If you are new to Zwift, the complex Zwift universe can be overwhelming. But do not worry, you will learn by doing in no time! If you want to join our Pride rides, this is what you need to know (for a short version see our 7 Group Ride Guidelines at the end):
If you are looking for advice on how to lead a Pride ride on Zwift, you can find it here: How to lead a Group Ride on Zwift
To join a Pride ride you need to sign in for the ride on Zwift first. You can do that via the Club-Events section in Zwift Companion App or on Zwift’s Events page. Select the ride you want to join and click the add button (orange button with a white cross).
On the scheduled date of the selected Pride ride just start Zwift a few minutes before the start time. If the start time is close enough you will see the ride as a ride option in the events section of your Home Screen. Select the ride and you will be placed directly in the start pen.
If you don’t want to be placed in the start pen yet, or if you are early and the option doesn't show up on your Home Screen yet, you can also start a free ride, RoboPacer ride or other ride first as usual. When you are at that ride, Zwift will start showing a countdown and Join Event button 30 min before the Pride ride start time. You can switch to the start pen of the Pride ride anytime now by tapping the button, but you don't need to switch right away. You can wait until a few minutes before the actual start time to change to the Pride ride start pen.
Five minutes before the event's start time Zwift will start a short countdown to automatically log you in for the event. You can still abort this countdown and switch manually at a later time. But we recommend to switch to the Pride ride's start pen at this time latest to not miss any intructions given by the ride's leader before the start. So we recommend to not abort the auto login countdown and to get automatically beamed to the event's start pen.
In the start pen of the Pride ride you will see a clock counting down. You can already start pedaling but your avatar will not move until the clock has reached zero. You can also take part in the event's chat to say 'hi' or to ask questions you might have.
In most cases, our Pride rides have a leader. The leader is marked with a yellow beacon in the riders list. The beacon also shines above the leader during the ride, so she/he/they can be easily recognized. For this reason, the leader is often addressed as "Yellow Beacon" or "YB". Everything the leader writes will appear in the middle of the screen. Please respect the leader's instructions.
The leader sets the pace for the ride and will aim to ride at the advertised pace. Please note that this is the average pace for the ride and there may be some variation, for example when climbing (pace may be slightly higher) or descending (pace may be slightly lower). Since a group ride is not a race and the goal is to ride as a group, riders are encouraged to gather around the leader during the ride. Sometimes, some Zwifters will ride off the front at a pace higher than the advertised pace; we call these "flyers" and the main group will not chase them. We recommend you don't follow these "flyers" and stay with the leader instead.
The leader will announce everything of importance during the ride, try to keep the group of riders together, and usually engages the group in some fun chat to entertain and encourage everyone.
If the group around the YB is of a certain size, it is called a blob. In our Pride rides, our goal is to ride as a big, cozy blob! You should try to always stay in the blob and avoid falling behind. As long as you are in the group, you will benefit from the group's draft effect. This will make it easier to keep pace with the blob. As soon as you fall behind, you will lose the group's draft. This means that you will have to push at least 25% more just to keep the same pace as the group and even higher to catch up. For example, if the blob rides at 1.7 W/kg you need to push at least 2.1 W/kg to ride at the same speed without the group's draft. This explains why riders that have fallen behind sometimes think that the leader is riding above the advertised pace, when they are actually spot on.
So you don't want to fall behind. But what if it happens accidentally?
Sometimes our rides have official or unofficial sweepers, who can help. These are strong riders cruising in the back or behind the main group. Official sweepers are marked with a red beacon, which also shines above the sweeper during the ride. Therefore, these riders are often addressed as "Red Beacon" or "RB".
If you are able to keep the leader's pace but have fallen behind by accident, you should immediately ask for help via the chat. Do not hesitate because if you wait too long, help might no longer be possible. If you call for help and a sweeper is available they will fall back to you and try to draft you back to the group. In such a case just stay directly behind the sweeper and follow them. Don't pass them or even race them. The purpose of the effort is to provide you with a draft effect to make it easier for you to get back to the main group. If you don't have enough breath to chase the group even with the sweeper's help, tell them via the chat. The sweeper might then decide to help others or just provide some company and ride with you.
If you cannot keep up with the main group and you are too far behind for sweeper's help, you have some options.
No matter where you ride, a group ride should be a fun and social experience. But it will only be if everyone participates. Please don't be shy and take part in the chat, show your humor and your personality, but always be positive and respectful.
Chatting in Zwift is easy:
If you use a Windows PC, just hit "m" during the ride. The chat line will appear. Type what you would like to say and hit enter.
If you use Zwift Companion App you need to swipe left several times during the ride until you reach the chat screen.
Some Pride rides may make use of specific features provided by Zwift to support group rides. One of those features is the "fence". The fence looks like a red force field and appears, if activated, in a specific distance in front of the leader. You will be able to pass the fence, but we encourage you to stay behind the fence; it will remind you that you are too far ahead of the Yellow Beacon and should return to the group. If you have reached the fence, simply slow down a bit and let the group catch up. In some group rides passing the fence will lead to your removal from the ride, but in our Pride rides we do not use that fatal option.
Sometimes a Pride ride makes use of the "rubber band". If this is the case, all riders will be tied together by an invisible rubber band, keeping the group together no matter how many W/kg each participant pushes. The pace of the group will be determined by taking the output of all group members into account and is expected to be slower than in a regular Pride ride. To stay in the rubber banded blob, you just need to keep pedaling during the ride. If you fall under a minimum power output of ca. 15 W you will be unleashed from the group and will not benefit from the rubber band anymore.
(Unfortunately, the rubber band is not working properly in group rides at the moment and Zwift does not recommend its use in group rides. Therefore we do not provide rubberbanded rides at the moment.)
To make your Pride ride a great experience, here's what we suggest:
If you join one of our regular Pride rides and finish the ride you will unlock the current Pride kit. Always wear it with pride!