Barwon Heads Cycling Club on one of their virtual rides.

Cycling club reaches new heights during lockdown

June 11, 2020 BY

BARWON Heads Cycling Club has taken their cycling to new heights, with some members tackling an epic 11-hour ride last week, all without stepping outside.

Soon after social distancing regulations were announced, it became clear to the club they would not be riding as a group from some time – at least not physically.

Through the use of their Smart Trainers and indoor cycling app Zwift they have been able to ride together virtually.

Zwift can replicate real-life courses and allow rides as a group, as the Smart Trainer not only alters the difficulty of peddling when the user is riding uphill or downhill but also simulates the slipstream cyclists can get from riding in a peloton.

Club president Andrew Quayle said this virtual experience has been a good substitute for their normal gatherings.

“You can see the people you’re riding with and can race against then. And we actually talking to one another using an app, so it’s quite similar to us riding along on the roads, but were riding along in our sheds and our bedrooms.

“We don’t ride just for fitness, we ride for the camaraderie. So it’s allowed us to continue, and gather each morning and ride, which is great.”

Mr Quayle said some of the members recently decided to embark on a particularly arduous virtual ride.

“These guys in Melbourne started a thing called ‘Everasting’. ‘Everesting’ is where you’ve got to pick any one hill and you’ve got to climb it the equivalent height of Everest, and you have to do it in 24 hours with no sleep.

“You’ve got to work out how many vertical metres that hill is and how many vertical metres Mount Everest is (8,848 metres), and you’ve got to run it lap after lap until you run the equivalent vertical metres.”

The club chose the Alpe Du Zwift climb, a vertical rendering of the famous Alpe D’Huez course from the Tour de France. To complete their “Everest”, the group had to ride the course eight and a half times.

Three different members completed the gruelling ride, starting at 5am and reaching the summit just before 5pm.