Ride Group Organizers -- Please quit insulting us!

So many groups treat C or D riders as terrible riders.

I ride at 2.0 – that’s almost 20 MPH IRL. No, I won’t be in the Tour de France, but that pace doesn’t seem like I’m a wildly out of shape and going slow. I’ve completed an Ironman and am easily top half of the finishers.

Yet, the descriptions for MOST <2.0 rides almost always advertise the pace as “good for recovery” “slower riders” “new to the sport” “back from injury.”

As an example, here’s one description for a 2.0 group ride today:

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Remember this is a recovery / beginner ride so FOCUS should be on riding WITH the bunch around the beacon as closely as possible. So, for people relatively new to Zwift this is a perfect ride for you, and it has also proved popular for riders recovering from injury, as it places very little strain on the body and is a relatively short session.

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Almost all of the <2.0 rides have similar descriptions. This is pretty insulting to those of us who are maxing out at 2.0

If you have examples, I’ll happily reach out to the organisers.

About one-third of the D-Rides today (D category only) have descriptions like that. That’s about average for any given day.

But I am not asking for moderation by Zwift – I posted only to alert group organizers that their descriptions may have unintended effect on those for whom D pace is a workout.

Here are some quotes from just this afternoon’s D-pace ride descriptions for various groups:

  1. “Relaxed pace social group ride. Whether you are new to Zwift or group rides, looking for a recovery/rehab ride,”
  2. “So prepare to take it easy for a change as we focus on RECOVERY”
  3. “Always feel like you try really hard but can’t keep up?”
  4. “This ride is intended for either the newer Zwift rider, to build your aerobic base or as a recovery ride.”
  5. “Join us for an easy morning coffee ride aimed at Zwifters looking for an easy paced morning group ride.”

Again, I’m sure the group organizers don’t intend to belittle riders for whom 2.0 D-pace is a hard workout. Just throwing it out there so that they can decide for themselves when creating a description for their ride.

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yes, what you are saying is quite true. Perhaps the organizers could just say this is a D level ride in the 1.5 to 2 category without the qualifying descriptions.

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Or they can simply add a clause saying that this also might be someone’s normal pace.

from their point of view, the descriptions are probably designed just to make people who would otherwise feel intimidated at joining a group ride feel more at ease. if you’ve finished an ironman then in many ways you’re stronger than i am because despite those rides being recovery pace for me, i would probably die of sodium poisoning from inhaling sea water or tap out during the run due to the fact that running is for degenerates if i attempted an ironman. so don’t sweat the small stuff

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There is nothing wrong with the descriptions at all. They are friendly and are meant to motivate. The view is influenced by the perspective.

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A good point raised but it also depends at whom the ride is aimed.

For example, I lead a C ride at a pace of 2.3-2.5w/kg; for a C rider, it is how I’ve described it - a social ride. I don’t use the language you’ve mentioned but it is a social ride for most and we do have many D riders who join for a “hang on” ride, as well as A/B riders looking for recovery.

However, if a D ride is describing 2.0-2.5w/kg as easy, social, recovery, etc. then there’s a mismatch. I don’t see it as insulting, though, just… a wrong use of descriptive language

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Except it’s held as being almost sacred at Zwift, that any cat group ride can be joined by any level Cat rider. The wording in these examples will always mismatch, because the organizer has no idea who will join their ride and with what motivations.

Unless CE comes as an option for group rides, and someone wanting (for some reason) to organize eg. a 3.0 wkg group ride, for 4+ w/kg participants as a recovery, then might be able to do so. That won’t happen though.

Using CE in group rides as approximately as useful as jumping out of a plane without a parachute.

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That’s not what I was saying: there is category to which an organiser may allocate to their ride. It does NOT have to match the w/kg ranges seen in racing.

C ride at 2.0-2.5w/kg? That’ll be a z2-3 ride for Cat C riders, a threshold ride for D riders, a recovery ride for B riders, and an opportunity to watch TV for Cat A riders.

However, if it’s advertised as a D ride, then the pace will be z4 and should not contain any reference to “easy” or “social”.

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I don’t think WHY a rider is joining a ride is important. The pace for the ride is whatever is listed (e.g. 2.0) and the category (e.g. D Ride).

If you want a ride at that pace, then you join. If you don’t want a ride at that pace then you look for another. Pretty much end of story.

My point was that its sort of demeaning to describe a 2.0 ride as “easy” “social” “recovery” when for many participates it will be “hard” and “threshold.”

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Yep - I am absolutely certain that noone would intentionally have written that thinking that it might have been demeaning but can completely understand why someone (you) would have thought it was.

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No, it doesn’t

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Interesting! Didn’t know that was possible. Though your ride is definitely for C and higher riders so it makes sense (I don’t think 200 watts for 60 minutes is that easy of a C-level event for most c-level riders)

FWIW - I’ve shared some thoughts with a couple of event organiser groups, asking us to be considerate for all rider types.

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The ride is z2 for the top of Cat C riders, z3 for the rest. Perfect pace for a social group ride.

Some Cat D riders use it as a threshold session, Cat A/B as a recovery ride.

If I labelled it as a D ride, then the description would would certainly not include the word “social”, as it’d be an hour-long FTP test for the top Cat D riders!

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I put less stock in how a ride is described and more about the pace it aims for. Let other riders think however they want. Enjoy your ride at whatever pace you work at. Locally, once upon a time, I always rode with the “A” group. Now not so much, if at all. Today my rides are about my health and well-being, and less about competing. We are all at our own place in life. Embrace wherever you’re at, and live it well, preferably from a cycling saddle.

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Maybe group rides and PPs could be automatically tagged with an individual effort level tag? It could be based on the user’s registered CP or FTP.

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Kinda old topic but I saw this description of a 2.0 w/kg ride today and it kinda took the cake.

New to Zwift, just a little out of shape or recovering from injury? This is the group ride for you! All are welcome to join The Herd on this supportive and social event.

I’m not out of shape. I’m not recovering from injury. I’m easily top third of the bike segment of every triathlon I enter. But this is about the fastest group I can enter and still keep pace. I just don’t know why ride organizers have to make it out like you are some sort of loser to want to join a ride at the advertised pace.

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