Riding Sweep

Get off the fence and join the fun!

My one year anniversary for joining Zwift is fast approaching.  I remember those early days well, learning about group rides, red and yellow beacons, fliers and drafting in virtual reality.  There was a lot to learn and it was a little overwhelming but still kind of fun.

Then there was this whole thing about riding sweep.  Who were these cycling super people that would intentionally fall back, way back to help someone with their draft, drag them back to the main group and then fall back again.  They did it over and over again.  How do you become a sweep?  Is it a popularity contest?  Is there a vote?  Do you need to be nominated?

Stumbling upon the HERD helped to de-mystify the entire sweep thing for a number of reasons.  Here are the reasons you should consider become a sweep with the Herd.

  1. Intervals.  If you want a great workout even on a beginner/slower ride then you want to ride sweep.  Racing back to the yellow beacon will get you in shape like nothing else can.
  2. The fence.  I’m sure you have heard about the fence by now.  If you want to peddle hard and not worry about the fence, then ride from the back with the sweeps.
  3. Fun.  The best party is ALWAYS in the back with the sweeps.  We talk more, joke more, and pick on each other more.
  4. Belonging.  People naturally run in packs or at least most of us would like to.  If you are a misfit and want to fit in somewhere, try sweeping with the Herd.  We are all misfits so you’ll fit right in.
  5. Teamwork.  Yes, when you ride sweep with the Herd you will work as a team.  I have been on Herd rides recently where there have been ten people riding sweep.  The head sweep/red beacon coordinates the controlled mayhem.  Have I mentioned the party in the back?
  6. Training.  Other sweeps will invite you to join them in the back and happily coach you about sweeping.  Or, you can ask for Brad to run a training class.  Trust me, option one is more fun. (Sorry, Brad!)
  7. Appreciation.  The people you help get back to the main group will appreciate you and even say thank you!  Helping people is of course its own reward.
  8. The Herd is always looking for more people to put on the Red Beacon list.  Now is a great time to ask about sweep training and to get on the list.

Yes, you too can be seen as one of those superhuman cyclists doing incredible feats that will bring you the praise and awe of others while on your group rides.  Instead of riding the riding the fence, ride with the cool kids in the back.  It truly is the most fun you can have on a group ride.