I used to road ride in the spring, summer ang fall.
I just took a break on the winter.
I got older, friends got faster so I got a trainer and hated it.
Still was slow in May.
Started Zwifting and liked it a lot.
Now I was fast in the spring and could keep up.

Then I noticed, I was in better form in May than in September.
So now I’ve started riding workout intervals year round.
Spring and Fall, I ride a lot of MTB so that is naturally HIIT.
Road riding in the draft does you no favors.
I ride outside like I’m Zwifting!!!

i do about 50/50 or even 60/40 leaning towards indoors now. i think easy aerobic work and longer days are nicer and probably better to do outdoors

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I ride a lot more on Zwift than outside about 90/10.

I do like riding outside but I have time constraints so that I need to be in the shower by 7am, there’s not a lot of people willing to ride that early outside.

So I keep riding with my virtual friends in the morning.

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The traffic increase where I live has been so much that I think it is very unsafe. I see fewer and fewer riders on the road in this area. I quit when I started seeing more than half the drivers with phones at their ears…bluetooth anyone? I am interested in getting into gravel riding but my work schedule does not allow. Perhaps when I retire at the first of the year.

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I’m in Los Angeles and it’s just not safe anymore to ride on the street. The idiots in cars aim for you or they’re on their cell phones and don’t see you, then hit you. I bought a Wahoo Kickr Bike and sold my Specialized Road bike for good in 2020. Don’t regret it all and the Kickr Bike has been flawless. I can ride anytime I want and with anyone in the world.

I joined Team CLS, who is based in the UK. I can ride with them anytime, even with the time difference.


.Lost my nerve for riding a motorcycle or bicycle on the road years ago… Finally hung up my keys after 28 years of driving a tractor trailer… There’s only so much a guy can take after so many idiots challenge me for space or play stupid games while I was hauling up to 130000lbs

Moral of the story … The more people I meet, the more I love and appreciate my dogs

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I used to ride up to 10,000 outdoor miles annually around 8 years ago. Since joining Zwift at the end of 2015 the outdoor mileage has reduced year by year and now everything is 100% Zwift.

Why don’t i ride outdoors any more?..

Road conditions (potholes, bad surfaces, surface water);
Traffic conditions and driver behaviour;
Junctions interrupting efforts;
Club rides oversubscribed and unsafe;
Clothing required for changing weather;
Other people’s punctures;
Bike cleaning;
Can’t just stop when I’ve had enough.

In the last three years I think I’ve ridden on the road once and off road a couple of times. Zwift is reliable, dependable, convenient, safe and I can get exactly the ride experience I’m looking for every time without a hospital visit. I really just can’t be bothered with all the potential aggravation of outdoor riding.


The problem with going out in public is that the public is there. . .:slight_smile:


I’ve practically given up outdoor riding.

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I’ve completely given up outdoor road cycling and ride 100% Zwift. Where I live it’s unsafe to cycle on the roads. Honestly due to Zwift’s numerous benefits, I enjoy it more compared to riding in traffic.


I use Zwift through the “winter” months so that I’m fit enough to enjoy summer outside. That’ll be a mix of road, gravel and MTB. I’m 65 this year and can’t see that changing any time soon.


@Colin_Cadden , that’s very similar to myself, apart from the MTB, I BOUGHT A decent bike, so that I could get outdoors and ride it

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I’ve not given up road cycling, but these days more and more of my time in the saddle is on my Wahoo Kickr Bike.

Unlike some other responders here, near me are some really safe and beautiful road surfaces available to ride and nothing totally can replace the sights, feel, smells et al of getting outside on a bike. But that Kickr Bike is right in the other room and available 24/7. It’s all good!


I’m usually a fair weather outdoor rider. Below 50*F, or too windy, and I won’t ride outside. But, riding in an unconditioned workshop in SE Alabama can be quite uncomfortable, especially in the late spring and early fall. Forget about in the summer.
Like @Randy_Jensen, I have several roads that are superb as far as traffic goes. There is an out-and-back 32 mile route I do frequently that has almost no traffic. On a busy day, you might see 3 or 4 vehicles. It is a military range road, so it’s typically off limits to civilian traffic. You do have to watch out for wild pigs, turkeys, deer, and other wild life, though.

Dan we might have ridden together. Sounds like you’re describing the route from downtown Columbus out and around Lawson airfield.

Took the saddle off my road bike to put on my Wattbike at the start of winter and keep arguing myself out of swapping them back again. Tell myself I’m waiting for the right weather to go outside again: a warm, windless, weekend morning. As I live in Northern Ireland this might be some time coming…

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indoors only until the sun comes out :sun_with_face:

interesting that some people choose indoors due to traffic/risk - guess it’s probably an age thing (or if u had some bad experiences on the road) which is understandable i guess, but ur missing out on all the goodness that getting outdoors brings :wink:


@Randy_Jensen I’m a bit south of you, Fort Rucker/Novosel, on the range roads around the impact area.