The Jungle gets a lot of hate on Zwift.
I love it.
Mostly I think people just don't understand it!
So when I saw The Jungle on the Tour de Zwift list, I was giddy...
The Big Mistake...
Two words: Bike. Selection.
There is really only one choice for the Jungle - a mountain bike.
I used the plain old Zwift Mountain Bike. There are other options if you have the drops and level, they're within a few seconds of each other over a full lap according to Zwift Insider.
How much faster vs a road bike? 13m54s vs 15m!!! That's enormous, wouldn't you like to be over a minute a head a lap?
And what about gravel bikes? 13m54s vs 14m11s... so it's at least close... but it's just not faster for almost the entire lap.
All of these people making different (wrong?) bike choices made for a fantastically fun race. The very start (lead-in) was paved, I quickly fell back in the standings... but we only did that once - then onto gravel, and it was all making up spots from there on.
The difference seemed most obvious on the downhill - as the speed increased, the MTB flew. I'm a heavier rider as well, so the combined effect meant picking up a LOT of places. I pushed to make sure nobody could grab my wheel as I blew by, it was a hoot!
Right at the end of the lap was the paved(ish) tunnel... suddenly those road and gravel bikes I had just flew by were on my tail, catching up and sometimes blowing by. It was short, so only those within about 10 seconds could catch before back to gravel...
The first one I did (C race, 2 laps) was amazing - right at that last section on the last lap, I was caught by 2 guys working together - only to then charged up the gravel hill with less w/kg and pip them at the finish.
So much fun!
Pick a Mountain Bike and enjoy!