Birds of a feather, Zwift together
The idea to host a series of virtual events during the week of the Games has been led by international former Invictus Games competitors, Zed Pitts (Team USA) and Andy Perrin (Team UK).
A great international friendship was struck up when Zed and Andy first met at the 2015 Warrior Games. Zed recalls Andrew’s excellent cycling ability as a point of not only friendly competition but also athletic mentorship. Their bond was forged by their respective invisible wounds, a category of injuries that feature at the Invictus Games that does not result in visible physical alterations.
Given that they resided on different continents, they used Facebook to periodically keep in touch and Strava to track each other’s athletic progress. Eventually, they started cycling virtually ‘together’ weekly using Zwift.
The Zwift platform has allowed them to continuously support each other in a way that only wounded, injured, and sick veterans can. The type of connection and support that Zed and Andy have is vital in the recovery process through adaptive sports.
Zed says: “Resilience means to overcome – push past the word ‘can’t’. For anybody who is still in that dark place, you’re not alone. There are other soldiers going through similar or worse circumstances so you can look to them for example and guidance and advice on how to overcome whatever you’re going through.”
Andy says: “Using cycling as a means of rehabilitation from injury gradually grew into more of a competitive obsession. I competed locally in various track, road and cyclocross events and also trained with the Help For Heroes BattleBack Cycling team. In 2014 the opportunity came for me to compete in the inaugural Invictus Games where I won gold in both my cycling events. The event was a big step for me and allowed me to share my experience of racing with others
“Zed and I regularly train together and despite being miles apart we can share the suffering of brutal training rides. Cycling with friends, even virtually is a great benefit to the mind and body and we want to share our experience with as many members of the Invictus community as possible.”
The four upcoming events taking place during the week that would have been #IG2020 include:
Monday 11 May – SOCIAL RIDE
USMES Back to Work ride (60 min social ride)
Times: 0845 EST USA / 1345 BST / 1445 Central Europe / 2245 Australia
Thursday 14 May – RACE 1
US Paracycling Time Trial Series (17.5km)
Times: 1200 EST USA / 1700 BST / 1800 Central Europe
Thursday 14 May – SOCIAL RIDE
Australian Invictus Pathways Program meet-up
Times: 0930 Australia
Saturday 16 May – RACE 2
Zwift Crit City Race (15km)
Time: 0945 BST / 1045 Central Europe / 1845 Australia / 2045 New Zealand
You do not have to be a member of the WIS community, or an Invictus Games competitor to join us on a ride to Bring The Hague Home. Friends, family and supporters of the Invictus community are welcome to join.
How to join the Bring The Hague Home recommended rides:
- To join the public rides/races search and select the events listed above using the Zwift Companion app – links to the event pages will be posted here in due course.
- To join the Invictus Pathways Program meet-up, follow Mark Reidy [ASP-AUS] on the Zwift Companion app (more details via https://www.unisa.edu.au/Business-community/Community-Engagement/invictus/)
To win an IGF tshirt:
For the two races, WIS cyclists registered with the IGF ZwiftPower team can be in with a chance to win a Racing Forward tee from our IGF collection.
- Join the IGF team on Zwift Power, visit: https://www.zwiftpower.com/team.php?id=7659, log-in to your ZwiftPower account, click ‘Join I AM’
- To be a member of the IGF team you must first be registered on the We Are Invictus app: https://weareinvictus.co.uk/#/welcome
- Select IGF as your primary team prior to joining a ride and [I AM] will appear alongside your name in the race results
- For the Paracycling TT, the top three WIS cyclists will win an IGF tee
- For the Crit City race, the top WIS cyclist in each Category (A-D) will win an IGF tee
- No duplicate winners across the two races. In the event a cyclist appears in the top 3 of Race 1 and top in Cat in Race 2, the 2nd placed cyclist from Race 2 will win a tee.
- Prizes will be awarded based on ZwiftPower results available online.
How to join the Monday 11 May USMES ride 0845 (USA)
- Login into the ZWIFT Companion App or at www.zwift.com/events and search for the USMES Monday Morning Back to work ride (roughly 24 hours prior to the event you should see it.)
- Join the event and select when you want to be notified it will give you choices if you use a mobile device.
- Prior to the event make sure you are logged into ZWIFT and all of your gear is setup roughly 30 mins prior to the event.
- You will get a join event button on your screen if you click that you will be taken to the starting area where we will gather for the ride and you will be given the USMES kit for the ride.
- The ride leader will have a Yellow Beacon/Chevron above them and will have Heads Up Messaging in ride.
Now for the ride details:
- Route Watopia Waistband: https://zwiftinsider.com/watopias-waistband/
- 1 hour the ride is Scheduled 2-2.5 w/kg but we will adjust for this ride.
- We leave at 08:45 sharp but you can late join up (this means you can join us after the start) you will be placed by the ride leader.
- Also THIS ride does not have a Sweeper
- We use Discord to speak to each other but if you join DISCORD we ask you go to push to talk as ambient noise can ruin the experience. Here is the server info. https://discord.com/invite/hExnM7B
- Enjoy the ride stay with your ride leader and have fun!!
About US Military Endurance Sports
US Military Endurance Sports (USMES), a division of American Servicemembers Amateur Sports (ASAS) Inc, is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization chartered to support amateur athletes, endurance sports education and activities for current, retired, and Veteran members of the United States Armed Forces. The mission of USMES is to promote endurance sports as part of a healthy lifestyle to active and Veteran members of America’s Uniformed Services. usmes.org