The humble “Ride On” is one of the unsung hero ingredients in Zwift’s magic sauce. Think for a moment what Zwifting would be without those glowing blue thumbs. Yes, we could still ride and run in our virtual paradise. But that feeling of being connected to others around us would be diminished substantially.
The Ride On helps tie Zwifters together socially. And it encourages each of us each to push forward in our journey toward fitness. Here are my top four favorite Ride Ons:
- The one from some dude I ran into free riding one day. We ended up traversing Watopian slopes together for 2+ hours, developing a bond as we suffered together.
- The ones from my DIRT teammates. Many of us have followed hundreds of other DIRT guys, so we can easily show support for one another.
- The one from my local riding buddy. We’ll see each other IRL soon enough, but in between that, he’s letting me know he supports my efforts.
- The one from Eric Min. It feels like some sort of validation/appreciation for my hard work – on Zwift, and on Zwift Insider.
With that preamble, I humbly offer three Ride On wishes – feature requests which I believe would improve the Ride On experience for everyone. Read on!
#1: Group Ride Ons In Events
We used to be able to tap our rider arrow in Companion and give 5 Ride Ons to nearby riders while we were in an event. That feature was taken away quite a while ago. I’m not sure why, although I would guess it had to do with some group rides calling for “Thumbderstorms” where riders handed out scads of Ride Ons to others. Perhaps it caused some server or graphics performance issues?
Regardless, we need this feature back.
It’s silly, really: I can tap my arrow and give a Ride On to 5 nearby Zwifters when I’m free-riding, but I can’t do that in an event. Here’s the thing: it’s in the events that I want to do this most!
When I’m free-riding, I don’t generally hang with other riders for long – most of their names just become a blur after a while. But in an event, you get to know other riders. You message with them, you compete against them, you work together with them. Camaraderie is forged in the fires of mutual suffering! Those are the times when I want to give a Ride On. But doing so is way too much hassle right now – especially in a race or hard ride situation.
I can do it from my keyboard, clicking on a rider’s name, hitting the thumb icon, then clicking “Back to me”. Or I can do it from Companion, clicking to view nearby riders, then tapping a name, then tapping to give them a Ride On, then tapping to get out of that screen.
But I really just want to tap my arrow in Companion and give Ride Ons to those around me in an event. Easy peasy.
Rapidly Reciprocating Ride Ons
If a nearby rider gives me a Ride On, a button shows next to their name for a few seconds for me to click and return their thumbs up.
Problem is, that button is a pain to get to, especially if I’m pushing my effort at the time. So many times I’ve tried to mouse over to that button, only to have it disappear before I could get there.
What I’d really like to have is one or both of these:
- A keyboard shortcut to return the Ride On. Anytime a nearby gives me a Ride On, I could just tap the “R” key to give them a Ride On back. Of course, not everyone has a keyboard on Zwift, so…
- A Companion button to return a Ride On
Tweaking “Your Week On Zwift” Ride On Count
The “Your Week On Zwift” email is cool, but I’d like the number for my “given” Ride Ons to include all those I give when I’m not on Zwift. The “Received” number, at least in my case, is largely made up of Ride Ons given by people who aren’t actively on Zwift when they give me the Ride On. So my “Received” number is always much higher than “Given”, even though that’s not the case in reality.
Most of my Ride Ons are given via the Companion app when I’m not Zwifting. I love hitting that button at the top-right that gives a Ride On to all my active friends – usually 40 or more, sometimes over 100!
I’d like the email summary’s “Given” number to include my offline Ride Ons because I want to see how many Ride Ons I’m really giving each week, so I can compete with myself to give even more!
Your Ride On Thoughts
Got other ideas for improvements to the Ride On system? Share below!