With all of Europe going into lockdown again, cycling outside in the sun with friends and club mates is not possible for the next month at least. Whilst we can still cycle outside solo, scratching that group ride itch is proving difficult.
Thank heavens then for Zwift! Dirty Wknd are running loads of Zwift group rides during the lockdown, so that we can meet up with our mates, ride around in circles and talk nonsense! Sadly we can't replicate the mid ride coffee and cake stop, but you'll just have to use your imagination there.
However, a few riders are having issues joining a Zwift group ride. There isn't loads of information out there, especially for riders who are new to Zwift, so please read below for our top tips on how to join a group ride on Zwift.
Zwift Event vs Private Group Ride
Before we go over how to join a ride, it's worth looking at the difference between a zwift group event/race and a private 'meet up'. Both are hosted in the companion app (see below) but they are a little bit different. Zwift events are open to the public and are shown in the events section of the companion app. There are hundreds, they're really great and you can join any that take your fancy.
A private meet up however is usually a smaller group event and often created by someone you know. You have to be invited by the organiser (you need to follow each other) and accept the invite. Only then will the ride show in your events tab.
Step 1 - Download the Companion App
If you've got to this point we're assuming you already have a Zwift set up, but if not then check out our how to get on Zwift blog. Once you're set up with a Zwift account, you can download the companion app, which allows you to join events and chat to other zwifters.
Once you've downloaded the app, log in/create an account and then follow the below steps.
Step 2 - Follow the organiser
All Dirty Wknd group Zwift rides are organised in our members app, so the details of the group organiser (the person you need to follow) will be listed there for our rides. If you're part of another club or group you'll need to know the name of the organiser and to search for them in the app. They can then invite you to the group ride.
Step 3 - Accept Invitation
You'll need to accept the ride invitation in order to join the ride on the day. If you've not accepted the invite you can be on Zwift at the right time ready to ride and nothing will happen. Please note that you don't get a notification to tell you you've been invited to a ride - you'll have to check your group events tab.
Once you've been invited the ride will show as pending, and you can RSVP to join. If you're at all unsure, contact the group organiser through the members app.
Step 4 - Joining the ride on the day
Once you've accepted the ride invite in the companion app you can sit back and relax until go time! However on the ride day, you've got to make sure you're on Zwift in good time before the ride starts as you cannot join a private meet up once it has started.
The process of joining the ride is a fairly simple one, but it has caught a few of our riders out, so please see below:
- Log into Zwift as normal, connect your sensors and go through to the 'start ride' screen
- You'll see the event details in the top right hand corner with a countdown clock, but you won't be able to click on the icon.
- You have to click 'Ride' in order to access the group. It doesn't matter what world/course you're on
- Once you're in the system, around 3-5 mins before ride start, a button will pop up in the bottom left asking you to join the ride. Once you've joined you can sit and spin/warm up until go time.
Step 5 - Download Discord App
Discord is an app that all 13 year old gamers know, and you've probably never heard of. It allows you to chat to others via your phone and headphones whilst Zwifting. It's much easier than texting on the companion app, and everyone on the ride can chat away at the same time. Just like on a real group ride!
It must be said that you don't have to use Discord, or even chat to anyone, during a Zwift group ride. If you're the strong, silent type, or you don't want to listen to Steve tell everyone about his 2 watt FTP increase (again), then you can just ride along.
Enjoy the ride!
That's it - as long as you've followed the above steps you will be able to join a Zwift group ride and enjoy riding with mates! If you're still unsure or having issues joining a Zwift event then drop us a line and we can help.
How to create a Zwift Meet Up
If the Dirty Wknd Zwift group rides don't work for you time-wise, or you want to explore a different world, then you can create your own meet up and invite your ride mates to join you.
Click this link for how to create a Zwift group ride.
Cycling during the coronavirus lockdown is a privilege, so if you are out riding at the moment please make sure you're cycling solo and not in a group. If you do want to ride in a group, then get on the turbo/rollers and join one of the great weekly Zwift group rides!
If you've got any questions about Zwift, group rides or anything else to do with cycling during the coronavirus quarantine. We're here to help, so hit us up if you need anything. Email is good, or connect on social media (@dirtywknd).
See you in Watopia!