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77 minutes | a month ago
Ep 95: Return to Home at last; Blob Behaviour and all the Zwifty news and chat
We’ve wanted it since Jarvis. And now it’s here. The Zwift universe celebrated this week as HQ finally delivered the ability to do a second or subsequent session - without exiting the game. Simon, Shane, Nathan and, as it’s a red letter day, special guest Eric Schlange, discuss the advent of the most requested feature of all time. Senior games guy Wes Salmon is on the Zwiftcast too - to discuss another sizeable development in the game this week - the tweaking of our virtual pelotons. The changes to pack dynamics, or blob behaviour, should make the Zwifting experience, smoother, more natural and more visually appealing. The regular crew and Eric discuss all the implications. r Simon also took the opportunity to quiz Wes on Sticky Draft - and his explanation may confound a few Zwifters who see it as nothing but a nuisance. In fact, it’s essential, as Wes explains. The podcasters run the rule over two big new appointments to the Zwift board - and read the runes on what their skillsets and experience may yield up about Zwift’s intentions. Simon also talks to a big new hire at Zwift, Lisa Bourne, whose brief includes, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Along with some chat about game events and participation, the podcasters once again debate the utility of The Fence - this time in light of Wes’s belief that the recent changes to pack dynamics may improve its performance. Concluding with a discussion about the disappearance of Zwift Transparency and the always-difficult subject of weight verification the Zwiftcasters get a bit serious before reverting to type as Simon complains his training plan is too hard :;) We hope you enjoy listening.
84 minutes | 2 months ago
Ep 94: Let's talk, say Zwift. Strava shake it up (again) and all the Zwifty news and chat
Simon, Shane and Nathan reconvene to consider the state of the Zwift nation. Once the pressing matter of “leg posts” is dealt with, the podcasters move on to discuss the content of Simon’s interview with Zwift’s new hire Mark Cote, the company’s director of programming and content. One of the many strands of Mark’s expansive new role, which he explains in some detail, is to improve the communications between community and company, a move that the Zwiftcasters believe will be welcome. There’s been yet another Strava shake-up on Watopia and the other Zwift worlds with a whole load of segments vanishing from the public view. Simon chats with Zwift Insider’s head of everything, Eric Schlange, on what it all means, how it came about and why it might be time for a re-think of how segments are made and managed. The podcasters range across a cornucopia of Zwift business including signs of Zwift restricting some hardware on some platforms for some users and the reasons why more women seem to be getting public sanctions for cheating in racing than men. Zwift has recently launched another of its social impact campaigns, this time celebrating the contribution Black athletes have made to the sport. Simon chats to one of the inspirational voices of the initiative, ex-racer and Zwift staffer Rahsaan Bhati. And in and amongst all that there’s lots of other Zwift-related chat. We hope you enjoy listening.
85 minutes | 3 months ago
Ep 93: Peak Zwift, Coco is Cara! Zwift Power + all the Zwifty chat
A new episode for a New Year - and 2021 has dawned with, as usual, lots of Zwift news and developments for the Zwiftcasters to discuss.The trio start off with an exploration of the possible reasons why Simon’s very favourite pacer bot may have had an identity change. Coco is now Cara! But why? Simon has a theory. The podcasters move on to discuss the big new Peak Zwift - with more than 46,000 users on the platform concurrently the growth of Zwift over the past year can now be quantified, using this public metric. Up from a mere 16,000 concurrent users at the same point last year, Simon, Shane and Zwift celebrate the achievement whilst also exploring what it all means. Just in time for the Tour de Zwift’s six remaining stages, the game’s developers think they may have found a possible bug which could explain why some users (previously described by the chaps as “potato-owners”) have hit problems riding big events. Are potatoes off the hook? The Zwiftcasters chime in. A high profile departure from Zwift of a respected event organiser seems to have focussed some attention on the event management system - is a new hire at Zwift, combined with the drama of the departure, an answer to some of the gripes Event Organisers have? And Zwift Power has been having a tough time recently - Glen Knight, one half of the service’s inventors tries to shed light on what may be happening. Plus all the usual other Zwift news and chat! We hope you enjoy listening.
92 minutes | 4 months ago
Ep 92: Where is Zwift going this winter? Plus the Worlds and what Coco said next
Simon, Shane and Nathan link up for another chat about all matters Zwift. And this episode the Zwiftcasters are preoccupied with one question: Where Is Zwift Going This Winter? They attempt to answer the question by examining the most recent information given out by Zwift CEO Eric Min who gave an interview to Bloomberg and revealed a few snippets during his Thanksgiving Day Ride. The Zwiftcast trio try to assemble the pieces of the jigsaw to see if they can come up with a big picture - but they freely admit, there might be some missing pieces that could change the final image! Simon interviews sports cardiologist Professor Graham Stuart, from sportscardiology.co.uk to look at some of the myths and truths around a subject of endless fascination to the Zwift community - Heart Rate. The chaps move on to discuss the first ever e-sports World Cycling Championships held on Zwift and how they saw the coverage, the racing and the introduction of a brand new metric. Finally Simon, Shane and Nathan hoover up a few other bits and pieces including Coco Cadence’s vocabulary, the slightly surprising revelation that only 25% of all Zwifters are American and whether the Shift Smart Trainer gadget might pull a few Peloton-ites in a Zwifty direction. We hope you enjoy listening.
79 minutes | 6 months ago
Ep 91: Insight on the Pacer Bots from HQ, Ray Maker on indoor cycling and the gigantic success of WTRL + all the Zwfty chat
As the world waits - and much of Europe closes its doors - Simon, Shane and Nathan try to be upbeat in trying times and consider the Two Big Hits in Zwift right now. Pace Partners, or pacer bots, are a big success with Zwifters and senior games guy Wes Salmon, from HQ, talks to Simon about scope for development and some ideas being tossed around to make Coco, Dan and their pals even more bestie friends for Zwifters. The podcasters chuck in a few of their thoughts. Ray Maker, or DC Rainmaker, is one of the most respected voices in sports tech and Simon pulls out two big talking points around indoor cycling from Ray’s annual keynote address to the industry. The Zwftcasters have their say too. And whilst the success of the WTRL racing series may have been predictable, it’s made it no less overwhelming for the organisers. Simon talks to part of the leadership team, Martin Carew, about the headaches as well as the benefits of the TTT event that’s taking Zwift racing by storm. There’s just time for a bit of Zwift-related banter and as ever, the Zwiftcasters take up the challenge. We hope you enjoy listening!
88 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 90: Zwift CEO Eric Min discusses 2020 and Zwift's new thinking
Zwift CEO Eric Min guests on the Zwiftcast on Episode 90 to discuss some of the big changes that 2020 has brought to the platform. In an interview which is focused on this tumultuous year and on the consequences of the big new fund raise, Eric explains some company thinking. A flood of new users as the pandemic hit has caused Zwift to accelerate its plans to simplify the platform for new users. Simon grills Eric on what the consequences of this policy may be for existing users. Eric also discusses the decision to place Rowing on pause and his thinking around pricing. Eric also talks about what new investor Ilkkaa Paanen, the CEO of games company, Supercell, will bring to Zwift. Simon, Shane and Nathan reflect on Eric’s thoughts and speculate on how the new thinking may be implemented. Elsewhere there’s an interview with Zwift’s Jacob Fraser talking about the new Zwift Racing League. Oh, and swooping Australian magpies! We hope you enjoy listening.
83 minutes | 8 months ago
Ep89: The big catch up! Steering, PacerBots, all new Academies, the eWorlds, The Fence and more
The Zwiftcast is back from its summer break - with a huge catch up as Simon, Shane and Nathan reflect on recent developments on the platform. Steering is the headline grabber, with a number of respected voices in indoor cycling describing its arrival on the roads of Zwift as a game-changer. Are they right? The arrival of the long-awaited Pacer Bots are welcomed by Simon, Shane and Nathan, who are all anxious to see more of them, more often and doing more stuff! The Academy programmes have just launched and with a big change to how they’re run, plus the addition of a Run Academy, Simon talks to the new coaching company devising the programmes and the associated supporting content. The e-Worlds will happen on Zwift and the Zwiftcasters have a wide-ranging discussion, taking in the undoubted huge publicity value of the e-sports events while addressing concerns from both the wider and the racer community. Would Shane and Nathan make it as recruits to the new Zwift ambassadorial programme which pays experienced Zwifters to solve other Zwifters’ tech issues? The boys play a silly game to find out. We hope you enjoy listening!
81 minutes | 9 months ago
Ep 88: La Belle France and the Tour virtuel + all the Zwifty chat
La belle France est arrivee! Simon, Shane and Nathan celebrate the arrival of brand new roads in Zwift. The inaugural Tour de France Virtuel, itself a landmark in the history of the platform, has co-incided with lots of new Tarmac - always a good moment for Zwifters. The Zwiftcasters pick out their favourite bits as well as giving their overall impressions of the new roads to ride. We have an interview with Zwift marketing grand fromage, James La Londe to get some insight into the importance of the vTDF and later in the episode, ASO, the owners of the Tour de France talk about why this deal made sense to them. Simon, Shane and Nathan play a silly game - assigning marks to the various new road painted slogans that have sprouted in Zwift - with the award of a Yellow Jersey and a Lanterne Rouge. And we have an interview with Freddie Ovett, the Israel Start Up Nation rider who has lit up the racing so far in Stages One to Four. Getting the narrowest of second places on St 2 and a great win on St 4, Ovett discusses Zwift, Power Ups . . . . and his dad. The Zwiftcasters chew over the big improvements in race coverage, with new broadcast tools getting their debut in the vTdF. And of course there’s always room for more teasing of Simon over his continuing Tron Bike Fail. We hope you enjoy listening.
65 minutes | 10 months ago
Episode 87: New Roads to Ride? TdF on Zwift and all the Zwifty chat
Could we be about to get a series of new roads to ride? Simon, Shane and Nathan assess the impact on Zwifters of the (as yet officially unconfirmed) news that Zwift is to stage a virtual version of Le Tour de France, complete with the IRL planned start and finish stages in Nice and Paris. Perhaps more excitingly, there is speculation that the talk of a “marquee climb” may be a new TdF climb, rather than the existing recreation of L’Alpe D’Huez. If so - and it’s still an “if”, which one might it be . . .Simon boils down the likely choices and the Zwiftcasters decide which one of those candidate climbs it might be. Taco Cat has made a name for himself with his occasionally bizarre, and very frequent, posts in the Zwift forums online . . . .Simon tracks down Taco Cat to his lair to find out more about his owner, Craig Hulce. Despite an uninvited guest in the form of a large and very noisy jackhammer directly outside Zwiftcast Central, the podcasters push on to discuss the recent Race for Heroes and how successful and entertaining the charity event was. Could this be a pointer towards the chase format figuring more strongly in Zwift racing? Zwift CEO Eric Min has been named as the 30th most influential person in cycling . . . . did Cycling News’ Power List get this right?. . . . .the Zwiftcasters discuss. Pride Month has seen a whole series of events across the platform spreading the inclusivity message and Zwift has backed the initiative with a substantial donation to Athlete Ally, an advocacy group. Simon talks to the organisation’s executive director Hudson Taylor. Finally the Zwiftcasters wrap up the episode with a tech round-up, including a plea to Strava to sort out the “long straight line” quirk which would, for example, make linking rides in Paris and Nice not possible on Zwift. We hope you enjoy listening.
75 minutes | a year ago
Episode 86: Game Updates, the massive success of Team TT and all the Zwifty chat
The Zwiftcasters are back - coinciding nicely with a game update and Simon, Shane and Nathan have lots to discuss. Simon chats to Steven Milliken, one of the founders of the WTRL race series which is making team time trialling into a massive thing on Zwift. The promoters’ difficulties with data privacy have now been resolved and Steven discusses how the small team manage the huge demands from Zwifters wanting to time trial together. The Zwiftcasters follow up Steven’s interview with discussions on how people who donate large amounts of time to the community may be able to get their costs covered. We have a new Power Up in game - the Steam Roller and the chaps discuss how this might best be used. Simon talks to Ashleigh Moolman Pasio, the standout rider from the Tour For All race series. Ashleigh has some fascinating thoughts on how Zwift racing can advance the cause of women’s racing. In a fun spot, Simon asks Shane and Nathan to turn interviewers and find out why he’s spent the last few weeks stranded in Girona. The role switch experiment is not entirely successful! In the final feature Simon talks to Tri coach Phil Ellison about how changes made to the coaching regimes as a result of Lockdown are likely to become permanent because they’ve been so successful. There’s a few other bits of Zwifty chat - including the continuing saga of Simon’s lack of a Tron bike. We hope you enjoy listening.
74 minutes | a year ago
Episode 85: Zwift beyond the crisis; Private MeetUps and Boost Mode plus all the Zwifty chat
Simon, Shane and Natahn return for more chat on the latest in Zwift. This epsiode, Steve Beckett, Zwift's Chief Marketing Officer, is a special guest, with lots to say on Zwift during and beyond the crisis, plus thoughts on Family Subs, Club Functionality and community racing. The podcasters range across the new Boost Mode in game; how Private MeetUps could be revolutionary and the current Tour For All. There's also an interview with Guy Voisin, the head of cycling at Eurosport on what changes he'd like to see in game to make racing a more appealing TV proposition. We hope you enjoy listening.
24 minutes | a year ago
Episode 84: Celebrating the Zwift Community
A special episode featuring the very best of the Zwift Community in these lockdown times. Simon talks to BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin about the overwhelming response to her charity ride on behalf of the NHS. Louise tackled an imperial century - in the company of more than 1,500 other Zwifters. Simon also chats to Jason Dyck, the Canadian coach who organised what’s thought to be the first ever group ride for para-cyclists on Zwift. It was a resounding success and will now become a weekly fixture. And finally Simon gets to know a little bit more about Netto Smith, the South African Zwifter who’s become a bit of a star because of his joyful videos riding Zwift in Lockdown. We hope you enjoy listening.
58 minutes | a year ago
Ep 83: Pro Riders on Zwift, the good and bad; Monica is the Route Hero and the Pants Podium!
Simon, Shane and Nathan reconvene for Episode 83 - and to celebrate a minor victory; the return of the famous First Attempt Very Intens Strava segment on Zwift. Simon has a little insight into how it happened. Lionel Birnie, one of the co-hosts of the popular Cycling Podcast joins Simon for a chat about the recently updated Meetups in the game and to discuss what the prospects may be for a return of IRL bike racing this year. The Zwiftcasters spend a few minutes riffing on the behaviour of pro riders in Group Rides on Zwift, ranging from the exemplary . . . to the not so good and the chaps have a few thoughts on how things may be improved. Monica Schlange, writer for Zwift Insider, is recovering after her monumental Route Hero achievement. Simon talks to Monica about the best bits and the hardest bits. Do we even need to see The Fence back? Simon, Shane and Nathan discuss whether self regulation on Group Rides has settled into something acceptable. And the podcasters round off this episode with awards made on the Zwiftcast Pants Podium . . .jeans, track pants and all day pyjamas . . . . who’s wearing what and why? We hope you enjoy listening
62 minutes | a year ago
Episode 82: Anti Sandbagging "catches' the boss! The Ineos Weekend and Cops called to Zwifter!
Simon, Shane and Nathan are back with another of the weekly round-ups of all matters Zwifty The podcasters kick off with a brief discussion on the Ineos Weekend - and the loss of the legendary First Attempt-Very Intens Strava segment, thanks to the ride logging app’s clean-up. Owen Newbury talks about his awesome scheme to project Zwift on the side of his house, then the chaps have a light hearted discussion on whether Zwift CEO was “caught” sandbagging before Zwift Insider’s Eric Schlange gives his reaction to the early tests of the measures. There’s further discussion of the Ineos events and streams before an interview with Keith Jardine who was taken by surprise when the police were called to him Zwifting in his garden shed. Finally Simon talks to acclaimed ride leader Sharron Yaxley on passing her 100,000kms on Zwift milestone. We hope you enjoy listening
86 minutes | a year ago
Episode 81: Is this the Solution to Sandbagging? Plus all the Zwifty chat
Another week - another Zwiftcast. Simon, Shane and Nathan unite to discuss the boom times on Zwift as the platform provides welcome relief from the burden of the virus. The headline feature on this episode is the long-awaited Solution to Sandbagging. This is a short term fix which Zwift hopes to implement within days (for testing) and weeks (for a full roll out) The approach sees four types of warnings/sanctions applied to Sandbaggers . . . listen to a full explanation of the system from senior game guy Jordan Rapp. The Zwiftcasters move on to discuss the measures Zwift is putting in place to prioritise the stability of the platform as truly enormous numbers flood the events which are proving so popular as Zwifters look for a challenge to distract them from the concerns caused by the pandemic. One of the biggest rides has been with Mark Cavendish - and Simon talks to a Zwifter who got picked out of 3,500 riders for a live Insta chat with the Manx Missile himself. Later the podcasters speculate about the cryptic clues on a new feature outlined in the latest update and wonder whether some interesting development work on enhanced Power Ups described by Jordan may offer further hints. Simon also gets behind the story of one particular Event on the Zwift schedule. The Bike Breaks Shop Ride is an IRL institution. Now transferred to Zwift, this ride is proving a source of much needed comfort and support for a bike business which has been hammered by the travel ban across Europe. And finally, the Zwiftcasters talk about the implications of other platforms muscling into the online eSports area and whether they’re making a good job of it. We hope you enjoy listening.
80 minutes | a year ago
Episode 80: The Fence is Back, Clubs Launches and Tour de Quarantine
Simon, Shane and Nathan are back with the second of the new cycle of weekly Zwiftcasts - and there sure is a lot to talk about. Special guest Wes Salmon from HQ appears twice to give us a ton of detail on both the return of The Fence and why it went wrong, plus the thinking behind the limited launch of the much-awaited Clubs feature. We also have another honoured guest, Brad Sohner, the genius behind the funny and uplifting Tour de Quarantine, which now has a Zwifter in the mix. Elsewhere the Zwiftcasters range across the very busy period on Zwift, with a few changes that come under the “let’s be nice to noobs” category, plus the turbo trainer famine and why rowing won’t be coming to Zwift anytime soon. And of course, the podcasters make room for discussion of Peak Zwift. It seems we have a winner ;) We hope you enjoy listening
68 minutes | a year ago
Episode 79: Crazy numbers on Zwift; will there be a trainer shortage and changes at HQ
In a worried world, Simon, Shane and Nathan try to look at the positives whilst recognising some of the serious matters facing Zwifters. Episode 79 marks the first of the weekly episodes during the virus crisis. Simon kicks off with a Zwiftcast plea to HQ- let’s turn the Unemployed Badge into a Work From Home Badge . . . it just seems kinda better right now. The podcasters move on to discuss the remarkable figures in the game as new Zwifters pour onto the platform in huge numbers. Simon is confident of victory in the Zwiftcast’s Peak Zwift Guessing Game. But could a limiting factor end up being a trainer shortage? There are signs it may happen although an update from Elite on the unprecedented measures they’ve taken to ensure supply provides some hope for those keen to get their hands on a smart trainer. The chaps discuss and dismiss the several calls for Zwift to be made free - and Dick, if you’re listening . . .we don’t mean to be mean! In a packed episode Simon talks to a Dad and Lad team who’ve been on Zwift for years - and looks at how the company is dealing with another huge influx, the number of kids getting signed up under the company’s excellent Kids Go Free scheme as parents look for healthy diversions in the home. Simon, Shane and Nathan take a look at the news that Zwift has undergone a management re-organisation, with lay offs, and what that may mean for Zwifters. There’s lso a feature on Group Meetups - part of the game which has come into very sharp focus in the crisis. . . . .with lots of advice to HQ on how it may be tweaked. And finally, the podcasters seem to have gone challenge crazy - listen to find out who has now challenged who to what! We hope you enjoy listening and we hope you stay safe.
84 minutes | a year ago
Episode 78: Peak Zwift Revisited, Community Reaction to the Virus + Operation Cofidis
The Zwiftcasters are working from home! But then we always do :) Simon, Shane and Nathan are back together to discuss how the extraordinary events of the past weeks have been impacting them personally, the sport they love - and the cycling game that is providing both escape from, and therapy for, a troubled world. That doesn’t mean we are ignoring the virus - that’s impossible. And we hope Listeners understand that we can’t not talk about what everyone is talking about. In the light of the huge surge of Zwifters onto the platform, many of them new, the Zwiftcast has re-opened Peak Zwift Guessing Game. Tune in to see how big Simon, Shane and Nathan think the surge will be. The importance of online communities in these difficult times is elevated and the chaps discuss how the Zwift Community is responding, with increased participation in events and lots of special guest riders, in the form of pro riders, turning up and helping to foster a sense of togetherness. And we have the full extraordinary story of how Zwift staff negotiated their way through a locked down quarantine zone in the UAE to bring some relief to pro riders stranded in their hotel rooms by the virus. These are difficult and distressing times. . . .but remember: you never feel worse after a bike ride. We hope you enjoy listening.
76 minutes | a year ago
Episode 77: Richmond refreshed, Ella wins big and the Minterview verdict
Simon, Shane and Nathan convene for another hour-plus of Zwift chat. The podcasters begin with their reaction to the big refresh for the Richmond course and conclude that it’s a huge improvement. Throughout this episode Simon, Shane and Nathan discuss the biggest and most significant aspects of last episode’s interview with Zwift CEO, Eric Min. Amongst the subjects forensically analysed and discussed are the pace of development on the platform; Eric’s unusual comment about “digital destinations” and the state of play with trainer manufacturers’ innovation. Simon also chats to Ella Harris, the NZ winner of the Zwift Academy who is now making a name for herself winning IRL races. We hope you enjoy listening!
80 minutes | a year ago
Ep 76: The Minterview . . . Zwift CEO and Simon in conversation
Simon sits down with Zwift CEO Eric Min for the now traditional “ask me anything” annual interview, covering a huge range of topics from the health of the company to, yes, the possibility of a velodrome. The conversation provides deep context and background on why some things happen, and why others don’t . . . . plus quite a bit on the pace at which things happen, or don’t, on the platform. We hope you listen to the whole of the interview, but if there’s one subject in which you are particularly interested, maybe you’d like to skip to that first. So here is a log of where to find the topics covered. 00:00Hello and a word on transparency 01:45 Zwift’s new London office 02.45 What’s made Eric happy in the last year? GENERAL ISSUES 04.30 Pace of development for Zwift 05.40 Peak Zwift and growth 07:15 Fun is Fast marketing campaign 09:40 Is eSports a massive, risky bet? 15.20 More on pace of development, specifically Game Development 19:50 Zwift’s new Hardware division COMMUNITY ISSUES 27:15 Trainer Difficulty confusion 29.30 Juniors’ Racing 32:00 Race Categorisation/Sandbagging 38:30 Is eSport in danger of diminishing general user experience? 43:00 Family Pricing Plan 45:30 Zwifting for people with disabilities or different abilities? 47:20 Is Zwift listening to the community? FEATURES 51:15 Steering 52:45 FutureWorks 54:00 Ghost Rider/PB Bot 56:25 World Switching Expansion 57:15 Workout Mode 60:15 Allow Saving Without Exiting Game 62:15 Hang out after end of ride 63:35 Velodrome 64:55 Can remote racing ever be credible? 68:15 What’s the next new map? COMPANY 69.30 When will Zwift be profitable? 70:25 Future of running 73.05 Effects of lack of direct competition for Zwift 75:45 Marks out of ten for Zwift’s potential 77:55 Zwift’s carbon footprint
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