Who-hoo! All 105 Zwift Routes complete!
132,409 feet of climbing!
I started targeting this after most of last year, when I realized I had already done a bunch and it would be an interesting challenge.
It was. Here's what I learned along the way.
Best Way To Do A Route
There are good events, great events, and terrible events... and which you choose makes a huge difference!
Most events don't have alllll that many people, so they're only useful if the pace of the main group is something you can maintain comfortably. If you can, they can be a huge boost to your speed and motivation.
Great events include the Tour de Zwift, or some of the Fondo series - where you have hundreds and hundreds of riders around of all different abilities. It's almost impossible to find yourself alone on these, groups will develop at every level of fitness. Find your match and thrive!
If you find yourself in a terrible event ... where you fly off the back and end up solo? Sometimes it's best to simply leave it. If the world is on the calendar, you might find more draft partners than tooling around miles behind the pack.
Check the World Calendar, select the route and ride!
Simple - except you still want company and most importantly draft partners. Weekends around noon Eastern Time seem to be the best - lots of evening Europe riders plus all the U.S./Canada timezones all at once! I recently did the PRL Full in London and there were between 4000-7000 riders in the "world" the entire ride - so many people to chase, draft, chat with (if that's your thing). It's often better than an Event, this is how I did most of my routes.
A Few Route Awards
There's a bunch of things that can make a route tough - here's some of my thoughts. YMMV!
Toughest Climbing Route
Four Horsemen is my choice here. There are a bunch of routes that go up the Alpe du Zwift, but this one puts the Epic climb (PLUS the bonus climb!) right before it. No breaks, just Epic+ then Alpe.
Toughest Long Route
Uber Pretzel or PRL Full? Tough call. I had a tougher time with the PRL Full but it was probably the time of year and my fitness more than the route - the loops are actually quite digestible, and the climb not so tough.
The Alpe at the end of the Uber Pretzel, when you've already got 115km in your legs is hard... but you've also been tooling around on the Fuego Flats at 40-50km/h with an awesome draft (if you're free-riding it!) so you have a lot of time to recover and chill between climbs.
I'm giving the edge to PRL Full, it's just so long.
Worst World for Routes
New York, and it's not even close.
Other worlds this size have 5 or 6 routes, for some reason they decided to have 11 routes that are pretty much carbon copies of each other in New York. Blurgh.
Don't get me wrong - I love the Park Loop. But that elevated glass section is so repetitive, and it's in almost every route. How many times do I need to do the same bloody climb... I dreaded it every time.
Best and Worst Routes By World
I will do a follow-up post with this ... stay tuned!
I still have to earn my TRON bike so there's the climbing challenge - then I'm not sure!