My interested was piqued when I heard that the Washington State Bicycle Association (WSBA) was organizing a winter race series, because as far as I know this is the first time a USA Cycling (USAC) local association had organized a race series on Zwift. The WSBA is blazing a trail here, and that’s exciting! I’m sure in the near future we will see many more sanctioned associations organizing Zwift events for their members and cyclists at large, but for now I wanted to get more info from the WSBA about their “SweatFest” race series. Here are the details…
About the WSBA
The WSBA is the USAC Local Association representing competitive bike riders across Washington, North Idaho and Oregon. (Membership in the WSBA is independent of one’s affiliation with USAC and details can be found here.)
As an organization, the WSBA recognizes that competitive cycling is evolving and riders have many opportunities to quench their competitive juices virtually (Zwift) or on their own time schedules (Strava) without lining up for a traditional competitive cycling event.
Birth of the Series
Recognizing this evolution, two local riders (Travis Dougan and Zqwan Peterson) approached the WSBA about creating an indoor winter series with the goal of making traditional racing approachable through virtual, indoor, trainer-based events on Zwift. Zqwan had hosted a regular weekly bike ride/race last off-season which was a big hit with local road racers.
As the WSBA sees it, growing a winter, indoor series benefits new and existing members by providing an opportunity to enjoy the social, community and fun elements of the traditional race season from the comfort of their own home. The short days and cold temperatures make this an appealing and safe option.
About the Series
As this series was designed the key elements of focus were:
- Early-season training
- Community building
Organizers opted for mostly flat courses and a one-hour format to keep groups tight and the duration approachable.
Trophies will be given to each Zwift category series winner as shown to the right but the real emphasis is on participation, so organizers are collecting assorted prizes to offer to individuals based on participation.
All WSBA members will be entered to win local brewery, restaurant certificates, Zwift schwag and more. To encourage female participation organizers have come up with a 3 pack of wine that any women who participates in 3 or more events will be entered to win. According to organizers:
Final results count towards the rubber chicken trophy which is serious glory but it’s clearly about the fun and not to be taken too seriously.
Though only WSBA members are eligible to win the ‘schwag’ all Zwifters can join in the series races.
Races occur every Wednesday night from January 3rd to February 28 at 6:25pm Pacific.