Tour de Zwift 2023 | Stage 5 | Longer Ride

Stage 5 of this years Tour de Zwift saw us move over to New York, and on the Longer Ride today we were tackling the Everything Bagel route. I’m pretty sure that means all the roads in both directions, but I could be wrong.

With my knee still not right, I was nevertheless drawn to the Longer Ride today as whilst there was ~500m of climb, it was spread out over 30km with plenty of flats in between. Also, being the Tour de Zwift, there would no doubt be plenty of other rides going at my target pace to keep me company.

The plan then, was to ride at 200w. That would be 200w on the flats, 200w on the hills, 200w on the descents. Harder to do on the descents, admittedly, but the flats and hills it should be doable.

Out of the gate, it was hard not to push beyond my boundaries. It’s really frustrating being pegged back – and it would be nicer, in some ways if that boundary could be enforced by the computer / turbo trainer somehow. More on that in a moment.

Within 2km we were on the ascent towards the first of the days climbs. Pretty much this was a case of get in the little ring and spin, or stand and do some low cadence work. Either way, rein it in, keep the watts under control, and as a result the risk of doing any damage nicely minimised.

After that first climb where everything seemed to go to plan, I was getting constantly passed by groups on the descent and again, the desire to push a bit and get on a wheel was hard to resist.

Around the 10km mark though, I had found a group. Several times I thought they were going to drop me, and I had resolved not to chase, though each time they seemed to bunch back up and I managed a good 10km with them.

During that time I was asking questions in main chat around whether it was possible to use ERG mode somehow during the ride, in order to glue myself to 200w.

It turns out it can be done by using Trainer Road, and a mixture of BlueTooth and ANT+:

However, being a clown, I decided I would see if knocking the trainer difficulty down to 0% and then making use of the Garmin head unit options could get me where I wanted to be.

Spoiler: no.

What did happen after this was… well, a disaster.

I mucked around in the options, trying to find the trainer difficulty menu, for what must have been 5 minutes.

When I finally got going again, trainer difficulty dutifully set to 0%, I tried to set the resistance from the Garmin.


All that did was mess things up, massively.

All of a sudden I had no resistance. Nothing. I could pedal hard, even in the lowest gear, and still I couldn’t get much passed 150w. It was bonkers.

From there it took basically disconnecting and reconnecting all my devices one by one, in order to reset everything so that Zwift and the Tacx Neo 2 started responding appropriately again.

Lesson learned. Don’t go off canvas mid ride. Thankfully it was intentionally a chilled ride, or it would have been super frustrating. But then, I wouldn’t have risked it.

After that it was just about seeing the ride out. I did worry that with 10km left I would have to limp home with no resistance. It wasn’t so bad in terms of the effort was super easy, but man it would have taken probably another hour.

So that’s Stage 5. My knee actually felt better than I expected. Two rest days have likely helped. Hopefully I can get in another ERG based tempo session tomorrow as a more controlled evaluation. I wonder if I can use MyWhoosh for that?

We shall see.

Oh by the way.

If you’re wondering what the heck this image is:

It’s from Open AI’s Dall-e.

It’s an AI image I generated based on the prompt : virtual reality cyclist in New York city.

Pretty wild eh?

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