Zwift Academy Road 2021 Baseline Ride FAQ

I only saw the flashing light on the sprint segment. I was looking for it and was not sure when the other segments started. I had to assume when the segments score box showed up that it would start.
Why is there not a progress bar for the segments to help you pace them?


Totally agree. The same schedule repeated every day isn’t flexible. There are no 6am or 8pm baseline rides (my time zone and preferred Zwift time)

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This has a lot of potential. Using SIM mode and the virtual terrain of Watopia is a brilliant idea to perform baseline testing outside of workout mode (and without the limitations of ERG).

What this lacks is the hand holding in-game. Notifications on-screen at a minimum. Thinking a few steps ahead, having audible cues throughout the ride as you approach segments would be brilliant. eg, Having the voice of Rahsaan Bahati in our ears as we enter the sprint would be super motivating!

As it stands, I had no idea what was going on with the ride. I (and many others, I assume) don’t have time to read FAQs, watch videos, then re-do this test ride, etc. We want to step on the bike, click a few buttons, and get it done. This is not an optimal on-boarding experience for ZA for any level of rider. I appreciate the limitations of the platform and the reliance on CA to breakdown the results… but it was a letdown for me today.


I struggled to spot the beginning of the segments as well. It might be good if there was some warning letting riders know that a segment is coming up? It’s probably my fault (relative newbie) and reading this FAQ helps. I’ll do the ride again. Will the system know to use my second baseline ride as the baseline instead of my first?

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It would be nice if Zwift would display the ride description or some instructions while in the starting pen. A simple text overlay that appears as soon as you join the pen. It would go a long way towards helping overcoming the issue of people signing up for a ride without reading description/FAQs or ZwiftInsider articles beforehand.

Also, Zwift added 500m to go markers in the segments. Why not a great big fat arsed banner over the start of the segments which are notoriously difficult to spot unless you know exactly where to look? This is at least doable with the current Zwift system isn’t it (see 500m to go markers)?


I thought this would of been a lot more dictated, and thought incorrectly it was going to be somehow structured.

One thing I got totally confused about was the new Academy 500m markers, after doing a couple of the segments its now obvious these are to signify ‘500m to the finish’ - however I incorrectly assumed on the first sprint its was showing you “hey - get ready - you have 500m to start…”

I was then confused when I I saw the standard KOM road markers and then a few minutes later the new Academy marker, I proceeded to slow down again and get ready for the start, only for it not to appear (as I was indeed already into the segment)

So having to give this ride another go.

You need to add more visible markers or visual guides for these types of rides.


I agree with you, I feel like progress bar is an extremely necessary feature for this. I don’t understand why can’t Zwift include such simple feature.

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I think if you repeat baseline ride it will take your best time for each segment. You can see number of attempts and personal bests in Zwift Companion.

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Happy Thursday all. Just wanted to update you that per a sensible community request, Powerups have been disabled on the Baseline Rides moving forward.


Thanks all for being such productive, engaged members of the Zwift community. Our team that’s driving ZA has been intently following all of the experiences you’ve noted and we’re looking at how we can continually improve.

This idea of a semi-structured performance assessment utilizing a course rather than ERG mode is super exciting and we’re learning the right steps and UI to help guide, regardless of pack size. We’re pumped about the potential of this.

Thank you.



I know this isn’t a race and we’re competing against ourselves but is there a leaderboard where we can see how the other riders did on this ride or globally?

I normally have ERG mode off and didn’t see where I would look for this setting for the baseline ride yet somehow I seemed to be in ERG mode – I didn’t feel any elevation changes. Is this a glitch or user error on my part? Where do I check to see if I am in ERG mode for this ride? I just hit the big orange ride button and then it asks if I want to join the event I registered for and it drops me into it.

Keep it up Mark - I love this format (semi-structured assessment).

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Hi @Beth_Z, welcome to the forums.

ERG mode is not available for the baseline ride, so if you weren’t feeling elevation changes then something went wrong with pairing your trainer to Zwift. What type of trainer do you have and what devices do you use to run the game?

Hey @Ron_Aloha!

Welcome to the Zwift community!

There is not a leaderboard for these rides. The goal is to get a baseline for where you’re starting, then do a retest on the same course in 8 weeks to see how you progressed after Zwift Academy. Good luck with this year’s Academy!

Ride On!

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Hi @Mike_Rowe1 , I have a Wahoo Kickr and re-paired it last night after trying the ride and not feeling elevation. Tried again this morning and the same thing. But, when I did the orientation ride on Monday I could feel it. I was running the app on a Samsung Galaxy tablet. There were others in the ride with me who had the same problem…Oh, and my trainer difficulty was set to right in the middle and I tried adjusting that but didn’t feel a difference.

This may be what you’re experiencing: Kickr Bike & Trainer resistance is non responsive in free ride [August 2021] [1.16.0] - #71 by Lee_H

Because so many new Zwifters are doing this training event series, it is extra important for ZHQ to make this as easy as possible. Obviously it would have been possible to give notice of the start for the test sections since there’s new 500m to go signs.

So many riders in my event this morning had no idea of when the sections were going to start. I had the start distances list on my table and messaged the group as we rode. Judging by the number of “Thanks” I got there were lots who had no idea where the sections were.

Maybe a ride leader bot. They could speak to all of these questions when we leave the pen.

And how in the world did I end up with a black cap? I couldn’t switch it out and that was annoying.

Come on, I know you can do better than this.

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I did this a couple days ago, I think I saw GP Lama in the pens.

I was confused with the segments and purple markers. I did the advanced/A grade ride.

I missed the first sprint, because I saw the 500m marker and thought it was 500 meters TO GO and assumed I had missed the start.

Then after this, you encounter a KOM that is standard for the map and I didn’t want to miss out again, so I went for it, only to discover that it was a fakey and you get pulled off to the left.

Then you see another 500m purple sign, but for no reason. Don’t know why it’s there.

Then you see another 500m sign and that is warning you of the START of the mini climb segment. There is also another identical 300m meter sign (distance remaining) at the end.

Then there is only one more segment, the final KOM. So I assumed this was it.

So my feedback is, remove the sprints and KOM’s triggers that are not relevant. And also, if you’re not going to have a pop-up warning (like in a workout) at least make the markers indicating upcoming segment start and upcoming segment finish look different, not just a purple marker with a very blurry 300 or 500 written on it.


Thanks Mark, seems similar for sure. I tried a free ride today (not the baseline ride) and it worked just fine…maybe I’ll try the baseline ride again soon just to see if the problem is fixed or not…I did close and reopen the app per the thread’s suggestion. Appreciate you hunting this down for me!