On the back of a successful Tri Talking Sport Virtual Bike Week hosted in partnership with Galway City Council in September of 2020, which featured an online bike spin utilising the cycling platform Zwift, a weekly virtual cycle has been taking place on Monday nights ever since, hosted by Joanne Murphy of Tri Talking Sport and Oliver Harkin, Primed Coaching and PARC Tri Community.
The 60 minute social spins on the virtual cycling platform have grown in popularity over the intervening weeks and months with riders of all abilities from across Ireland and beyond joining the spin for a workout and some great fun, all from the comfort of their homes or indeed their self described ‘pain caves’.
On average each night 80-90 riders have taken to the virtual tarmac to spin the legs after a hard weekend of cycling or to embrace the fun of some sprinting to prime the legs for the following night’s virtual racing. For others it was simply to get a fun session of cycling done, passing the time on the turbo trainer enjoying the banter and chat that unfolded over the course of the hour session each week.
With the growth in popularity of the spin and the support of Team Irl Cycling, which is one of the largest online cycling communities in the world, the Monday night social spin has now become part of the official global Zwift Calendar. On Monday last, almost 200 riders signed on for the first event of 2021 from across Ireland and indeed the world with riders from the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, France to name just a few countries represented on the spin. As the session gains more recognition locally and internationally it is expected to attract an increasing number of participants locally, nationally and globally.
The zwift platform has gained a huge amount of traction in the past 10 months due to Covid19, the exponential growth in numbers of users of the platform has seen massive demand for bikes, turbo trainers and associated kit, helping to keep cyclists and cycling enthusiasts fit whilst embracing a virtual world of cycling. The sense of community and belonging as well as camaraderie and support for each other through the variety of events, races, activities and associated facebook groups including Team Irl Cyclingand Parc Tri Community has been a massive boost to those utilising the platform on a regular basis.
The addition of the Monday night spin to the Team Irl Cycling weekly events and the Zwift calendar is a fantastic legacy to the Tri Talking Sport Virtual Bike week that sought to encourage people of all ages to embrace adventure and exploration on two wheels. It is hoped the long term legacy of the activity will see a greater number of cyclists and cycling enthusiasts embracing the outdoors in the future for fun, fitness and adventure.
If you are interested in joining the spin and are a zwift user, keep an eye on the Tri Talking Sport social media channels on Facebook and Instagram as well as on www.tritalkingsport.com or pop onto the Zwift Companion App to join the weekly event on Monday nights at 7:30pm.
If you are not yet on Zwift but are interested in joining the platform, please pop a message to [email protected] and they can guide you to getting set up and in the saddle quicker than you can clip in and out of your pedals!