Qatar’s cyclists meet online

For many people cycling is a social activity and, while Covid-19 restrictions have halted riding together, Qatar’s cycling groups have turned to virtual solutions.

Triclub Doha, as one example, has successfully replaced its regular Saturday morning group ride with Zwift’s online equivalent – meet-ups. Club members ride together in the virtual worlds of Zwift for up to 2 hours and use Zwift’s companion app to chat, motivate and break the monotony of sweating alone. Most importantly, the social aspects of cycling are restored and possibly even enhanced: former club mates, now living in Belgium and the UK, joined a recent meet-up and, with Zwift’s messaging supplemented with video and audio from the Zoom video conferencing app, this virtual form of the group ride actually added something that wouldn’t have been possible outside.

Another aspect of the virtual meet-up which beats real life is that the group of avatars can (optionally) be held together by the software. The strongest riders can ride with the weakest but still ride as hard as they like. The weakest can ride with the strongest without risking being dropped or running out of energy. Nobody is saying that virtual meet-ups are better but, in these times of restricted movement and limited social contact, they are certainly a good alternative.

If you want to experience a meet-up with your group of friends or club. Install the Zwift app or software and download the Zwift companion app to your mobile device. The video guide below will show you how to get started. Alternatively, Zwift users can experience a meet-up organised by Qatar  Cycling and Triathlon Federation at 7pm on Wednesday 15th April. Details can be found on our events page.  Details of the Zwift Qatar/Triclub Doha virtual Saturday endurance rides are publicised to members and on the Zwift Qatar Facebook group. Rides will continue weekly throughout Covid-19 restrictions.

For an explanation of how to set up your own meetup, see this video.