New "fence" feature on group rides

Yesterday I joined the usual Saturday Sub 2 ride. I was looking forward and applauded the introduction of the new “fence” feature as most of us are tired with riders bolting off the front ignoring the leader’s directions. Little did I know that being behind the leader and “fence” would also include me with the speed freaks.
I was behind the leader as at 71 while I maintain 1.7 average I have a heart condition that means my heat rate is my guide more than watts. When the leader announced all get behind the fence I never imagined that I would be eliminated turfed out of the ride for being behind the leader. Does this not defeat the purpose of the new system? Stay with or behind the leader we are told and I always do that…does this mean I can not enter such an event in the future and follow my own pace due to heart rate challenges? I have registered my concern to Zwift but as per normal little explanation.

It should be for the flyers that take of and can’t stay with the beacon I myself am 49 and not to unfit but some time struggle to keep up with the pack so does that mean I will be kicked out as well??

Never heard of a ‘Behind’ fence. sounds counter productive.
You should ask the organizer why would they add the fence behind to their event.

I have tried to contact the organizer of the weekly event ZHCC (?) but as I am not on facebook I am unable to contact them. Zwift ( 2 contacts) said it is up to the organizer to decide if the “fence” applies to those ahead and those behind… 27 (?) were booted off yesterday at the event I know there was at least 15 behind me. This is a daft policy if that is what it is…Zwift was waffling as to how it could be fixed, only advise was use this forum…some advise? Thanks for the input.

Yeah, getting dropped from being too slow/behind seems to be new and related to the fence feature in order to keep riders all together. The front fence is a good idea overall, but the back fence implementation needs to be tweaked either by Zwift or by the individual ride leaders.

Like the OP, I was in a group ride last week and I just slowed down a tiny bit, I could still see the ride leader on the screen but it already started counting down and warning me that if I didn’t speed up I would be dropped. Normally in this particular group ride the riders would be stretched out for miles and even if I’m going slowly there are other riders around.

Without pointing fingers exclusively at the ride organizer I must ask (no doubt FRIC you do also ) if the ride is posted as Sub 2 and one is riding consistently at 1.7 to 2 and one is dumped the organizer MUST change the description and advise of the anomaly of when the “fence” is called …you may have to go significantly above 2 to get safe! Makes no sense! Say good bye to the welcoming slow recovery rides!!!

How exactly did you get booted from the event? I’ve seen youtube videos showing how the fence works and if you are in front of the fence an image shows up with a fence and a rider icon on screen plus a message “RETURN TO GROUP!” with a 60 second countdown timer.

Did you get the countdown timer? This could be a bug where if you are so far behind it considers you in front of the fence. I could see that happening if you were riding multiple laps on a short course such as the volcano circuit. Should be easy enough for Zwift to fix, if leader distance is greater than rider distance don’t boot them.

In the video below there is also an example where the fence doesn’t follow the ride leaders course at an intersection. Again it could be a bug where if you are behind and the leader goes through an intersection Zwift might consider you beyond the fence.

If it is a bug make sure you describe to Zwift as much detail as you can (how far behind were you? Which course, which road did it happen?). It makes it easier for developers to debug.

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Yes I got the count-down timer but I didnt feel it was for me only the bolters. I could see the beacon ahead and wasn’t concerned not thinking that I would be included with the speedsters. We were on the London flat and we did circuits but I wasn’t lapped or even close to it. I gave Zwift all the data and they looked at it even confirming when it occurred but offered no solution other than “sorry” and take it up with the ride organizer!

This has nothing to do with the race organiser. Yes, the race organiser asks for the fence but it’s only to check flyers and does not/should not affect those behind the beacon. There is a bug , which has been reported to Zwift by race organisers, where the fence misbehaves at intersections and does not follow the planned route. This has resulted unfortunately with a few riders off the back to be treated as if they had breached the fence.

Yeah, the ride where I encountered the issue was the Ascenders Team Recovery Monday with average of 1.7 w/kg at Tempus Fugit. Not really a circular or intersectionally course.

I’ll try to ride it again later today.

The fence misbehaves at the Tempus Fugit turnarounds; we had a guy today in KAB off the back who got the 60s warning.

Larry:

What course – and better yet, where on the course – were you riding when you had trouble with the fence? Tempus Fugit and Tempus Fugit turnaround have been mentioned as sites where the fence mixes up who’s ahead with who’s behind. That would be a bug that Zwift will want to correct.

I don’t recall that the fence is intended to eliminate riders behind. Has anyone read otherwise?

Hello Steve
I was on the ZHCC Saturday Sub 2 ride…no-drop(???) 10am pacific time on the London flat course. I was about 45 seconds (?) behind the leader when it was announced 60 seconds to “fence” I thought as it was my first ride with fence feature, that it was for the speeders to get back in line, didnt think it was me or those behind me (15 approx.,) to catch up. When the time ran out at about 15 kms I suddenly found myself out of the ride. I think 25-30 dumped to my knowledge. That’s about it.
Cheers

The fence is not intended to make people speed up only to warn those riding off into the sunset. The fence is still in testing and there a few small bugs that need to be fixed.

Small??? You are being generous…!

The behind the leader bug appeared a about 3 times today on an hour London classique group ride I joined today.

This is a quote from Zwift rep on Saturday to my issue via e-mail: " I’d like to offer further assistance that I hope you may find constructive. I’d recommend taking a look at this article from Zwift Insider​ that lists group rides which tend to stick to a slower pace that may help prevent you from being dropped."
Would anyone call this a satisfactory answer…?
Larry

The fence was still very new on Saturday they probably did not know of this behaviour at that time.

they may have misunderstood your question thinking that you were talking about being dropped in a fast group ride, not that the fence kicked you out of the event although you were behind the ride leader.

Currently the fence misbehave at intersections and the cutting off at the back is an unintended effect. The fence was tested with a bunch of riders but in testing all of them stayed with or in front the leader. But now that it is out in public this issue emerged.

Gerrie
I gave them full details and they confirmed even saw when I was dumped.
…this a further extract from them:
“The new fence feature should only remove riders who go too far ahead of the group leader. That being said, we did already have a feature in place in certain events that removes riders from the group when falling too far behind, which is likely the reason you were removed.” ???
Yea right… in a sub 2 “no drop” event that I have ridden weekly for over a year!!

First time I hear about this. :roll_eyes:

Lets just hope they find the bug soon.