Editor’s note: Dave Bibby’s “Road to Recovery” series documents his use of Zwift to return to full fitness after a road bike accident in June 2017. This is the second post of the series… additional posts can be found here.

All Clear and Ready to Go

Great news from the physio that I am now all clear and allowed on the turbo. I can’t tell you how much I have missed it mentally as well as physically. So it’s time to get back on the island but what do I do first? As it was around the holiday season in the US I decided to join Eric on his Thanksgiving ride which as luck would have it, the course was covering the latest Mayan extension.

All started well but I soon realised they something was wrong with my power. I had done a few miles on Zwift before the last operation but surely I cannot have lost that much? This was run in the new workout mode where you can ride together even if your FTP’s do not match up. Something did not add up, perhaps the update had thrown out the calibration?

After a recalibration and making sure the turbo was all setup correctly I chose to join a group riding on Sunday morning. Again as it was workout mode and I could stay with the pack as long as I could output an even wattage. This was to be my lowest point so far on Zwift.  As the watts increased on the ride I was getting more and more fatigued. I managed only 2 miles before I got dropped and slouched over the bars. After a breather I pedaled around London at my own pace and completed 15 miles at an average of 130 watts.

You Have to Start Somewhere?

There was no getting away from it. Part of using Zwift effectively is being honest… telling the truth no matter how hard it is to take. I have clearly lost a lot of power and needed to reset myself on Zwift by taking the dreaded FTP test.

I considered what I had lost and decided to look back on my first rides on Zwift from November 2015. Even in the early days of Zwift I was able to manage around 200 watts and slowly moved up to an FTP of 297 in spring 2017. Could I really have lost all that?

As we all know the FTP is not the most exciting part of the platform but it’s good to check every now and then. After taking the shorter version of the test my worst fears became reality and I now was down to 181 – this was going to take longer than I thought!

So pretty demoralised, I decided with time on my hands I would start with a series of workouts I could use to focus my attention. After some consideration I’ve picked the 6 week beginner FTP builder. (Although I don’t class myself as a beginner I can use this as the foundation for my future training.)

Back in the Day

I thought it worthwhile when reflecting to look back over the early days of my Zwift journey and take a look at what I was doing on the platform when I first started. I remember back in 2015 before we had leader beacons that finding fellows Zwifters to ride with was a little harder than it is now. One such group I joined was called the Zwift Sub2.  It was there I met with the leader Joachim Taelman and a few of his friends. This was my first experience of riding in the group on Zwift and soon realised the work that leaders do. Not only the organisation to arrange these events with Zwift but during the ride itself trying to keep the group together. Thank you Joachim for playing your part in getting me hooked on Zwift!

Join me for the next installment where I start my first workouts and gain a few more feet in the hunt for Tron.