Musing of a Newbie: What's your best motivation?

I joined Zwift a month ago and just wanted to say hello and share my experience.

I’ve been suffering badly in the last few years with an inability to find the time (and motivation) to get out on my bike. Both my body and my brain have suffered somewhat as a result, so when I realised that Zwift didn’t cost the earth I got myself a Kickr Snap and got stuck in.

I’ve been through the teething issues:
-Can’t work off the laptop screen. Urgh. Second-hand TV acquired.
-Weak wifi in the Man Shed keeps dropping. Urgh. Got an extender.
-Sweat in the eyes. Urgh. Ordered a McEnroe-style red headband.
-Game can’t connect to the trainer. Urgh. Change up the starting order of devices, change it again, and then once more for luck. Success!
-90s Mountain Bike is geared too short so I’m spinning out. Urgh. Old road bike dragged out of hibernation.
-Game keeps crashing because Intel 10th Gen. Urgh. Uninstall drivers, reinstall drivers, uninstall drivers, reinstall drivers and fiddle with settings, uninstall drivers, roll-back drivers and fiddle with settings, install Windows 11, uninstall drivers, reinstall drivers, success!
-Wahoo Tickr keeps dropping. Urgh. ANT+?

Some of the above was annoying. Some of it was frustrating. Some of it was even upsetting. What it didn’t do, however, was put me off what Zwift has to offer me.

With a job and a family filling my time and the nearest pleasant ride being 20 minutes of arguing with traffic away, being able to jump onto Zwift in a 30 minute gap is an absolute god-send. I can get my mind in the game, shift my legs, and clear all the clutter out of my head in just the same way I can on the road.

I also find it a real delight to ride alongside people from across the globe and I love seeing people acheive their targets too. Everyone is working hard and, I think, having some fun along with it.

I haven’t yet dipped my toes yet into robo-pacers, group rides, teams, or racing. I’m waiting until my motivation wanes. As it is, I broke both myself and my beer belly today completing the Three Sisters Route and yet I still can’t wait to get back on the bike when the opportunity next presents itself. I find the sense of riding amongst others in Zwift’s worlds, knowing the efforts they’re putting in, really spurs me on.

What do you find your best source of motivation?


P.S. If you see me dragging myself up a steep hill at a snail’s pace, please give me a Ride On. It makes me smile.

Thanks for sharing your experience Gavin! It’s so nice to see that even though there were many trials, it didn’t stop you from riding!

I believe my best motivation is motivating others. When I hop on Zwift, it’s very fulfilling to see my family members get curious and then eventually join in! It’s not just riding and running in Zwift for me, its about having fun with the people closest to me!


Good on you, Gavin :slight_smile: You sound similar to me regarding having other people in the world. I’m not ‘social’ when I ride in that I’m not on the chat function really at all. But knowing those other avatars are real people does make it a more pleasant, motivating place.

Good work fighting through the difficulties you’ve had too. If your bluetooth is still dropping, you might see about trying a USB bluetooth antenna. The antennae in laptops often aren’t that great, and a plugin antenna with better reception can be cheaper than going ANT+.


What do you find your best source of motivation?

Progression! I like it when the good numbers go up and the bad numbers go down.

1 Like

Do sample the buffet! I personally think sweeping group rides is fun.


Thanks for sharing! I’m so glad you were able to push through those initial issues and find your motivation. Group rides/racing/RoboPacers will be a great way to continue that motivation in the future! Ride On.

1 Like

Aw man, I’m a bit jelly of where you’re at - you’ve got a tonne to still explore!

I started in earnest in winter of 2021-2022 (I’ll leave out 2018-2019 when I did 700km in Zwift…on a rowing machine) and have run the whole gamut - workouts, group rides, events, tours, challenges, badges.

If I may humbly suggest checking out the Resource Wiki:

You’ll find a lot of good stuff there.


  • select the Everest Challenge right forking now! Your elevation gains are not credited retroactively if you don’t select it
  • listen to the whole ZwiftCast back catalog while riding. It took me a season to get through it and I learned a tonne about the game and the community (including etiquette)
  • badge hunting - aim for some threshold distance and/or elevation per week, maybe doing a couple of rides in a row if it’s a short route. ZI did a post on getting them all in 12-weeks. (I have not done the final five yet)
  • try the tutorial workout(s) - they’re fairly easy and a good primer
  • is amazing for examining whole routes. Links offsite to ZwiftInsider route details for vids, pics, and more narrative
  • go Easter Egg hunting - find new ones and share with the group!

RE: connectivity issues, it’s really great that Zwift will “run on a potato”. I started with an iPhone, went Android, PC, iPad, gaming PC, and now use an AppleTV almost exclusively because “it just works.” If your setup is working well now, cool. If you ever get so fed up with it you feel like quitting, try either an iPad or ATV first. It’s a step down in graphic richness but rather frictionless.

To directly answer your question: some of the above are distractions or tools but my motivation is badge-hunting and exploring - Zwift feels like an open-world MMORPG.

Ride On!

1 Like

Good on you Gavin and welcome. I’ve been using Zwift for just over a year. I retired 2 years ago, was over weight and hadn’t exercised in years. Started riding IRL with my grandkids, then a local group but lots of wet and cold weather was getting in the way. My wife encouraged me to take up a Zwift trial and I did. One of the best things I’ve done, in fact it contributed to saving my life. Emergency surgery 5 months ago and the surgeon saying if I wasn’t as fit as I was I would not have survived. Zwift played a big part as I had been using it regularly over our winter. Ride On!


Thanks for posting, I’m so glad you were able to get everything figured out. I’m a badge hunter, I really like collecting new badges from different routes. I also love it when I find another Zwifter who’s a little bit faster than me–that definitely pushes me to put in a bit more effort.


Staying ahead of my prior best time. Reallllly glad the ability to race my prior self is coming to more routes.


There are some fun people on Zwift, and some of the shenanigans are pretty hilarious. :slight_smile:

I’m somewhat fortunate that I have a fairly reliable Zwift setup so I can get on with the business of riding.

Zwift and a Kickr Bike have been a godsend with my injuries from early last year. Without both of them I’d be in a very, very bad way at the moment. Now I’m improving it’s getting very fun.

1 Like

Out of curiosity, where do I find the shenanigans? I love shenanigans.

My favorite racing shenanigan is to enter a race with the intention of splitting the group but not caring about winning. I just want to hurt as many people as possible. So fun!

1 Like

Mine is to enter an event, get to the starting pen, hit the vocal ‘Ride On!’ button once, and then leave the event before the chain reaction occurs.


I like the diversity of rides. I can do hard climbing rides. I can ride flats. I can ride combinations of those two. I can do any of those solo. I can do any of those with a yackety-yak group ride. I can do any of these with a less yackety group. I can do any of these with a quiet pacer group. I can do any of these infinite combinations whenever I have the time. It can be planned. It can be spur of moment. You can ride competitively, casually, just for fun, for better health. To make this experience better I jumped in with a Wahoo Kickr bike. Lots of fun to be had. Hope to see you out there!!!