Myeloma UK Virtual London-Paris Challenge on Zwift
Updated: Jul 2
For the purposes of this article, I'm going to assume that you're familiar with Zwift and already have a subscription. If you don't, but are interested in doing so, I'd urge you to take a look at the Zwift Insider website to learn more about what Zwift can offer as a virtual cycling environment.
If you’ve come across this blog post in passing and are not familiar with the Myeloma UK Virtual London to Paris Challenge, I urge you to learn more at the charity’s dedicated webpage and hopefully sign up to take part!
If you've signed up to the virtual London-Paris challenge and you're using Zwift to entertain you as you put in the cycling hours on your indoor trainer, here's a way to get close to the actual daily challenge of the real London-Paris ride in the magical world of Watopia.
I decided to limit my choice to routes in Watopia because this world is always available in Zwift. The other worlds are not always there for you to ride, so may not be available on the day you want to complete it.
The actual London-Paris ride in 2019 was 456 km (283 miles), with 4337 m (14,229 ft) of climb, completed over four days. The slight difference with our virtual challenge is that you'll need to cycle across the English Channel, adding 53 km (33 miles) to the journey. The daily figures for our virtual challenge are therefore as follows:
I've scoured the pre-loaded routes in Watopia to come as close as possible to the above distances and climb. This is what I came up with:
By way of an example, the closest way I can find in Zwift to complete the equivalent of the first day's London to Paris ride (plus 'riding' across the Channel) is to do six laps of the Figure 8 route in Watopia. Now of course you may not want to do all six laps in one ride, and that's absolutely fine, but if you want to really emulate the day then go for it.
It's up to you when you do each part of this ride - push yourself to complete it in four days like the real thing, or spread it out through the period of the challenge, it's entirely up to you. Why not get together with some friends, all sign up to the challenge and ride the route as a series of Meet-ups in Zwift? This is a great way to ride socially while isolated indoors or avoiding those pesky summer showers.
If you also have a Strava account (free or subscription) don't forget that you can link your Zwift account to Strava and in turn link your Strava account to the challenge portal. This will ensure every kilometre you ride is automatically recorded towards the challenge total. You even get an email confirming that the distance has been logged.