Virtual Cycling – The Future of Cycling or Just a Trend?
Virtual cycling has a not-so-long history but now has almost become a professional sport. Famous cycling app Zwift invites every interested cyclist to participate in virtual cycling races in its cycling universe called Watopia.
Zwift app had a decent number of participants ‘till the coronavirus pandemic cancelled the majority of cycling events worldwide. Zwift app alongside with KISS Super League decided to take virtual cycling to a whole new level by involving professional sportscasters and developing brand-new cycling maps.
The measures taken allowed professional cyclists to participate in cancelled cycling events such as Digital Swiss 5 – a digital version to a world-class cycling event Swiss 5.
The race taken caused a stir in cycling circles. Although the numbers of spectators and financial benefits were not-so-high, virtual racing has conducted itself credibly. But several virtual racing disadvantages can cause serious concerns among race sponsors and organizers of such events.
The lack of live spectators reduces the sales levels of VIP ticket packages, souvenirs, and food production and the efficiency of the companies’ marketing representations. Food companies and producers of cycling-related goods and supplies pay a lot of money in order to make their logos visible and recognizable to people masses from both sides of the screen.
An unusual level of effort and physical loads is another problem of virtual cycling. Sportsmen are forced to deal with steep ups-and-downs, sharp turns, and other terrain features alongside with different weather conditions.
Virtual cycling is very different from real-life racing
Sportsmen are attached to a cycling platform with no chance to reduce the level of physical load in virtual cycling races.
Virtual cycling tracks are plain and excruciating due to their monotony and incessant physical efforts. Virtual tracks are not as entertaining as the real-life cycling routes both for participants and spectators.
People don’t have such a strong feeling of excitement and engagement as during the real-life sports event but still, Zwift’s virtual cycling program made it possible to hold such a widely-known and expected cycling event as Swiss 5.
Virtual racing has its disadvantages. Of course, it’s impossible to hold Tour de France on a virtual cycling platform but it is a great way to shake the dust off during the lockdown and hold sports events.
Virtual cycling isn’t the future of cycling but it is a great option for in-home training and holding canceled events.
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