How's New York? 🏙

Here’s the problem with NY:

There aren’t enough visual clues given to the rider that “fool” them into thinking that they are moving around in a virtual world. What I mean is that the “virtual cyclist” needs moving landmarks in the near field (like the road cracks and grass at the road edge), the middle field (houses, slopes, things like the marina in Watopia), and the far field (hills, mountains, water, clouds down below like on Alpe du Zwift). Far field objects are important because they give the cyclist directional orientation, like N, S, E, and West, and clue us in to where we are on a larger map.

As a result, the Central Park loops all look more or less like the same 1/4 mile stretch of road because the rider can’t get a long enough continual fix on middle field and far field objects. If there were no leaves on the trees, and the rider could see further, it might be better, but I’m not sure about that.

The elevated road is kind of cool, but again, these visual rider clues are not really there since the road is transparent and since there really isn’t much of a middle field. In addition, the far field buildings aren’t really orienting enough as they kind of all look the same.

While Richmond isn’t that popular, the route works because the near and middle field visual clues are very good. The simple loop out and back map provides just enough directional orientation to act as the far field. Mountain routes work well for the same reason - they’re very good at fooling the rider’s brain into thinking that they are climbing a large mountain. The mountain itself acts as the far field, orienting the rider to direction (like N,S,E,W) all the time - i.e. they can visually see that they are not going around in a circle . Some London loops work well, though there are some areas that lack that far field visual.

You know how most people have a sense of general N,S,E,W direction even in unfamiliar places - based on clues in the far visual field (the sun, clouds, mountains, ocean, buildings) that lets them know general direction and distance from a starting point? That’s what’s missing in NY.


This is exactly why I hate NYC. Everything looks the same when riding, there is no visual distinction between its elements…you’re either on futuristic space glass or riding around green cramped parkways. I go out of my way to avoid riding NYC unless Im doing a training session where the world doesnt matter…if I had to do a Gran Fondo or something on NYC I simply wouldnt. It’s too boring.


The last few replies summarise my thoughts.

Would rather go up the hills in Innbsbruck.

I’d prefer open landscapes.

Even expansions to Watopia such as a really long flat course around the coast.

New York is just too boring, small and congested.

Surely there were so many better courses to do.


Well, I’ve found NY awesome … I really like those glass roads, flying cars all around, train coming and visible under road, I love its steep climbs, etc … yes I really like it.

But let me say, I’m quite new to Zwift and I did just several rides in NY. The “problem” with this course - it’s pretty small and I believe it could become repetitive and boring little bit, soon …

I enjoy riding the NYC course so well done Zwift!! One thing though, as I’m recovering from a knee problem I need adequate low resistance warmup time. The last few times I’ve ridden NYC, I’'ve spawned onto the beginning of a 5 - 10% grade. could something be done about this?

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ZWIFT hack to ride whatever map: -

Can be lonely as majority are in the map defined on the calendar.

For me NY not great so will be avoiding in future on workouts.

To be honest, a ride over an hour on the NYC course is borrrrrrrrrrrrring. Contrary to most courses in zwift (like London or Watopia), I don’t feel like I am going anywhere: I’m just “looping” around and around… No medium-to-big climbs also. I don’t think a zwift course should be shorter than 30-40km to give us the opportunity to explore different parts of the map (especially when you have consecutive days on one course)


When starting one of the free rides, it starts you on 6% CLIMB… with cold legs. Not my favourite way to start!


I like NY, I like the look of it and like the punchy climbs but I’m not heavy and have my Zwift resistance setting at 50% which on the Kickr for me when you hit 15%+ gradients is tough but fine still. It would be a grinding leg burster if I was heavier and set on full resistance though, so I appreciate some of the comments about this. Also, It might just be me but the main park route seems more crowded than other worlds.

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For long rides (~100 km) it gets quite boring, as you see the same places over and over.


Least favourite course. Looking forward to extensions to Watopia and London.


New York is fun, but far too small to be scheduled for a weekend in the winter.


I know some folks like them, but for me I don’t care for see through roads, dust storms, glass tunnels and similar unreal environments for cycling. So the only ride I do in NY is the park perimeter. On the whole for all the worlds I select routes with some semblance of realism and don’t do jungles, volcanos, etc. When not totally overcrowded, it is possible to find a decent route in all the worlds, with a big climb, undulating, or occasionally just flat for an easy day, with few of the weirdly bits. If Zwift made world selection easy, they would get a much better idea of which worlds and routes users prefer or avoid.


The route is nice, but way too crowded.


I originally did not like NYC. That was while using Zwift on a 32" TV placed 4 ft in front of me. I recently switched to a 50" TV, still 4 ft in front of me. And you know what? NYC is much better. Lots of details that I didn’t notice before and the landscape seems to open up better.

You do know that jungles & volcanoes are real don’t you? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Time for a New York expansion? It’s very crowded when it’s the guest world.


Agree, it would be great to ride down to Battery Park through Times Square. Maybe a bit flat, but would be more interesting than the desert.

I want to ride down 5th ave dodging cars, taxis, buses and pedestrians like a crazy bike messenger, we could use the steering feature here too for more realism, and add mini games where you have to deliver to a certain location before the timer runs out. That would make NY so much more fun!


I like it, additional drops for beating delivery targets, lose drops for getting flattened.