Today’s post-race team debrief made me realize there is absolutely nothing more creative than a Zwifter who crosses the finish line of a race in which he did poorly. Me, in this case.
There is an inverse correlation between the quantity/absurdity of the excuses a Zwifter can improvise in order to explain his subpar performance, and the number of watts that the same Zwifter has generated during the race.
The formula for the standard Zwifter, where “x” is the number of excuses post-race and “y” the average watts output during the race, would be something like this:
x = y2
For someone absolutely hyperbolic like me (I have both Argentinian, French, and Italian blood), the formula would rather be:
x = 20.y10
Let’s dig into the portfolio of excuses.
Classics: Tuesday is the International Day of Wifi Connection Issues:
“I swear I was in the top 10 when Zwift had a problem: everybody disappeared and I reappeared 1265th.”
Tuesday is the International Day of Numbers Not Making Sense:
“My trainer was not accurately calibrated. I mean I am sure I was developing 300w, I know when I do, but it was showing 175w.”
Tuesday is the International Day of Food Poisoning:
“10km to the finish line I started feeling kind of sick. It’s the bad oyster in the seafood plate I ate seven minutes before the start of the race.”
Tuesday is the International Day of “I had a horrible day at work”:
“Work is crazy and really, really, as soon as the race has started, I had no strength at all. If it was not because of the crazy workday I am sure I would have nailed it!”
Monday night is the International Day of Insomnia:
“I got to the race like a zombie. Two hours of sleep is not enough you know. It is a shame because I was ready for a 20-minute PR…”
Tuesday is the International Day of Zwift cheaters:
“All the guys arriving before me are height+weight doping/sticky-watts/sandbaggers!!! Look at their w/kg average on 20 minutes! It’s a scandal. They should be UPG or WKG! They are clear-cut cat A!”
Tuesday is the International Day of the Magic Towel:
“I was in the leading pack well-protected inside the group, I took my towel to clean the sweat off my face as I was preparing my unbeatable attack, and when I looked back to the screen they were all gone!!!”
And finally, Tuesday is the International Day of Paranormal Events:
“I was having what was certainly my best race so far in the Zwift League. Literally at 150 meters before the finish line, a Portuguese removal truck hit a street lamp two blocks away from my place, creating a 20-minute electricity outage in all the neighborhood. I was literally at 150 meters! I am sure this is a TugaZ conspiracy!”
“The dog came and bit the cable of my smart trainer. I managed to get them apart but then an eagle broke the window and attacked the trainer confused by the rabbit sticker. Thank God I managed to take off the sticker while still pedaling. Otherwise, I finish top 5 for sure!!”
No matter how crazy it is, your teammates would never challenge your excuse: best teammates in the world. They understand you need to go through the curve of “acknowledgement you just did awful”, which implies a first phase of two hours of absolute bad faith excuses, leading you to bed still feeling life has been just been so unfair with you.
Now, Wednesday morning is another story. You wake up with an “excuse hangover”. You feel nothing but embarrassed about what a crying little baby you were the day before.
The best thing is, no matter how miserable you feel at that precise moment, nothing is going to prevent you from inventing a whole new avalanche of absurd excuses next Tuesday.
PS: one, only one of the excuses listed above actually really happened to me. Guess which one?