Map vs loop routes

While riding the Innsbruck mountain route the other day, I was thinking about what the philosophy of route design at Zwift might be. So far, I conclude that building long self contained loops is the primary design objective.

I want to suggest that a more map-based approach be used for “infill” on existing maps. A bit of context about me: I ride for no more than an hour and a half in any given night, and I usually ride an hour or less. My fitness is decent, but nothing amazing.

Here are two examples of routes that provide good map-based riding for a person of my fitness/time commitment, and two that do not.

  • Volcano is a great map-based design. It can be tacked on to any Watopia route in a number of ways, or it can be ridden by itself in a few ways. There are defined routes that use it, but you can “build your own” on the fly.
  • Richmond is also a good map-based design. The choices are limited, but there are many choice points where you can adjust your route and make it what you want.

On the other hand,

  • Innsbruck is not very good map-based design. The mountain loop is very long, so you end up committing 30-40 minutes to it without any other choices. Essentially, you end up riding in-town or on the mountain, not both.
  • The jungle loop in Watopia is also not very good map-based design. You ride out to the loop, and then you are stuck there for 30-40 minutes. It’s very hard to make a meaningful ride that incorporates some part of that loop without doing just that loop. (alpe du Zwift has a similar problem, but I usually plan to commit to just that ride if I choose it in the first place)

Can you find ways to enjoy riding all of these things as they are now? Of course! And I do it 4-5 times a week! My feature request here is simply to add a few more “connector” roads in between long sections so that I can have more routing options. I suppose I’m also curious about whether this suggestion runs counter to a fundamental design paradigm at Zwift – if so, then I should probably stop thinking about it :slight_smile:

I kind of agree, maybe a teleport option might work better/be easier to implement than having to add new roads?

So once you have had your lot on the uphill you can teleport of to the top or once you are board with the downhill (alp de zwift for example) you can teleport to the bottom? or the ability to jump X number of miles/KMs ahead on the route.

not sure how easy that would be to do though.

Would be fun to add some choppy mountain or gravel trails in some of the interconnections. Mountain biking in the uk can be made up of very steep but short bumps, and more varied route through trees etc. Its a very different kind of training. Perhaps even adding some actual mountain bikes.

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Kind of a bit cheaty though…might ruin things a bit. (the warps I mean.) It can be very satisfying and motivating to catch someone who is riding near your pace. Would be annoying if they can warp down the road. :slight_smile: Although warping between worlds…well, that is another matter entirly.