While not the longest-running race series on Zwift, KISS has taken Zwift by storm in the past few months, quickly becoming the most popular series in rider numbers. And it’s easy to see why–the team of organizers has worked hard to keep things consistently simple and fair.
Tell me a little about yourself–how long you’ve been riding, what sort of riding you do, when you discovered Zwift, where you live, etc.
In my early years I raced BMX bikes with my brother, not seriously but we’d enter local competitions. Then mountain biking as a teenager, not competitively, more just for fun. We of course had the local moped challenge where we had to catch a scooter before the road ran out… that was always fun.
I rediscovered cycling around 6 years ago and participate in lots of social rides and sportives. I discovered Zwift around September 2015 and it’s had a huge impact on my fitness, strength and just my ability to get on the bike around work and life commitments.
How would you describe your philosophy as a race organizer? What is most important to you when organizing Zwift races?
The most important thing about our races is that the participants have fun and have a great workout.
What race(s) are you currently organizing on Zwift, and how long have you been doing them? What makes these races different than other Zwift races?
There are three of us. Michael Ede, Wayne Elvin and myself. We organize the Monday and Thursday Night Road Races at 8pm UTC and more recently KISS Americas and KISS Asia with KISS Starter coming very soon.
We try not to take it too seriously. KISS Races are different from the others in that we allow all the “game” features of Zwift. We allow the use of power-ups, TT bikes and even switching bikes mid-race. If it’s a function provided within the Zwift platform that everyone has access to we allow it. KISS stands for Keep It Simple Stupid. If we can’t police it and enforce it why have it as a rule?
We also have a standing start. First few race we did we tried a rolling start. We had nothing but complaints about the start. Now we get none… well maybe just one or two.
We do try to combat misconfiguration and deliberate cheating though. Just because we have a relaxed view on the gamey side doesn’t mean cheating is okay.
We also go in to great details about our results and push CAT upgrades on to our riders to encourage them to better themselves and to ride with similar performing riders.
What suggestions would you give to someone interested in joining your races for the first time?
Join our facebook group KISS Zwift Road Race to join the community. There are racers of every ability from national record holders to first timers. Come along. They are great fun and a really great workout.
If the folks at Zwift HQ could add one feature to Zwift to make your job easier, what would it be and why?
Closed circuit races. Where you could create a race and it was your very own version of the course that all your riders could then select the race from the menu.