Group rides on Rouvy - how to make the most of this fun feature
The Rouvy app offers a variety of exciting events that suit every passionate cyclist. Stage races follow famous and iconic segments from the Grand Tours such as La Vuelta, Tour de Suisse or the Giro, and these events are available to race on the same days as the pros race. They take one along challenging routes with beautiful and spectacular scenery on flat, rolling, and mountainous terrain to suit all riding styles, whether you are a sprinter, a puncheur, or a mountain goat.
Race along the Mediterranean coastline under azure, sunny skies catching the draft of your fellow competitors, or head up classic and legendary climbs in the Pyrenees or the Alps, where some of the fascinating battles in the history of cycling took place. Overlaying augmented avatars over the geo-synced HD video footage makes these events realistic and fun.
Many of these events also offer exciting prizes as either once-in-a-lifetime random draw prizes or earned by the top three in the General Classification podium positions. Race with the best pro riders invited as guests to join these virtual events, put your best efforts to the test, and push yourself to the absolute limits! As a spectator, enter the event in Watch Mode in the app to view a thrilling event and watch the race unfold!
But what if you don't enjoy racing or being competitive, and riding alone is not your cup of tea? Taking part in a friendly group ride is your answer! Group rides are ideal for recreational and social riders of any fitness and ability to challenge and push themselves riding at their own pace, in a non-competitive and social way, while exploring new places together on the ride with a leader who pulls the group along.
Whether riding on classic routes or off the beaten track, riding together offers opportunities to look at incredible views and spectacular vistas and can be relaxing and excellent training. These official and user-created events provide a space for enjoyment and camaraderie with friends and like-minded users, often led by ambassadors or pro riders with whom you can mingle, chat on Discord, and ask about their racing and training goals.
Casual riders of all abilities who don't enjoy racing and are non-competitive or who find certain terrains such as climbs too strenuous will find these events manageable. Famous pro riders who have led and joined rides as guests include Sergio Mantecón, a former Olympian and mountain biker, Jose Hermida, a living legend also specializing in competitive mountain biking, plus riders from the Kern-Pharma team.
The magic group ride algorithm
So how does all this group ride magic happen? A person who decides to be a leader sets up a ride for others on the my.rouvy.com website under Group Rides. Alternatively, Rouvy sets up an official event on a well-known route with a famous rider or ambassador as a leader. The leader is easily recognizable with their brightly highlighted username in yellow; on the rider list, there will be a star beside their name for followers to know who is leading. As a group ride follower, one must register, press the enter button a few minutes before the start time to warm up, and follow the yellow-bannered leader avatar who pulls the 'carriage' containing all the followers in the bunch.
How is this possible, you ask? Everyone in the group is held together with an invisible and virtual 'elastic band' algorithm giving varying amounts of watt assistance depending on where in the group you position yourself.
Even if you ride slowly near the back and it is a climbing route and climbing is not your favorite, everyone finishes with the leader's time without getting dropped. For this reason, it's an excellent way to train, motivate oneself, improve one's hill-climbing abilities, and gain strength and fitness while staying in the group from start to finish. It's about riding behind the leader and placing yourself where you feel the most comfortable in your training zones for the most benefit in your training.
Sometimes a group ride can also be a suitable activity for a recovery day if you need a leisurely ride or recuperating from illness or injury. As you ride towards the back of the group, the algorithm will pull you along where the reality level gets easier. But the closer to the leader you ride, the more challenging it will be and the more effort you'll need to put in if you'd like to work harder and challenge yourself. A group ride that makes one work hard and pushes yourself, especially if the ride leader is strong or is a pro rider, is highly motivating! So you can decide once you start where in the bunch you would feel the most comfortable for your training on that particular day.
Group rides are excellent training tools for all abilities and levels of fitness. Want to know how much assistance you are getting from the algorithm and where you are to others? You will see a savings bar to know your watt savings and a panel showing where you are in the group at the top of the screen.
A group ride adventure
Group rides are a fantastic alternative to races in terms of motivation and having some company. A group ride is a great way to meet other like-minded ROUVY users, especially if you connect on social media apps like Discord, Strava or the Facebook Rouvy community. Once you've tried one or more group ride travel adventures in different locations worldwide, they soon become addictive. Start participating regularly, and you will learn how it works without pressure to perform with like-minded cyclists.