Zwift wheels its virtual bicycle racing platform into open beta

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Journalists and bike geeks gather at the Rapha Store in San Francisco for Zwift’s launch in September 2014.
Journalists and bike geeks gather at the Rapha Store in San Francisco for Zwift’s launch last September.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Zwift, which calls itself an “online fitness entertainment gaming platform,” has finally opened up its virtual roads for anyone with a bicycle on a trainer to ride.

The virtual bicycle racing platform lets riders hook their two-wheelers up to their computers (Mac or PC). Then they receive real-time data about their ride — including speed, cadence and even power — and can match their performance against another rider who is using Zwift at the same time.

The virtual bicycle race is on

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Journalists and bike geeks gather at the Rapha Store in San Francisco for Zwift’s launch in September 2014.
The official Zwift launch took place simultaneously in all three Rapha Cycle Clubs locations: San Francisco (pictured here), London and New York. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

New bicycling game Zwift cruises along at the crossroads where video game nerds, bike fanatics and the land of the long winter come together. Launched in beta today, Zwift lets you compete with friends in a massively multiplayer cycling game designed to turn indoor rides into something more exciting.

The basic premise is this: You pick your avatar, pick your whip, pick your kit, pick your route and then pedal with/against your friends, no matter where they are in the country. You watch the action on the virtual terrain on a computer (most any reasonably modern desktop or notebook will do).