Meet-up ‘keep everyone together’ question

I’ve just done my first meet-up with a friend who is a much better cyclist than me. We did Tick Tock and without knowing it had the ‘keep everyone together’ function turned on.

He was killing himself, and I was riding at about my normal power; so, as I understand it, I was dragging him back, and he was pulling me along? I was getting a sort of drafting effect, but there was also a negative effect on his output:speed?

My question is, at the end, dispite different power outputs, we both rode the 11.1 miles with an average speed on 19.4 mph. The elevation was the same for both of us… so… did I really ride 11.1 miles, or did I ride less, he rode more, and it averaged at 11.1m each?

I’m just confused because, all things being equal (distance, avge speed, elevation) he’s putting in 33 more watts than me. Surely one of our distances isn’t true?

Tom, I was asking myself the same question after a recent group ride! My thought is as follows: Zwift reads power off your trainer and then calculates at what speed your avatar should move in the game using their model which takes into account your weight, size, type of frame, wheels, type of road (gravel vs asphalt), etc. In meet-ups it most certainly adds another factor to this calculation: those who generate less power than the group move faster than they would in a solo ride, while those who are stronger and more powerful than the rest of the pack are most likely slowed down. You both rode the same distance, but you burned a different amount of energy on this.

One way to think it (and I am going to exaggerate here!), Zwift put the slower rider on top of the line racing bike and the faster rider on old rusty bike from a junk yard :slight_smile: Or if you want to think about slower riders getting an extra draft, this works, too.

In reality, it seems to always adjust speed/power ratio for each rider to keep people together. If one of the meet-up participants stops and falls to far back behind the group, it brings it back to the group, as if he was pulled with an invisible rubber band.

Well, you got the idea…