A cult platform, that’s what I would have described Zwift as during its early days. We, the Zwifters, were derided for ‘playing cycling games’ and now it is mainstream. To ‘Zwift’ is verb for cycling indoors and probably not bothering to go out anymore. Fun is fast, as the saying goes. For many long-term Zwifters, the Silicon Valley ‘promise big and deliver something else’ investor speak is frustrating. We, the beta testers, were part of something and we knew that it was good and we were listened to. We wanted it to succeed. We wrote manuals, we set up Facebook groups and we spread the gospel according to Eric and John.
Zwift now have serious money behind them and I can’t blame them for their direction of propulsion – they need to go mass market and mass market isn’t middle aged men in lycra with shaved legs, hairy chests and a disdain for anyone who doesn’t own an Eddy Merckx cast away at the side of the road bidon. Plus a dislike of anyone who doesn’t know what a bidon is (it’s not a president, in this case) – or even a casquette.
No, Zwift needs a static bike, with buttons, stunning design, a screen and genuine plug and play. It needs to reach Starcloud who lives in a $4m dollar mansion in the Valley and who wants to do something cooler than Pelton in her home gym, with marble floors, air conditioning and a coiffured bouffant cockerdoodle watching on.
Enter RGT. It’s was Road Grand Tours and now RGT. Yesterday, I re-entered the world of RGT and joined a group ride. It was fun, genuinely. Great graphics (on my gaming PC and set to ‘ultra’) and the banter was supportive and friendly. The whole one-hour experience was tremendous. I checked my Zwift companion app and there were 20,000 riders at that moment in time. RGT had 40 riders on line. It’s a place where people still use the wave button and where people genuinely seem happy to see someone else on the roads. It’s cult.
RGT are now building, as can be seen in their article (via the link above). Things are happening and it’s still free! Yes, free. Premium is available and this provides your own ability to create your favourite roads, but you can keep yourself pretty busy for free. I even see that my own team, the KISS Racing Team even have their own jersey on there, as do many Zwift clubs and racing teams. It seems like RGT is the new cult.
Now where is that old bidon?