JSTS Zwift Group Rides

When the weather or time of day isn't suitable to ride outdoors, JSTS Zwift Group Rides are a great way to still ride with your friends.  These ride can be found in the JSTS Ride Schedule, and are noted with a "Pace" starting with "Zwift...".  All rides are "by invitation only", so make sure you read about how to get invited to rides, and how to actually join a ride.

If you have a smart trainer, but are unfamiliar with Zwift, be sure to read this article that explains HOW TO GET STARTED ON ZWIFT WITH A SMART TRAINER.  If you don't have a smart trainer, then read this article that explains HOW TO GET STARTED ON ZWIFT WITH A CLASSIC TRAINER.

If you have used Zwift before, but never participated in any of their organized events, then you should read about PREPARING FOR YOUR FIRST RACE OR GROUP RIDE.

Once you've covered those basics, this page covers the following topics that are specific to participating in JSTS Zwift Group Rides:

  1. What type of JSTS Zwift Group Rides are there?
  2. How do I get an invite to join a JSTS Zwift Group Ride?
  3. What do I do when it's time to ride?
  4. What extra steps do I need to perform to participate in a JSTS Zwift Group Workout?
  5. Will I be able to communicate with others during the JSTS Zwift Group Rides?
  6. What's with the really loud music when I use Discord for a JSTS Zwift Group Ride?
  7. Who can help me if I still have questions or need further assistance?

What type of JSTS Zwift Group Rides are there?

There are 3 different types of JSTS Zwift Group Rides:

  • Zwift - ALL - These are "meetups" which will follow a specified "route" and utilize the "Keep Everyone Together" feature that Zwift introduced in Oct 2019.  This will ensure that everyone in the group stays within a few seconds of each other, regardless of your power output, as long as you keep pedaling.  If you stop pedaling during one of these rides, you will not stay together with the other riders in the group.
  • Zwift - Workout - These are "meetups" that are similar to the "Zwift - ALL" rides, but instead of the effort during the ride being based on the terrain of the route, these rides will follow a "structured workout".  Since Zwift does not explicitly support private group workouts, you must follow the additional steps listed below about how to join a JSTS Zwift Workout.
  • Zwift - <pace> - These are more traditional "meetups" which will follow a specified route, but will not utilize the "Keep Everyone Together" feature.  All participants are expected to be able to maintain the specified pace, listed in terms of "w/kg".  For example, "Zwift - 2.0 w/kg" or "Zwift - 2-2.5 w/kg".  If you are unable to maintain the specified pace, you are still welcome to continue to ride in the meetup, but you may find yourself not riding near others in the group.

How do I get an invite to join a JSTS Zwift Group Ride?

JSTS Zwift Group Rides are "by invitation only", and it is really easy to get an invite to any ride.  All you need to do is follow our Zwift Ride Leaders.

Make sure to follow all the ride leaders at least 48 hours in advance of your first JSTS Zwift Group Ride.  Note that this is not a commitment to join a particular ride, just a way to receive the invites for the rides led by the ride leaders.

If you do not receive an invite at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled start of a particular ride, please reach out to any of our ride leaders.

You only need to follow each ride leader once, after which you will receive invites for all future rides that they lead.

What do I do when it's time to ride?

You must have received and accepted an invite to join a ride.  Make sure to be up and ready on Zwift at least 5 minutes in advance of the scheduled start time.  If this is your first JSTS Zwift Group Ride, it is best to allow at least 10-15 minutes to get everything setup.  Sometimes when you launch Zwift you will find that it needs to perform an update before you can use it (there is no choice to "update later").  An update usually only takes a couple of minutes, but if you are cutting it close, that couple minutes can make the difference between being "on time" versus "late".

You must click on <RIDE> so that you are "in-game" within Zwift, and then once it is within 5 minutes of the start time for the ride, Zwift should ask you to confirm that you want to join the meetup.  Click <OK> or <JOIN MEETUP> in order to join the meetup.  If you are having problems joining a meetup, feel free to utilize Discord to try and get help from the other riders before the ride starts (see Will I be able to communicate with others during the JSTS Zwift Group Rides?).

Don't wait until the last minute to get everything setup, as late arrivals are unable to join the meetup!

What extra steps do I need to perform to participate in a JSTS Zwift Group Workout?

Please follow the additional steps found on this webpage to participate in a JSTS Zwift Group Workout.

Will I be able to communicate with others during the JSTS Zwift Group Rides?

If you wish to enhance your experience during a JSTS Zwift Group Ride, you can communicate with other participants utilizing an app called Discord.  JSTS has setup a server on Discord with voice channels for use during  JSTS Zwift Group Rides.  Simply click on this link to join the JSTS Server on Discord, and look for the Voice Channels that are named "Zwift...".  Most rides will use the primary channel named "Zwift #1".  Occasionally, when there are two groups Zwifting at the same time, the secondary channel "Zwift #2" may be used.  If you don't find your fellow Zwifters on channel #1, then check channel #2.

If this is going to be your first ride using Discord, you should make sure everything is setup and working properly at least one (1) day in advance of the start of the ride.  You are strongly encouraged to utilize headphones when using Discord in order to minimize the background noise typically generated by the bicycle trainer (even if you have a really really quiet one).  You can purchase fairly inexpensive bluetooth headphones online for around $20-30.  Also, if you use a fan while you ride (the kind that blows air, not the kind that cheers you on), then make sure the fan is not blowing directly at the microphone.

What's with the really loud music when I use Discord for a JSTS Zwift Group Ride?

Some ride leaders may choose to play a motivational music track on the Discord voice channel during their rides.  This music is provided using a "bot" known as "Groovy".  "Groovy" will appear as a user in the Discord voice channel, just like all of the other real users, and Discord allows you to control the volume of each user (specifically how loud they sound to you).

Simply tap (or right-click if you are on a computer) on the user "Groovy", and you should see a slide control for "Volume".  Click and drag the little white dot to the left to lower the volume of that user (or to the right to raise the volume).  Note that the volume will not adjust until you release the little white dot (i.e., the volume does not adjust in real-time as you are adjusting the slider).  You can also "Mute" Groovy to completely silence the music (or any other user for that matter).

Who can help me if I still have questions or need further assistance?

Please feel free to reach out to one of our experienced Zwift Ride Leaders or our Ride Coordinator should you require further assistance.

Jersey Shore Touring Society is a 501(c)(7) non-profit organization.  P.O. Box 8581, Red Bank, NJ 07701

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