An informal poll at the recent club holiday get together at Jake’s Steakhouse revealed that a surprising number of OCC members have jumped on the Zwift wagon this year. As a result, we decided to start an Orrville Cycling Club Zwift “Meetup”. That’s Zwift’s term for a member organized ride.
On Wednesday, December 19th at 7:00 pm we held our first club meetup. Five club members “met up” virtually on Zwift and rode the “Greatest London Loop”, a circuit of about 17 miles and a little over 1,000 feet of climbing. The ride was a success, mostly. One member crashed when he rode off his rollers resulting in some basement floor rash. Another repeatedly got dropped when his trainer malfuntioned, suddenly jumping to maximum resistance. The ride started on time. It was a bit chaotic at first because stage 3 of the Tour of London started at the same time. After a few minutes we were out of the crowd and on relatively quiet roads. An hour later we finished and everyone seemed to think it was pretty cool experience.
Because of the success of our first Zwift Meetup, we’ll be hosting more. We’ll probably move to Thursdays so as not to conflict with Amish Night Rides. Only invited riders can participate in a meetup. That’s how zwift prevents spammers from setting up false meetups or otherwize exploiting the site.
Here’s how to get invited. Go to the OCC Facebook page. Find the posting there about Zwift rides (it’s in an orange-yellow block around December 17th). Comment on the post and include your Zwift name. Then, go to Zwift Companion. On the “Find Zwifters” page search for Tom Ozbolt and “follow” him. Tom will approve your follow request. When he schedules future meetups, he with then be able to invite you.You’ll receive an invitation notification with the date/time. About 15 minutes before the scheduled time, log into Zwift and get on your trainer. You should see a “Join Meetup” button on the bottom left of your screen. Just click that and you’ll be teleported to the meetup location. During the ride, the meetup organizer/leader is identified with a yellow beacon overhead. The other riders’ names will be green highlighted on the “Nearby Zwifters” list.
Warning! If you’re late, you won’t be able to join. A workaround is to search Zwift for the meetup leader and join him/her. Unfortunately you won’t see the leader’s yellow beacon or the other riders’ highlighted names.