When the weather or time of day isn't suitable to ride outdoors, JSTS Zwift Group Rides are a great way to still ride with your friends. These ride can be found in the JSTS Ride Schedule, and are noted with a "Pace" starting with "Zwift...". All rides are "by invitation only", so make sure you read about how to get invited to rides, and how to actually join a ride.
If you have a smart trainer, but are unfamiliar with Zwift, be sure to read this article that explains HOW TO GET STARTED ON ZWIFT WITH A SMART TRAINER. If you don't have a smart trainer, then read this article that explains HOW TO GET STARTED ON ZWIFT WITH A CLASSIC TRAINER.
If you have used Zwift before, but never participated in any of their organized events, then you should read about PREPARING FOR YOUR FIRST RACE OR GROUP RIDE.
Once you've covered those basics, this page covers the following topics that are specific to participating in JSTS Zwift Group Rides:
There are 3 different types of JSTS Zwift Group Rides:
JSTS Zwift Group Rides are "by invitation only", and it is really easy to get an invite to any ride. All you need to do is follow our Zwift Ride Leaders.Make sure to follow all the ride leaders at least 48 hours in advance of your first JSTS Zwift Group Ride. Note that this is not a commitment to join a particular ride, just a way to receive the invites for the rides led by the ride leaders.
If you do not receive an invite at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled start of a particular ride, please reach out to any of our ride leaders.
You only need to follow each ride leader once, after which you will receive invites for all future rides that they lead.
You must have received and accepted an invite to join a ride. Make sure to be up and ready on Zwift at least 5 minutes in advance of the scheduled start time. If this is your first JSTS Zwift Group Ride, it is best to allow at least 10-15 minutes to get everything setup. Sometimes when you launch Zwift you will find that it needs to perform an update before you can use it (there is no choice to "update later"). An update usually only takes a couple of minutes, but if you are cutting it close, that couple minutes can make the difference between being "on time" versus "late".
You must click on <RIDE> so that you are "in-game" within Zwift, and then once it is within 5 minutes of the start time for the ride, Zwift should ask you to confirm that you want to join the meetup. Click <OK> or <JOIN MEETUP> in order to join the meetup. If you are having problems joining a meetup, feel free to utilize Discord to try and get help from the other riders before the ride starts (see Will I be able to communicate with others during the JSTS Zwift Group Rides?).
All Meetups now automatically support late join! (*And there was much rejoicing!*)
This has been a popular request from Zwifters because let’s face it: cyclists are really bad at showing up on time. Late Join for Meetups works like Late Join for events – you can join a Meetup up to 30 minutes after it begins, as long as it’s still in progress.
Please follow the additional steps found on this webpage to participate in a JSTS Zwift Group Workout.
If you wish to enhance your experience during a JSTS Zwift Group Ride, you can communicate with other participants utilizing an app called Discord. JSTS has setup a server on Discord with voice channels for use during JSTS Zwift Group Rides. Simply click on this link to join the JSTS Server on Discord, and look for the Voice Channels that are named "Zwift...". Most rides will use the primary channel named "Zwift #1". Occasionally, when there are two groups Zwifting at the same time, the secondary channel "Zwift #2" may be used. If you don't find your fellow Zwifters on channel #1, then check channel #2.
If this is going to be your first ride using Discord, you should make sure everything is setup and working properly at least one (1) day in advance of the start of the ride. You are strongly encouraged to utilize headphones when using Discord in order to minimize the background noise typically generated by the bicycle trainer (even if you have a really really quiet one). You can purchase fairly inexpensive bluetooth headphones online for around $20-30. Also, if you use a fan while you ride (the kind that blows air, not the kind that cheers you on), then make sure the fan is not blowing directly at the microphone.
Some ride leaders may choose to play a motivational music track on the Discord voice channel during their rides. This music is provided using a "bot" known as "Groovy". "Groovy" will appear as a user in the Discord voice channel, just like all of the other real users, and Discord allows you to control the volume of each user (specifically how loud they sound to you).
Simply tap (or right-click if you are on a computer) on the user "Groovy", and you should see a slide control for "Volume". Click and drag the little white dot to the left to lower the volume of that user (or to the right to raise the volume). Note that the volume will not adjust until you release the little white dot (i.e., the volume does not adjust in real-time as you are adjusting the slider). You can also "Mute" Groovy to completely silence the music (or any other user for that matter).