This is a feature that I think would be very helpful for those logging long winter miles. To me, the benefits of zwift are having that visual feedback of being in a group to help motivate you to continue. And there are long group rides (not races) through the winter that can range 3-4 hours. I usually need to use the washroom at least once during this time, and with double draft turned on, you have no hope of getting back in. I think having a pause and auto follow feature would be amazing to handle these periods. Or if your kid is screaming and you need to go find out what is going wrong, you can pause your group ride and while your avatar follows the group, you can deal with your life problems and then join back into your workout where you left off. When paused, it can stop counting time/distance/elevation, and because it is a group ride, results do not matter. If people are concerned about people using it to “blow up” group rides, then there could be a limit on them.
The problem I see with this is how do you handle the Strava integration? If you pause and restart Zwift will have to transport you to the new location of the group and that will cause a teleport line in strava and that will mess up your data.
My quick solution will be a longer than 30min late join, that way you can exit the ride when you have to go and then when you return you can use the late join feature and Zwift will create a new fit file so you will have two strava workouts/rides.
I’ve only just started with Zwift, and I’m in the middle of my summer riding season here in Canada, so I can’t comment based on experience.
But, I anticipate that some sort of feature like this will be really important to me when winter comes around. I would really like to do long trainer sessions this coming winter.
I usually do my long pieces on my rower in the winter as it will pause for up to two minutes if I have to run to the bathroom or take care of another quick task.
I prefer the idea of having one, uninterrupted, ride: as I really love to see long distances in my Strava. I really dislike it when a ride file is split in two. But, I think I would dislike a messed up route file even more. If I do get a ride file that is split in two, I can join the GPX files if I need to.
The “late join” suggestion is probably the better idea overall: it will provide the dataset(s) with the greatest integrity.
There is not a lot of of Long (3+ hours) group rides on Zwift, if you ride on your own it will not be a problem, you can stop get off the bike and when you get back on you will start where you left off.
I do a 3 hour ride on Thursday mornings, just a bunch of friends that meet at the start and ride together. The routes are not that long so it is usually multiple laps. So if you have to stop you can wait for the group to come around again or you can make a uturn and ride until you find them. There is also the option to take a alternative route as a shortcut.
I found it more engaging if we talk on Discord even if we are not on the same route sometimes not even in the same world.
Thank you! Those are helpful tips.
- I was doing group rides that were 3+ hours every weekend, and that’s all that matters for the majority of people that have to work during the week. Those rides are the only things tying me to zwift, as I could theoretically do my interval work without the program during the week when I don’t have time for longer rides.
- I didn’t think about the strava thing, but people upload rides from outside all the time where they stop their garmin somewhere, then after 10+km realize it and start it again. Strava deals with this jump in data, so I don’t see how they couldn’t handle the same sort of thing from zwift.
-Turning around could work. But if loops are 20mins, and I need only <2 min break, that is still nearly 10mins of ride time solo, when it could be zero.
Jon mentioned this type of thing in the last zwiftcast, it sounded like they want to avoid having teleport lines going to strava, and I agree.
If there is a huge demand for a 2min stop then the group can coordinate a stop time like they do IRL. we did exactly that on sunday, one guy had to stop and announced it on discord so a few of them stopped and we kep riding at a slower pace, they caught us about 10min later.
I like the idea of a catch up feature. A teleport back to group seems like the best option. Zwift already has the ability to auto save rides and start new ones on the fly.
For example: your out free riding before an event. The time comes to join so you click “join event”. Zwift then ends the free ride, saves it to strava and teleports you to the group with a fresh ride at 0.00 miles. This tech already exists and works really well as I can jump from event to event with no issue even across worlds.
Depending on what the servers are capable of this shouldn’t take too much effort