Myeloma UK Virtual London-Paris Challenge in RGT Cycling
Updated: Aug 8, 2020
For the purposes of this post, I'm going to assume that you're familiar with RGT Cycling and already have an account. If you don't, but are interested in doing so, I'd urge you to take a look at the RGT Cycling website to learn more about what the platform can offer as a virtual cycling environment and how to get set up. The ‘Get Started’ link is a great place to begin. It’s also worth noting that you don’t need a ‘paid-for’ subscription to take part in the rides I talk about below – a free account will work just fine.
This post describes how I have recreated the real Myeloma UK London to Paris charity ride in a virtual environment, so you can ride it on your indoor trainer. It offers a schedule of group rides that you can follow or dip into to complete your challenge at a pace that works best for you – you don’t have to do every stage of the ride this way, but they’re there if you do. I also explain how to sign up to join these rides once you have your RGT Cycling account set up - you’ll need to do this from your smartphone.
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 on the charity’s dedicated webpage and hopefully sign up to take part!
Why do this?
Signing up to a group ride motivates you to get on your bike and do it
You get to ride the ‘real’ London to Paris journey, turn by turn, metre by metre of distance and climb
If you do it over 4 days, you get as close as possible to the real thing, all on your indoor trainer
Riding as part of a group ride gives you the opportunity to interact with others who are at the same stage of the journey, providing mutual support and motivation
How has the journey been set up in RGT Cycling?
One of the very interesting features of the RGT Cycling platform is known as Magic Roads. This feature allows you to upload mapping data for real rides and RGT Cycling recreate the route (in terms of distance, turns and elevation) within the virtual platform. For the Myeloma UK Virtual London-Paris ride, this means we can create a virtual replica of the real London-Paris ride for you to ride, albeit without the wonderful scenery that you get on the real ride. To give you options on how to complete the journey, I’ve split the challenge into 17 ‘stages’, each of which is between 22 km (13.7 miles) and 38 km (23.6 miles). The only extra is that you’ll need to ride across the English Channel, adding 53 km (33 miles) to the journey.
The 17 stages
In case you’re interested, the seventeen stages are as follows:
Magic Roads can only be ridden by joining a group ride, so in order to offer a variety of options I’ve scheduled a number of group rides that you can join. We all have different constraints on when we can ride and how quickly we want to complete the challenge, so the schedules I’ve put together attempt to cater for four different situations:
Complete the ride in 4 days. This is as close as we can get to the real thing. Rides are scheduled from Thursday through Sunday and match the daily rides from the 2019 physical event.
Ride at weekends. This schedule completes the journey over four consecutive weekends.
Ride on weekday evenings. This schedule, as the name suggests, completes the challenge over four weeks, with all rides on a Monday through Friday, starting at or after 6pm (BST).
Complete the ride over two weeks. Again, the name is self-explanatory. This schedule spreads the stages over two consecutive weeks, starting on a Monday and finishing on a Sunday, 14 days later.
For each of these schedules, I’ve created a series of group rides that you can join. In many cases stages are duplicated so you can choose the one that works best for you. To help you plan your challenge, I’ve created a set of tables that tell you when each group ride is happening, including a link to the event in RGT Cycling, making it simple to sign up to the ride.
How do I sign up?
To sign up, you need to use the RGT Cycling App on a smartphone, so the simplest way is to open this blog post on your smartphone then tap on the 'Sign up' link for the ride that you want to join from the schedules below. This will launch the RGT Cycling app and prompt you to register for the ride.
How do I join the ride on the day?
You will receive an email from RGT thanking you for subscribing to an event and then another reminding you closer to the event start time. They will also send you a notification via the RGT Cycling smartphone app 30 minutes before the event starts.
To get onto the start line all you need to do is set up your equipment, launch the RGT app on your smartphone and connect to your screen – the RGT Cycling website has detailed setup instructions. From there, in the smartphone app:
From the Home page in the app, tap the button in the top right corner (with three horizontal lines) to open the menu
Select Group Rides
Tap on ‘Registered’
Tap on the ride that you want to join and you’ll be taken to the start line
There’s lots more help on the RGT Cycling website under the Get Started menu item.
I'd love to hear how you get on with these rides. Please let me know by leaving a comment below.
Complete the ride in 4 days
Option 1 - 23-26 July
Option 2 - 6-9 August
Ride at weekends
Option 1 - 18 July to 9 August
Option 2 - 18 July to 9 August
Ride on weekday evenings
Option 1 - 20 July to 11 August
Option 2 - 23 July to 14 August
Complete the ride over two weeks
Option 1 - 27 July to 9 August
Option 2 - 27 July to 9 August (different times to Option 1)
Option 3 - 2 to 15 August
Option 4 - 2 to 15 August (different times to Option 3)