Virtually no change for Verulam Reallymoving as they keep their racing legs in trim
- Credit: Archant
Cycling may be considered an acceptable form of exercise during the lockdown but group rides and racing are definite no-no’s – and it has sent the Verulam Reallymoving squad scurrying towards virtual alternatives.
At what should be a busy stage of the 2020 season all British Cycling events are off, the Giro d’Italia has been postponed and following comments from French president Emmanuel Macron the iconic Tour de France has been moved from its tradtional July date.
And like the professional peloton, the St Albans-based racing team have been busy competing online in the luxury of their own kitchens, living rooms, gardens, sheds and garages.
The popularity of virtual training has grown hugely during social distancing with Zwift the platform of choice for VRM.
This is a multiplayer online cycling, running and physical training program that enables users to train and compete in a virtual world while riding on stationary trainers.
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Players may cycle freely around the game world and join organised group rides, races or workouts with other users.
Zwift’s popularity has seen over 30,000 riders and runners online worldwide at any one time.
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Verulam Reallymoving’s Karine Jones said: “I’ve been managing to still keep race fit on turbo and keep in touch with my team-mates.
“There are a variety of rides you can do on Zwift. You can ride some of the UCI circuits around the world, I particularly like the Yorkshire 2019 world championship circuit.
“You can also meet up for virtual races. I did a race up Alp du Zwift last week and came fifth in the women’s category.
“Using Zwift means I’m still finding racing fun, challenging and above all safe in these unusual times.
“And at least there’s no potholes, punctures, crashes or traffic.”
It’s not all virtual though with team sponsor The Electric Bike Volt in Wheathampstead adapting their services to help people keep healthy.
Owner Leigh Stephenson said: “If you’re looking for the latest e-bikes to commute as key workers, travel on essential journeys or exercise, we can help.
“If you need your trusty, old bike serviced we can collect and deliver at no charge with precautions to keep everyone safe.”