Last Sunday I took part in another challenge on Zwift, the Z-Wheeler 100 mission. The idea was to ride a metric century (100 km/ 62 miles) on a Z-Wheeler to help Zwift load up BOB (Zwift’s Big Orange Bus) and deliver 100 big wheels to the Spark of Love Toy Drive. The Spark of Love Toy Drive Fund was created to provide toys or sports equipment for disadvantaged children during the holiday season and since its inception, Spark of Love has collected more than 9 million toys for children. This year Zwift is donating 100 big wheels to help celebrate their 24th year and reach their goal to collect more than 450,000 toys.
Seemed like just the kind of challenge I’d enjoy, but I also decided to add a bit of extra spice to it by involving more people from the Zwift community. My idea was to combine it with my regular Zwift Sunday ride, which I lead in the mornings. It’s usually an imperial 100 (161km) but I decided to shorten it to a metric century to give everyone a chance to finish the challenge. It worked really well, as riders first had to select the Z-Wheeler challenge on screen and then join my ride, meaning they would keep the funny looking trike bike for the whole 100km ride. 60 riders signed on to do the challenge, so it was well worth the effort and many finished as a group, while myself and a select smaller group raced an extra 4km to the finish banner.
Group riding on Zwift is really pretty good fun if you get a nice bunch who are prepared to work with and help you as a leader. This was the case here, as often I’d ask the group to slow up to allow riders ‘off the back’ to rejoin and even went and collected a few myself. It’s pretty rewarding when you see riders struggling 30 seconds behind and can get them back in the bunch. What many new riders don’t realise is the huge difference the draft makes, as being in the middle of the group can save you so much energy and your speed can be as much as 7 or 8 kph faster than if you were solo. We finished the ride at an average speed of 39 kph, which without riding as a group would not have been possible for many.
After the ride, my post ride smoothie and a shower, I got to thinking more about fundraising and why I do it. I’m always setting myself goals or challenges and it just seems so natural to include helping various charities. In December (Saturday 3rd) Zwift will once again host the WBR (World Bicycle Relief) event, of which this year I will not only take part, but have
something pretty special planned for it. But what about my other fundraising?
As a member of Team dZi I’m committed to helping raise funds for the dZi Foundation, which was the charity I rode for during my Zwift Distance Record ride. However as we go into the New Year, I want to help other charities too and the outdoor rides I have planned will be an excellent opportunity to do this, if they happen.
The social media and followers of what I call the big two, The TransAmerica Bike Race and the TransContinental Bike Race is immense and exposure is guaranteed if you are capable of doing well in them. Therefore I think I should decide to choose my charities wisely if I’m actually offered a place as the fundraising could be very significant. So I’ve decided to ask you, my followers to get an idea of which way I should go. I’ve set up a poll of my favourite charities, but with the option of the user creating new ones if the one you like isn’t in the list. Please take the time to vote as this will help me enormously with my future fundraising. Thanks.
Note: here are the websites of the different charities so you can check them out.