Virtual online training videogame Zwift just rolled out a new London course in advance of this weekend's upcoming Prudential RideLondon. The 14.1km / 8.7mi 3D course includes many of London's icons, such as Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and the Box Hill climb from the 2012 Olympic road race.
As Zwift is a videogame, these icons and the countryside of Surrey Hills are connected via underground tunnels and overground railroads that players can ride on.
The Zwift videogame works with any bike on a trainer, with an ANT+ or Bluetooth connection to a computer. A smart trainer provides the most engaging experience, simulating hills and downhills with automatic resistance adjustment, but any trainer will work, provided you have a speed/cadence sensor that can talk to your computer.
The Prudential RideLondon is a massive three-day festival, culminating in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100, where thousands of riders get to enjoy a London course that is closed to traffic. Tour de France champion Chris Froome will be among the celebrities taking part, along with 2016 Tour stage winners Michael Matthews (Orica-BikeExchange), Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) and Steve Cummings (Dimension Data). Organizers claim that more than 100,000 riders will participate in some form over the three days.
For those who won't happen to find themselves in London this weekend, you can still ride the course on Zwift, including in one of several group rides.
Zwift RideLondon group ride schedule
- Zwift RideLondon Classique Group Ride - Saturday, July 30 - 8am PDT (California) / 11am EDT (New York) / 4pm BST(London)
- Prudential RideLondon 100 Group Rides - Sunday, July 31 - one at 8am AEST (Australia) and one at 8am BST (London)
- Prudential RideLondon 46 Group Rides - Sunday, July 31 - one at 8pm AEST (Australia) and one at 11am PDT (California) / 2pm EDT (New York) / 7pm BST (London)
“UK cycling is going from strength to strength, so it’s fantastic to invite the world’s cyclists to feel part of this scene," Zwift co-founder and CEO Eric Min said in a press release. “85 percent of our community are from outside of the UK and I’m looking forward to riding together with them up Box Hill. As a longtime Londoner, my own time up that climb is about to get some serious competition!”