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Biking Indoors

Miss the thrill of cycling with your friends? Zwift may just be your answer!


Biking indoors is definitely not a preferable option for most cyclists. But due to the necessary lockdown measures, many have turned to an indoor training device in order to maintain their fitness. In fact, there has been an exponential growth in sales for these devices. While undoubtedly incomparable to the experience of a cycling track, they attempt to simulate a natural cycling environment with technological innovation.



The most prominent example is Zwift. In a nutshell, Zwift is a virtual universe that unifies cyclists worldwide digitally with elements of competitive gaming. With just your laptop, phone, or tablet, your bike and a smart turbo trainer, you’ll soon find yourself racing against other avid cyclists as your boredom ebbs away.


How It Works

Of course, this is all possible due to the complex technology behind the app. It utilises ANT+ or Bluetooth signals transmitted from sensors on the trainer. Zwift picks up data – for instance, the power you exert when cycling. Such data is then translated into your avatar virtually.


Image Source: https://brandinside.asia/virtual-exercise-in-covid-19/


The gaming feature of this app separates Zwift from the others. It’s possible to customise your avatar before choosing the type of ride – from power training to races to casual rides, the possibilities are endless, especially due to the multiplayer feature. Zwift’s world is made up of digital graphics that your avatar rides through, simulating Earth’s breathtaking scenery. The system also tracks progress and calculates important cycling statistics such as speed. With all these benefits, cycling indoors is not as much as a hindrance to training as it once was. Personally, I find it intriguing how virtual technology has progressed to the point where it feels very close to reality.


Sources

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-24/this-invention-makes-riding-a-bike-indoors-a-lot-less-awful

https://www.mantel.com/blog/en/zwift#sensorsbluetoothant


Written by Nichapatr (Petch) Lomtakul