Lucianotes: Excuses

Lucianotes: Excuses

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?

About The Author

Luciano Pollastri

Luciano is a French-Argentinian living in Madrid, Spain. He landed by mistake on Zwift in March 2020, and, according to his wife, staying there because of some strange variant of the Stockholm Syndrom yet to be diagnosed. Passionate about all the little things making us feel alive and together when being part of a team.

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12 days ago

My di2 / eTap battery ran out in the final sprint!

I kept getting 10xp for my powerup while everyone around me got the Aero!

I forgot to swap bikes before the race. Totally would have podium’d instead of 58th place had I used the Cervelo.

Tim Perkin
Tim Perkin (@tperkin)
12 days ago

What about “My gear cable snapped, leaving me with 2 gears to race 60km in a Gran Fondo” – oh wait, that really did happen… Great article. I laughed. Very witty. 😀

12 days ago

Some more which may or may not have happened:
My phone disconnected from the TV screen and I could not see anything anymore
I dropped my water bottle and had to remove the spillage
A mouse ran in through the open balcony door and I had to catch it (actually happened)

Robby Beauchamp
Robby Beauchamp
12 days ago

I’ve had the dreaded wifi drop several times in races and hard group rides. All the other avatars disappear, you keep relatively consistent watts, everyone pops back in and if you are *very* lucky you are still in the draft without getting shelled out the back.

Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith
12 days ago

Great article. Cracked me up!! And my personal favorite – “I forgot to clamp the quick release tight on the Kickr Climb and it came off during the sprint flipping me over the bars…” Ahem, I heard this happened to a friend… :^)

Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith
12 days ago

It was NOT pretty (or so I was told). Landed upside down on the Wahoo table in front of the bike, knocked the TV off the stand in front of the table, and then landed on top of all of it on the floor. Good news was the trainer flywheel was still spinning fast enough that I “finished” the sprint. Apparently in Zwift, you don’t actually need be attached to your bike as you cross the finish line for it to count!

rdcyclist (Mark Crane)
rdcyclist (Mark Crane) (@rdcyclist)
12 days ago

If I’d been able to put off going to the bathroom for 3 more minutes, I could’ve gone on the descent of Fox Hill and stayed with the lead group! As it is, stopping on the climb relegated me to 58th, dammit. That actually happened to someone I know…

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