Now that I am doing most of my cycling “virtually”, I thought it about time to clarify what is meant by Virtual Cycling!

Virtual Cycling is a type of indoor cycling that uses technology to create a simulated the cycling experience.

It typically involves the use of stationary exercise bikes or smart trainers connected to virtual cycling software or apps.

Virtual cycling has a number of benefits over traditional outdoor cycling.

It is a great way to get a workout without having to leave the comfort of your own home, and it can be a safer option if you live in an area with heavy traffic or poor weather conditions.

Virtual cycling can also be a more social activity, as many apps and software programs allow you to ride with other cyclists from all over the world.

Some of the key components and features of Virtual cycling can include:

Stationary Bikes or Smart Trainers: Virtual cycling often begins with a stationary exercise bike or a smart trainer. Smart trainers are devices that can be connected to a computer or mobile device to provide resistance and simulate real-world cycling conditions.

Virtual Cycling Software: Users typically engage with virtual cycling through specialised software or apps that offer a range of virtual environments and routes. These platforms can vary in terms of realism, graphics quality, and available features.

Realistic Simulation: Virtual cycling software aims to provide a realistic cycling experience. This includes factors like terrain, elevation changes, weather conditions, and even drafting behind other cyclists. Some platforms use GPS data to recreate real-world routes.

Interactive Features: Many virtual cycling platforms offer interactive features such as multiplayer mode, allowing cyclists to ride with friends or compete against others in real-time. Gamification elements, like leaderboards and achievements, can also enhance the experience.

Training and Fitness Tracking: Virtual cycling can be used for training purposes. Users can set specific training goals, track their performance metrics (e.g., speed, distance, power output, heart rate), and follow structured training plans to improve their cycling fitness.

Social Integration: Virtual cycling often integrates with social media platforms, enabling users to share their achievements, join virtual group rides, and connect with a global community of cyclists.

Indoor Cycling Classes: Some virtual cycling platforms offer guided indoor cycling classes led by instructors. These classes can provide motivation, coaching, and structured workouts to participants.

Compatibility: Virtual cycling software is compatible with various hardware, including smartphones, tablets, computers, and smart TVs. Users can connect their devices to sensors on their bikes or trainers to interact with the virtual environment.

Motivation: Virtual cycling can be more motivating than traditional indoor cycling, thanks to the immersive experience and social interaction.

If you are looking for a convenient, safe, and enjoyable way to get a cycling workout, virtual cycling is a great option to consider and has gained popularity as an alternative to outdoor cycling, especially for cyclists who want to train indoors, avoid adverse weather conditions, or have limited access to suitable cycling routes.

It offers a flexible and immersive way to enjoy the benefits of cycling while staying indoors.

My own recommendations would be the Big Daddy of them all – Zwift (here) and MyWhoosh (here).

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