- Zwift, the virtual riding and training app, has seen massive growth
- It has also reacted to cycling diversity, with better detailing of its avatars.
- Now there are a series of rides to celebrate Black cycling.
Zwift has revolutionised the cycling habits of many. The immersive virtual riding brand has made it possible to ride rewarding in the comfort of your own home.
In the last three years, Zwift has attracted an astonishing R8.5bn in funding, as investors realise the potential of its user numbers and frequency of use.
If data is the new commodity of 21st century life, Zwift is better positioned than most, to become a technology company capable of harvesting deep cycling and activity user data.
The American company has been responsive and agile in its product development, embracing a diverse user community.
During the hard lockdown of last year, Zwift usage soared – dramatically. Developers reacted when riders challenged the generic looks of Zwift’s avatars, especially the black hair options, which were improved.
Highlighting the presence of Black riders
Blending elements of relatability in cycling and the virtual aspects of gaming, Zwift’s developers have made a concerted effort to represent a broad spectrum of riders. The avatars now cover a diversity of demographics and Zwift has now announced its new Black Celebration Series (BCS) for 2021.
“I’m delighted to begin our year-long Black Celebration Series this February and celebrate the achievements of the Black athletic community worldwide,” says Eric Min, Zwift CEO and co-founder.
“This is the first externally focused initiative spearheaded by our new Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) department who will also be running internal training and education programs on Racial Justice.”
For the next year, Zwift will present BCS events, all hosted in its virtual New York riding world. The company chose this location for historical reasons, as America’s most populous city has delivered some of the most notably black riders, such as Major Taylor and Nelson Vails.
If you wish to join for some of the BCS rides, which you can from anywhere in the world (including South Africa), don’t fear the intensity. Ride leaders have agreed to keep the pace at between 1.5 – 2w/kg along the Mighty Metropolitan route in New York and each BCS event will last only an hour.