ZRacing killing race variety

I find it quite sad and demotivating that for large parts of the day, the ZRacing events completely dominate the schedule. Even now in winter, often they are the only viable option if you want 10+ competitors. Yet, they are often only in the 30 min range, and quite monotonous to do several times a week.

I would much prefer if the ZRacing events happened only every 2-3 hours at most to make other (longer / more varied) events more viable again.

Thoughts?

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I also don’t care for the ZRacing events as they are too big, too short, and usually too flat. But given their popularity I doubt this is a widely held view. A lot of people like big fields and short flat races. Gaps in the ZRacing schedule are a bigger source of rider complaints than their dominance in the schedule. Riders have also come to expect that these events are among the few that can deliver a reasonable field for A and D riders, which also results in what I would call too-big fields for B and C.

If I were to pick a series to eliminate in favor of community events, it would probably be Zwift Crit Club. It would also help if Zwift used their megaphone to do more promotion of community events.

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Hi Chris,

I often ride in the quieter part of the day (UK early morning/ Japan evening), and since the ZRacing events appeared I’ve liked the fact that whatever time of day I ride, I can now always easily find a race which fits in the time I have for a workout. If you took these away, I wouldn’t have time for longer races.

I know what I get with “the ZRacing brand”: a race that’ll last 30-40 minutes. It’s convenient; I don’t have to scan through events and calculate which route will take the right amount of time. My understanding is this “30-40 minutes” is the sweet spot for most Zwifters and the best way Zwift could get me to try more different events is not to remove events - it’s to give me a clear estimate of how long each one should take me.

I would like to see more variety in Zracing - I think having a month of flat races means it’s not great for those of us who struggle on flats - and maybe something like alternating between “Crit” races and non-crits every hour could be good.

Having said all this, it’s important to remember right now that the Tour de Zwift is on, and this dominates the calendar for 6 weeks a bit like the Tour de France dominates cycling when it’s on. It’s brilliant, it inspires people to get started riding events, it just has an impact which will subside in a couple of weeks.

If you look at the calendar for just race events, it doesn’t visually look like the ZRacing stuff is dominating. You could almost argue that there are too many other events that are competing with each other for the same audiences.

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Screenshot also shows zero longer events. I doubt any of them would reach 40 minutes in C category. And if you threw an hour long race into the mix it would probably be mostly deserted.

I guess it depends on one’s definition of longer. There are 4 races in a one-hour period over 20 miles (34km+) and these equate to being over 50% longer than the ZR race. I think you’d be a pretty elite racer finishing these in sub 40 minutes.

That said, if nobody has even scheduled longer races than this, I don’t see how ZR is to blame. Nor do I see how if there were eg 50km+ races that these would be attracting the same people that are looking for a shorter race?

I am participating in the ZR race series.
The previous race I did every week (3R Gotham Grinder) is not offered this year, at least in my available time slot.

ZR pros:

  1. I like racing different courses. After racing the same course every week for 2 years, I tailored my efforts to that 1 course. Probably better to mix it up

  2. The freq races let move my race time around family events.

  3. Larger C fields.

Con:
The races tend to be a bit short.
They are all about 2/3 the distance I would prefer.
This makes it hard to compare this year’s results to previous years.

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My bad! Who uses miles??? Still, only one of those looks like it would go over 1 hour for C category which is what I’d say is the absolute minimum to call it a long race.

Yeah I think this is true. I selfishly wish that Zwift would make more events that I would enjoy, but I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority. ZRacing hit Country To Coastal once which was nice. The TdZ Epic races are also nice, and mostly not epic, just a nice length. Truly epic races are often a wasteland where you may ride the whole thing alone because of the tiny field and separation on climbs. The few successful longer race series all seem to be on the weekend, which makes sense given the time most people have available.

The DZR After Party and Zwifty 50 series are good, and C category field adequate. Probably not enough in A/D though.

If ZR has the numbers, I would think they could easily(?) just schedule 2 races per hour, one shorter (<25km) and one longer (>40km).

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I’ve mentioned this on here before, but was immediately dismissed by a member if Zwift staff.

The popularity of ZRL and WTRL has completely decimated the all the other racing on Zwift. With everyone racing the above events on a Tuesday and Thursday for big chunks of the year the majority of other races are very poorly attended.

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They dominate in numbers though just look at any of them they have far more riders than any event near them.

Partially because they are convenient and everybody knows what to expect but I also think a large part of is to due the zwift megafone promoting them with emails, pace bots, badges, xp bonuses etc.

As a race organisers i’d say i’ve somewhat given up trying to compete it’s hard to engage teams/new riders to compete with our current toolset it’s just not worth the effort.

I’d love if the zwift events team did more to promote community racing but it does not seem a priority. I’ve said a few times why not do a community tour event. Give us double xp in certain events or something to encourage people to try out other events.

Thursday TTT is similar no other event organisers have access to TTT mode.

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Community Race Tour.

That is so brilliant.

Win / Win.

Why isn’t this already a thing?

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C Racer here.

I had been a pretty regular participant in the Rhino Crit series, and was really excited to see them branch out to other courses. I like Crit City, but there are other great options out there too. So when they started to use some of those, I thought it was great.

The different courses, for me, works both ways for the ZRacing series. On the one hand, I love getting to race courses that I might not normally be on. But I’m also too heavy (and too accustomed to my IRL flat as a pancake life) to compete up any sort of real climb. I love London, but I have to burn matches just on those little climbs up to the traffic circle (because I am … not … … getting … … … dropped {narrator: yeah, sometimes he his getting dropped on that stupid little bump}). I’ve done races that included Hilly or Titan’s, but nothing bigger than that. And I’m not at all interested in racing up Epic, Innsbruck, or the Alpe, but that’s just me.

I also love that there’s a GC Competition for ZRacing. I’m never going to compete near the top, but I do like looking at that standings and seeing where I am. So I try to do all of the events in a given month. But if I know I’ll miss an event (I’m travelling at the end Feb for instance), I’m less inclined to make sure to do the other weeks, and more likely to go back to Rhino.

One of the biggest advantages ZRacing has over Rhino for me is the timing. As someone else pointed out, it’s offered almost every hour. When I race, it tends to be in the middle of my work day when I’m working from home. If I have a meeting that conflicts with the Rhino time, I can’t do it. But ZRacing will be available an hour earlier or later, so I can fit it into my schedule. And as others before me have pointed out, I know roughly how long it’s going to take. I certainly know for Rhino’s Crit Series too, but in comparison to longer races; I can step away for 90 minutes to warm up, race, cool down, and shower. But a longer race in the middle of my work day? Probably not so much.

Someone else mentioned the Tour de Zwift. I suspect that whenever those big Zwift events are running, there’s a drop in all community event participation. You only have some much time on the bike, and have to prioritize your events. I imagine ZRL seasons have a similar effect, specifically on community racing events.

I don’t know if ZRacing is killing race variety or not. But I would guess that ZRacing is bringing more people into racing, which I think is good. The trick then is figuring out how to transition people beyond ZRacing and into the community events. I’m part of that problem; I self limit based on time of day, length of event, and event profile. ZRacing checks two of those boxes, and usually checks the third too.

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I don’t doubt what you’re saying. I think it’s somewhat a situation though where riders will do the Zwift big event, or ‘something else’ (ie. maybe because they already tried that week’s zwift event already). So maybe it’s that the ‘something else’ has a dozen organizers all vying for these riders in the same timeframe?

Thanks for joining the Rhino crits. @Gordon_Rhino-Racing and I developed these races beyond Crit City as a way for him to teach me how to manage events (and we’re trying the new Castle Crit route on Tuesday the 6th if you’re interested). There’s a negotiation with Zwift for every race time that a community organizer wants, so we don’t have the option of saturating the schedule. Plus there are a lot of other community organizers who want race times, so we end up competing with everyone else putting on races similar to ours.

This discussion certainly has me thinking about organizing some longer events on weekends, but we also don’t want to cannibalize our existing weekend events (Rhino Crash, Rhino Migration)

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I am wondering if Zwift will somehow continue with the longer weekend races that are being run now as ToW Epic Races 1-8 (60-90 minutes).

Those also have a good attendance and frequency just like the ZRacing so it is easy to fit one around family plans each weekend. What I like is that they are longer and make a different kind of workout. People seem to return to them.

But of course, if they made it a standing weekend series, it would kanibalize other community races…

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No no, thank you and the Rhino team for organizing those. Those were really my gateway to racing, and they’ve been great fun. Because they are the same time each week, you often get some of the same people week to week, and you start recognizing names; it’s great. (Oooh, there’s that guy who just nicked me at the line last week; gotta keep an eye on him and try to beat him this time!)

It would be interesting to know how race participation varies between weekdays and weekends. On the weekend, I’m more flexible for when I can ride, so racing there would make sense. But then I’m also more flexible for when I can ride, so I don’t always want to have to be on the bike at 10:15 Saturday morning. I want to take a little more time with my morning pastry and watch a little more EPL (#COYS), so maybe now I don’t want to get on the bike until 11:00. I also find that, for me, weekends on Zwift are similar to my weekends IRL. I normally ride alone IRL, and I can go as long or short as I want, when I want, where I want. Except for TdZ, I’m more likely to free ride on the weekend, or do a route that I haven’t gotten the badge for yet, or that I haven’t ridden for a while, and then free ride after that, than I am to do an organized ride. I don’t know if that’s common, or if I’m an outlier there.

That’s the great thing about Zwift for me as a rider, but the difficult thing about Zwift for you as an organizer. Zwift gives me the flexibility to ride how I want, when I want. If there’s an event that fits my parameters, excellent! if not, I can still ride. But for an organizer, you’re trying to find the right combination of various factors to attract the best audience, who have lots of options. Not a job I envy at all.

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i agree, but they’re always there. it used to be 3r races and a lot of those are still running, but a race that’s “always there” is a nice thing. i assume zhq have their finger on the pulse better than i do when it comes to actual attendance numbers, but my gut feeling thinks reducing the frequency during peak hours and leaving them where they are in the off hours might help out a lot of organisers and give people who do race regularly at peak hours more to choose from, without reducing the number of overall racers much

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just my perspective, as a guy who does a lot of races: people tend to look for where the party is. when a zhq event is on at peak EMEA times, well… that’s where the party is. instead of the equivalent KISS race, or DBR race

which is where the party used to be. by the way, i do these zracing things by the dozen. because that’s usually where the party is

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The Tour de Zwift series is a good option for longer and more varied courses. You can choose to race it with the front pack or go at your own pace.

Also, I enjoy 3R and Evo CC series on the longer meandering courses but they only have a few timeslots per day and pack size varies.

Rhino Racing have a good Crit and Chasing series.

But I agree, Zwift needs a series with 45min to 1 hour races similar to Evo CC and 3R, they would get a good turn out.

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