Lucianotes: I am a Proud “Maniculous” Zwifter

Lucianotes: I am a Proud “Maniculous” Zwifter

I can’t even begin to describe my friend’s face when I told him I was not going to be able to attend a lunch because I planned to spend 12-13 hours riding the slopes of Alpe du Zwift trying to complete a vEveresting with 100+ others attempting the same in all parts of the world… and that I had been preparing that challenge for three months.

I said it with such enthusiasm and pride that I thought he would be very supportive and happy for me.

It was as if I could physically see my words going into his auditory channel and being translated into meaning in his brain, and the reply came: “Come on mate, you are going to spend your entire day on the virtual thingy? It’s just a game, you are taking it way too seriously. You are never going to be Pogacar.”

I am a pacifist. I hate violence. But at that moment I had some kind of empathy for Hannibal Lecter in the Silence of the Lambs. Let me explain…

My Zwift practices aren’t any different than in anything else in my life. I Zwift with the same passion and commitment I put into everything I do. And the way each of us expresses our passion translates into different behaviors as unique as our fingerprints. In my case it translates into preparation, rationalization, reading, discovering, exchanging, debating, laughing, getting involved in the community of people having the same hobby as me: Zwifting. 

My wife summarized it perfectly: “you enjoy being maniculous with the things you like”. “Maniculous” standing for something in between manic and meticulous. She says it in a positive way, celebrating that trait in me. And she is 100% right. I officially declare I am a proud maniculous Zwifter! 

Call me the king of nerds, I enjoy crunching useless data, seeking correlations to help me understand how things work and improve. This same drive made me cease believing in Santa Claus when I was five, acknowledge I was hopelessly bald at the age of 25, and finally admit the earth is not flat when I was 32 (only joking, of course. I still believe that the earth is flat 😃). 

I find pleasure in getting better at the things I do. At work, on a bike, when I cook, or in any other activity. It gives me a sense of purpose. I am not saying my way is better or worse than any other way. It is just my way of getting the most out of my time on this flat earth.

And I think you can be serious without taking yourself seriously. The same way I don’t believe I am going to be the next three-star Michelin chef when I manicously prepare all the ingredients of a recipe, I don’t believe I am going to be the next Pogacar when I: 

  • Spend hours analyzing my Training Peaks stats
  • Debate endlessly and vigorously on the appropriate virtual bike to choose for the next race
  • Remove the cassette of my set up to manicously clean it centimeter by centimeter
  • Debate with Amanda, the name I gave to my smart trainer, on the most controversial Zwift topics. (By the way, she is way too smart and wins the argument 90% of the time.)
  • Click “Join Event” at the very same second it appears on the screen to be in the first row at the start of the race. Might be useless and ridiculous but makes me feel I already have won over the others!
  • Go through a two page checklist before any Zwift session (remember how miserable you felt when you forgot the towel 15 minutes into a workout and there was nobody at home you could shout at to bring it to you?) 
  • Curse when I don’t get the most useful powerup in the last arch before the arrival of a race. What?! A truck again while I have the Lutscher to climb?!
  • Compare second by second the power data of my many devices to check they are properly calibrated. I am sorry, no matter what the device makers say, 1% difference is not acceptable.
  • Arrange most of my days to be sure that I will be able to do my workout. 
  • Scrutinize my Watopia map or my Zwift Hub circuit profile before a race. I have printed and organized all the circuits of all the worlds and races of the game (see image below), with the Zwifthub profile on one side, and the route description or recon on the other. OK, OK, on this one I would understand if you call me “freaking weirdo”.
  • Spend tons of money on the latest Zwift accessory I cannot live without even though I did not know it existed minutes before.
  • Reorganize, during breakfast, the order my Spotify playlist so it fits with the cadence of the workout I will do in the evening while I know I will eventually skip them to listen to the same 20 songs again and again.
  • Spend hours analyzing the ZwiftPower profiles of my opponents in the Zwift Racing League, creating sometimes contradictory feelings of envy and pride.
  • Read and watch any source of information available on Zwift and materials. Any. Reviews and comparisons of any gear related to Zwift, analysis of any race, detailed scrutiny of the update logs of the app, dystopian metaphysical investigations on the patterns of migration and reproduction of the dinosaurs in Watopia. ANYTHING!!!!
My Zwift routes binder

We all spend our time and money on what makes us happy. (If you spend yours on something that makes you unhappy please send me a private message and I will send you the contact details of a very good shrink!) As far as I am concerned, whatever that “what” is is great. And for me, there is nothing more fun than spending it on a “game”. I wish everything could be a “game” like cycling (and by extension Zwifting) is for me. 

In conclusion, let me share this: that friend telling me I was taking myself too seriously is a huge fan of the Warhammer tabletop miniature fantasy wargame. He spends hours and hours choosing and painting figures in a specially dedicated room in his house which he locks so his kids cannot enter and touch.

It’s not my thing, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be his thing. Let’s support each other doing safe, healthy things that bring us joy.

Your Thoughts

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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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rdcyclist (Mark Crane)
rdcyclist (Mark Crane) (@rdcyclist)
3 months ago

I am so glad to hear that I am not alone in my Zwifting Maniculousness!

rdcyclist (Mark Crane)
rdcyclist (Mark Crane) (@rdcyclist)
3 months ago

My wife has come into the Zwift Cave to inquire as to my health when I got an XP PowerUp instead the Feather in a race. Somehow the yelling concerned her. Or maybe it was the Feather instead to the Aero… I’ve since learned that yelling at the monitor does nothing except expend energy I need to finish the event.

Marta
Marta
3 months ago

My husband just made me read this article and comments specifically to prove that he is perfectly normal shouting and yelling when he gets the wrong power up 😂

Jelantik
Jelantik
3 months ago

How did you do with your vEveresting challenge? I’d like to hear your preparation for it.

Rhys
Rhys
3 months ago

Zwifting I can relate to, I never saw the point in Warhammer. I find Warhammer fans a little odd 😂😂

m long
m long
3 months ago

Keep writing about your experiences. And your prep for them please  :wpds_smile: 

Russell Jones
Russell Jones
3 months ago

Hi my name is Russell and I spend to much time on Zwift. But it does keep me out of trouble 😎👍

Rob Burdon
Rob Burdon
3 months ago

Is Amanda only correct 90% of the time due to your trainer difficulty setting?

Trisk3l
3 months ago

when reading this post I had the impression that I had written it myself 😜

Lewis Goulden
Lewis Goulden
3 months ago

Hahah this was good. I love your articles, friend – please keep it up. It’s nice to know I can relate to someone once in a while! I don’t have a route binder…yet…but my family thinks I’m insane already. So…

Danken
Danken
3 months ago

The perfect article. I have the same disability. You can send me a link to those PDF files. [email protected]. Don’t be the “freaking weirdo” alone. 🙂

Dave Bitschy
Dave Bitschy
3 months ago

OMG, I’m glad im not the only one. please send to me too!! [email protected]

Rob Muir
Rob Muir
3 months ago

Yes please Luciano!😀

Tom Robson
Tom Robson
3 months ago

Hi. Your binder is epic and just what I need!!!! Where did you get it from!😀

Mark Crum
Member
Mark Crum (@mark-crum)
3 months ago
Reply to  Lewis Goulden

Great article! Can I get the link to your PDF’s? [email protected]

Seb
Seb
3 months ago

As a compter geek, finance geek, avid zwifter, and all around curious person, I get this kind of reactions all the time 🙂

M Newberry
M Newberry
3 months ago

That route binder though.   :wpds_shock:  Brilliant! Keep up the maniculousness!

andre nascimento
andre nascimento
3 months ago

I really liked your routes binder, everytime i´m doing some route badge or racing I print the route to planning what to do or when to give up(😁) keep the good work!

andre nascimento
andre nascimento
3 months ago

It will be really appreciated, please send it to [email protected]. Thank you!

Mark Stadsklev
Mark Stadsklev (@artwithinnature)
3 months ago

I’d love to receive your PDF if you’re still sharing. Thank you.

Ramon
Ramon
6 days ago

Hey Luciano, great article, I admire your passion and organisational skills. Is the PDF still available ? [email protected]

Aaron
Aaron (@aaron-paquette)
3 months ago

this is great but also seek help

Morten Jensen
Morten Jensen
3 months ago

Hi Luciano, would you consider sharing your notes on the Zwift routes?? I am always looking for more detailed info on descents and climbs than I can find online. Thanks. Morten

Morten Jensen
Morten Jensen
3 months ago

Thanks!!!

A.TriPhil
A.TriPhil
3 months ago

How do we access your Google drive folder

Mike
Mike
2 months ago

Hi Luciano- If you are still sharing, could I get a link to your PDF files? Thanks!

Mark
Mark
3 months ago

Luciano! Sei mio fratello da un’altra madre!

Alex
Alex (@altetlak)
3 months ago

In Latin, Amanda means “she who must be loved”. Nice choice!

Darren Ellis
Darren Ellis
3 months ago

Hi everyone
So glad that I’m not alone
P.s just invested in a kickr climb
It’s amazing (I’m a wahooagan)
Ride on

Matt
Matt
1 month ago

Just reading your article today, really enjoyed it. Will look you up on zwift. Ride on brother

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