Enjoying F&F so far! Did #1 on Tuesday and it went pretty well.
Did the pace partner last night. I should have chosen Coco but went with Maria because I was tired from my bike commute and I always have to go harder than the pace partners to keep up with them because they are all heavier than me. The thing that is hardest for me riding in zwift groups is not going off the front because I get so worried about slipping out the back and push too hard. So I worked at staying towards the front of the pack instead of out in front. It was so hard! I really need to figure out how to find a moderate degree of calm. I lost Maria a few times on the little climbs on the route and once when I was chugging along in the front pack and not paying attention until “let Maria catch up” flashed on my screen. oops. A good chance to practice though since most of the time when I go too hard and lose the pace partner I shrug and decide to ride on my own. So I will keep practicing to find the Goldilocks balance.
I had the same experience! My graph at the end had too many dead spots and trended upward because it was getting harder to stay in front of her so I didn’t risk getting dropped! I’ve actually never ridden with one before and definitely didn’t know how to ride with one in this new interface. I also wasn’t sure if I warmed up and switched to following her, if the ride would save as one ride, so I went in cold into the frying pan. It was actually fun, a perfect ride for how I was feeling, and now I have a goal to be more steady the next ride with her!
I am excited that you all are giving the Pace Bot a try! It’s a bit trickier than it looks, yes? I think the pace bots are one of the best features in Zwift. I find that it is a pretty good simulation of what it is like to ride in a group, even IRL, as far as Zwift goes anyway.
If you just started riding with the bots, and you find that the one you are riding with is a bit too hard, switch to the next one down, so that you can practice positioning. Start with flat routes. As you get better, move to a bot that is a bit faster. Once you are comfortable with that, chose that same bot but on a hilly course.
I believe the following are advantages of using the pace bots:
Practice positioning by using cadence and shifting in a dynamic environment (as opposed to an artificial one- i.e., during a workout)
Practice Zwift pack dynamics for Zwift racing. I ride in “1st person view” (position #3 on the keyboard) as I find it to be the most realistic of them all.
Avoid falling into the trap of riding too steadily on your endurance rides
Fun way to practice riding with the constant pressure. As many of you know, I don’t particularly enjoy riding in the medium/tempo range (aka the green zone) for much more than 10 minutes, so I use the bots to help me keep at it.
Play games! Sometimes I ride an easy (for me) bot on a sprinters course in Makuri. Then I sprint at every segment and fall back into the group. Or I will chose a little faster bot, go off the front, do an interval, then fall back and continue riding with the group. You can also play catch up (practice closing gaps) by allowing yourself to slip off the back of the group, then do a surge to get back on, and have to keep riding at the bot’s pace. These are great practices for Zwift and IRL riding and racing.
Please continue sharing your experiences and feel free to ask questions!
I enjoy the bots more than I expected to also, once I started using them. I have tended to do a workout first, then pick a bot that’s a little bit of a stretch and try to hang on for 5-10 minutes when I’m already tired from the workout. This wouldn’t work if your workouts push you to exhaustion, but it is good for teaching yourself to push a bit when you are already fatigued.
I tend to get dropped descending (like IRL) because the bots are heavier than I am. I also find it to be a pretty good replication of riding in a group IRL.
I’ve recently started using the bots for cooldowns after a a race, keeps me from pushing it on a cool down, I didn’t get to officially do the pace bot WO but i led 1, swept 1 and rode 1 sub 2 group ride which is my 65% so i figure i got the essence of the idea. While group rides can be chatty Fri was so confusing I spent most of my time focused on the pace so I’m calling that my WO
@Stefanie, how do you pick the bot you want? I only seem to have however many fit on the home screen but there is no link to “see them all”. (I just s aw you did a workout with a couple of them) I did that a couple of days ago and ended up riding with 3 of them, but the pace is still not the one I was looking for. Thanks!
@Marmen21, like @Gossimrr said. On the ride select screen scroll down to the pacerbot list, they are all listed horizontally starting from lowest w/kg to highest so you will need to scroll left to see more of the list.
@Stefanie, @Gossimrr, thank you for the tips. Interestingly enough, I don’t have a bar to scroll right and left on the computer screen (it’s a PC and not Apple) but I found that the keyboard arrows do the trick! I will be able to choose next time.