I’ve received some questions about how to organise a new VirtuGO group ride, so I thought I’d put together this guide.
Right now, (June 2018) there are no formal features in VirtuGO for organising or hosting group rides or races, so here are just the “best practices” that I’ve seen used in the virtual cycling community. Support for group rides and races are part of the plan for VirtuGO, so this will change at some point.
- Pick a time and ride name
If your group ride is open to anyone, then people can join from all around the world and to include them thinking about timezones is a handy tip. This also might help you pick a time when there isn’t another event happening, as there isn’t a way to communicate in VirtuGO yet. You can view the VirtuGO calendar here for any time zone and see what’s already scheduled:
VirtuGO group rides calendar
And here’s a handy World Clock App for comparing time zones.
When choosing a name, stick to short and descriptive names. If you want riders to add the ride name to their in-game names, it should have a short, clear abbreviation (example: VirtuGO Endurance Ride or VER). It’s also makes it easier to riders to choose rides when the name reflects the kind of event (race, group ride, training, etc)
- Pick you course
The best course right now would be Pulseville but of course if this is up to you.
- Determine the fitness level required
Specify the required fitness level of participants in watts per kg (w/kg). Nobody is a fan of getting dropped, or being bored, so it’s better to specify what’s expected from the beginning. 2.0 W/kg is an effort level that almost any rider can maintain for an hour.
- Pick your ride leader(s)
Leading a group ride isn’t easy, but it can be a lot of fun. Your leader should know how to use any type of communication. If communication is set up for the ride the leader is the person that announces the start and reminders at 5 minutes, 2 minutes, 1 minute before the start. It’s also a good idea to have the leader wear an unusual, brightly coloured kit for max visibility in the pack.
If you’re hosting a group ride with a specified target power then having a leader with a smart trainer set in “Erg” mode to that specific power target makes things much more consistent as a reference for other riders, and also frees up the leader to manage the ride. If you’re hosting a group ride with a no-drop policy, consider also having a “sweep” to help motivate and draft anyone that is struggling to avoid being dropped.
- Add your event to the Grupetto Facebook events page
Is your event a one-off or recurring? If it’s a one-off and just between a few friends, then you probably don’t need or want to promote it. However if it’s a recurring event, or if you want to encourage more participation, you should add it to the Grupetto Events Calendar on Facebook here:
VirtuGO Grupetto Events Calendar on Facebook
- Note that only admins of that group can add or modify events on Facebook. Send the following information via Facebook messenger to the VirtuGO Facebook account. You should include all of the info you’ve decided above, plus the following information in your event description (more info).
Name of your ride or race
Course, number of laps, start point, and direction
Leader(s) names and kit
The goal for each lap, if applicable
Naming (eg VER) and jersey requirements, if applicable
The neutral zone or start procedure, if applicable
It’s a good idea to look at the information in the existing events calendar to get an idea of what you should include.