As we reported this morning, the Tour de France is set to be held on virtual training platform Zwift this summer with the coronavirus pandemic making an outdoor version impossible. With pro's taking over the platform and making us all feel weak and unworthy, one innovative Zwifter has decided to embark on an adventurous bikepacking trip within Watopia instead.
Virtual bikepacking innovator Chris Bruce spontaneously purchased some bikepacking bags at his local Lidl last week while picking up 72 loo rolls, 10kg of basmati rice and an arc welder; and when it dawned on him that it could be a while before he could use the bags in the great outdoors, he had an epiphany:
"I had my bike set up to do some Zwifting so thought I would set them up to see how they fitted", Mr Bruce told road.cc.
"One thing lead to another and before I knew it, I was bikepacking in my living room."
Although we're told the mosquitos can be a bit bitey in Watopia so a net is advised, Mr Bruce was sure to affix mudguards to his bike to keep his kit and bananas dry (if you know you know) and pack decent waterproofs in case it rained.
Initially shared on the Zwift Riders Facebook Group, he reported: "I had my first virtual bikepacking trip in Zwift last night.
"Found a nice spot to hunker down in Watopia and got a great night's sleep away from all the madness at the moment. I was worried Watopia might be a bit chilly at the end of March, but I left the heating on and it was roasting."
*If you read this article before midday, hopefully it fooled you for a second or two... although as mentioned by riggbeck in the comments, it's not the worst idea to prepare your little ones before embarking on a real outdoor cycling trip!
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.