Zwift Caters to Social Riders with Virtual Taqueria, Brewery and Coffee Shop

An outdoor post-ride pub is coming to Zwift.

While most of us shelter-in-place and remain grateful for our health and health care workers during this coronavirus pandemic, many competitive cyclists are also thankful that indoor cycling apps like Zwift, RGT and Rouvy are offering a way to stay in shape and yet stay at home.

Unfortunately, virtual reality riding is too realistic for some cyclists. “Zwift has done a good job of making a group ride much like the real world,” said Peter Lee to Cyclocross Magazine. “Unfortunately for me, that means just like in real life, I’m always getting dropped and being humbled. Zwift recreates that really well, while removing everything I look forward to in a group ride—socializing with my ride buddies afterward—and refueling at the taqueria or pub.”

Zwift has heard such complaints loud and clear and today announced new features to cater to such cyclists as Lee. “We’re now launching a post-ride taqueria, an outdoor pub and a coffee shop for those who covet the social aspect of cycling that’s not safe during these times of mandatory social distancing,” Strava said in a press release.

An outdoor post-ride pub is coming to Zwift.

An outdoor post-ride pub is coming to Zwift.

“Unfortunately for me, that means just like in real life, I’m always getting dropped and being humbled. Zwift recreates that really well, while removing everything I look forward to in a group ride—socializing with my ride buddies afterward—and refueling at the taqueria or pub.” -Peter Lee

To the delight of social cyclists and non-cyclists alike, the new consumption-focused features will be free, and won’t require an expensive smart trainer for the best experience. “Anyone can join their friends and sample the menu of Watopia’s taqueria and brewery, without doing a workout,” the company said. “It’s like missing a ride, but still meeting friends for post-ride refreshments. We won’t charge people just to come in. You can earn rewards through workouts or pay a-la-carte to order off the virtual menu.”

Cyclocross racer Mary Fost likes the idea. “I don’t need virtual reality to hit the local climbs, do intervals and drop the guys,” she said. “What I really miss is the trash-talking and verbal sandbagging that happens at the coffee shop afterward. This new feature will bring back what I miss the most during the stay-at-home order.”

While details are still being finalized, the post-ride features will support voice, video and chat functionality. Instead of watts, heart rate, speed and climbing grade, Zwift plans to display calories, carbohydrate, protein, fat and alcohol tallies for items ordered from its virtual menu.

“What I really miss is the trash talking and verbal sandbagging that happens at the coffee shop afterward. This new feature will bring back what I miss the most during the stay-at-home order.” -Mary Fost

“I’ve avoided Zwift until now,” said Jim O’Brien. “But now that I know I can outclimb my riding buddies up the calorie leaderboard, I’ll do it. A carnitas burrito, three al pastor tacos, rice, beans and a pile of tortilla chips and guac will make me really hard to beat.”

Wednesday Night Worlds and its burritos are now possible thanks to Watopia's new taqueria.

Wednesday Night Worlds and its burritos are now possible thanks to Watopia’s new taqueria.

Zwift hopes its new features will not only expand its user base, but put the social element back into riding. “We’ve done a good job attracting the competitive, but perhaps anti-social, athletes,” the announcement states. “They were already users. But during this pandemic, the social riders are the ones who aren’t riding. We hope our authentic but virtual taqueria, microbrews and single-origin coffee will bring them and their post-ride routines back.”

Zwift's rendering of a Watopia taqueria burrito

A screengrab of Zwift’s Watopia burrito

“But now that I know I can outclimb my riding buddies up the calorie leaderboard, I’ll do it. A carnitas burrito, three al pastor tacos, rice, beans and a pile of tortilla chips and guac will make me really hard to beat.” -Jim O’Brien

With virtual menus and eateries paired with calorie counters, one can’t help but wonder if Zwift is positioning itself to move into virtual competitive eating. Previous attempts by others were primitive and unrealistic and didn’t have Zwift’s new calorie-counting smarts.

Racing to consume a calorie count would certainly be a new, fulfilling twist to the company’s previous 10,000 Calorie Mission.

Stay tuned for more on this breaking story, and meet us in the taqueria after your ride. We’ll save you a seat.

This story as published on April 1, 2020.

The post Zwift Caters to Social Riders with Virtual Taqueria, Brewery and Coffee Shop appeared first on Cyclocross Magazine - Cyclocross and Gravel News, Races, Bikes, Media.

Source: cxmagazine.com

Zwift Caters to Social Riders with Virtual Taqueria, Brewery and Coffee Shop