Team Points Don’t Matter
You may hear a lot of buzz on our team chats about team points or team rank. Broadly speaking, when we race in league series like the Fierce Felines or TFC Mad Monday, we earn ‘points’ for our team. Just participating, earns a single point. Getting a podium position, garners higher points. At the end of the series, the team with the most points wins.
What is the point system and why does it exist on Zwift? For riders at the top of their game in any CAT, you race to win. At the end of the series, you can walk away knowing you took a podium position (ie gold, silver, bronze), earned ‘x’ amount of points for yourself, and earned ‘x’ amount of points for your team.
So why are riders given a single point just for participating? Here?s my guess. Speaking from the perspective of an event producer for 12 years ? your dream is to have the highest number of attendees at the event you pour your heart and soul into creating. Otherwise, why put in the effort?
For some, that single point may be what motivates them to race. For others, they believe they have a responsibility to the team to earn points.
As co-founder of LiveByCycling, I’m here to tell you ? you DO NOT need to earn points for our team. Seriously. Points don’t matter to us.
What Does Matter to Us
What does matter to us, is that you?re having fun! If racing brings you joy ? and helps you ?heal the road rash of life? ? then do it! If doing group rides or trainings are more your thing, then make that your goal.
We are very proud of our CAT A riders who have won races, taken podiums, and placed in the top 10 in the Premier League!
And we are equally as proud of our sub 2 w/kg riders. Those who have the courage to say, I want to get involved with women in cycling. I want to improve my fitness. I want to shed some weight. I want to create friendships. I want to be part of this team.
Not Losing Sight of Our Vision
Our primary objective is to provide a place where women can come together to ‘heal the road rash of life’. If racing is part of that equation for you, excellent. Race on! If enjoying conversation on Discord with teammates pedaling a sub 2 group ride is a better fit for you ? do it!
Team LiveByCycling is about YOU. If you?re participating in any of our targeted races or events because you think it?s your responsibility as a ?team player? ? think again. That?s not what we?re about.
No one will be ?kicked off the team? or be thought any ?less of? for not riding in those. In fact, you are to be celebrated for taking care of yourself by setting and maintaining your boundaries around what is right for you.
Something for Every Rider
It was easy for co-founder Becky Padilla and me to get lost in the whirlwind of things to get done after launching LiveByCycling.?But as?longtime business owners we knew organization was crucial.While we were immersed in building the team infrastructure and communications ? Discord server, LiveByCycling website, registration protocols, team management, comprehensive answer base, etc.?? the team events were chosen by teammates familiar with the racing series platform.
This worked well for awhile but soon became problematic for those riders whose focus wasn?t on racing. The last thing we want is for any of our team members to think that racing is a requirement for being on LiveByCycling. It?s not.
Less is More
That which is of smaller quantity could be of higher quality. That which is less complicated is often better understood and more appreciated.
We’re simplifying. We want to eliminate any sense of ‘pressure-to-participate’. Here’s what we’re doing.
Team Management Roles
We’re not Mitchelton-Scott. We’re not Boels-Dolmans (my favorite team 😉 ). As much as I’d personally love to have a team soigneur, there are certain pro cycling roles that don’t make sense for TEAM LiveByCycling. Let’s go over the traditional roles in pro cycling:
Team Manager: oversees the team’s commitments, sponsorships, and general operation. While we currently don’t foresee sponsorships, the day-to-day management of our team is led by its two co-founders: Becky Padilla and Elaine Montoya. Additionally, Cindy Schnee has generously volunteered to take on the role as Team Recruiter and is doing a fabulous job!
Directeurs Sportifs: dictate the racing strategy, and on bigger teams often drive team cars and have radio contact with the riders. It’s a cool concept. In many ways, this is the role Erin Mac has taken as our T? (Team Time Trial Tactician), Trainer of all TTT Captains, and ‘Team Car Captain’ for many of our TTTs.
Coaches: direct the team’s training. Kelly Rose generously offers her time once a week on Monday’s providing a TTT course recon/training. For those of us who have been able to participate, it is nothing short of remarkable. We’ve come up with a way to allow riders in all CATs to take part in this and get an amazing workout at the same time. Beta testing begins this week. Stay tuned for details.
Doctors: responsible for riders’ well-being and often making sure the riders meet regulations such as those related to doping. You’re on your own here! Do make sure you’ve consulted with your doctor before racing. Know ? and honor ? your limits!
Therapists: assist the coaches. Oh! I thought they meant the other kind. For me, that’s been the calm voice of Erin Mac keeping me sane as we go through our growing pains. Thanks Erin!
Soigneurs: responsible for feeding, clothing, massaging, and escorting riders; from the French for the “one who provides care.” It’s on my Amazon wish list! I want one!
Mechanics: responsible for the team’s equipment. Once again, you’re on your own. But feel free to ask your teammates for advice and recommendations about gear in our chats!
The point is, many of these roles are not necessary. Less is more. Our structure is simple:
- Team co-founders: oversight and team happiness directors.
- T?: TTT Tactician, Captain of TTT Captains, camp counselor, and happiness coordinator.
- Team Recruiter: filling gaps on our TTT teams, ensuring team happiness. She needs a more playful title… suggestions?
- TTT Captains: voice of calm inspiration with a dash of ‘GO GO GO!’ during TTT races; confirms team member participation, and handles team WTRL registration ? the ingredients that make their team happy.
And that’s it! No other roles are needed! Less is more.
Races, Rides & Training
We’re simplifying this as well. Why? Because less is more! (you’ll catch on…)
For many of us, the Thursday (or Friday in some Zones) WTRL Team Time Trial is the highlight of our week. We’ve watched many of our teams grow ? and not just in physical strength! The team building skills gained are proving to be invaluable. Friendships. Camaraderie. Team spirit.
I equate what we are doing with our TTT program to be the equivalent of a “Ropes Course”. And for most of our teams, it’s working brilliantly!
Because of this, the weekly TTT will continue to be a primary focus of TEAM LiveByCycling.
But if you don’t want to participate?don’t! No pressure. Seriously.
As I mentioned above, we?re working on ways to expand our our weekly training with Coach Kelly to include all CATs. She is amazing!
Another goal is to create additional opportunities for coaching as well – with the support of other team volunteers. Coaching, much like the TTTs, creates a remarkable sense of belonging and builds self-esteem.
And coaching?is the perfect segue to Stage Events.
Stage Events, like the upcoming Tour of Boudicca, are not common on Zwift. When they happen?and especially when they are designed for women ? we should support them, and use the opportunity to learn and improve.
So how does coaching fit into this? While I was reading through the documents provided by the Tour of Boudicca race organizer, as well as other race details, I came across the suggestions that teams who participate, build up for the event through course recons and training. This reminded me of what teams LiveByCyclingBold, LiveByCyclinGOld, and LiveByCyclingLoud are doing with the TTTs!
If you’re interested in participating in this 3-day tour, be sure to fill out the application form on our website, no later than Wednesday, July 8th. Depending on the teammates who register, we will establish teams of 4-8 riders based on women’s CAT to participate in this 3-day stage race which includes a TTT, a crit, and a mountain stage.
Then, each team will determine what works best for their training on a team-by-team basis – whether it be training recons or participating in other Zwift races.
Leagues and Series
Many LiveByCycling teammates have participated in the Fierce Felines or TFC Mad Monday series. Generally speaking, most series take place over 8-weeks. And when one finishes, a new one starts shortly after. This is fantastic for many of our riders, but for some ? myself included ? it starts to feel overwhelming.
I can only speak for myself, but often when I wake up to find numerous posts encouraging participation in one of the many races that day, I don’t feel encouraged. In fact, the opposite happens ? I feel overwhelmed. I feel like more is being added to my plate.
Many of us work full-time jobs and Zwifting is only one aspect of our busy lives. The last thing we want anyone to do is to quit TEAM LiveByCycling because they feel overwhelmed, pressured, or can’t provide the ?perceived? time commitment.
So to clarify ? other than our TTT teams which are specifically designed for team building, no other events require a commitment. You can choose to participate in any of the other races or rides at your leisure and for your pleasure. Seriously.
Based on the concept of (here?s where you shout it out?) less is more, as a team, we will focus on one series at a time. For this round, it will be the Fierce Feline series starting later this month. While Fierce Felines touts this series as ?hard racing? ? it was selected because it’s a women’s specific race, and it best fits international time zones for all teammates:
Saturday 10:55 PDT | Sunday 1:55a EDT | 6:55s BST | 3:55p AEDT
6:30a Sunday 5:30a PDT | 8:30a EDT | 3:30p BST | 11:30p AEDT
11:55a Sunday 10:55a PDT | 1:55p EDT | 7:55p BST | Monday 3:55a AEDT
RACE ORGANIZER DESCRIPTION
The Fierce Felines Racing Series is a new series created by the BRT Hellcatz, providing hard racing for women across three timezones. We believe that women need more opportunities to race against women, and that races should be as equally hard as some of the top mens racing in Zwift. This series provides races that should cater to all abilities, with time trials, points races, fairly flat road races, and hilly road races.
So what about Mad Monday, 3R, WTRL Empowerment?or any other series? Race them! Invite teammates to race with you! If you?re planning to race in one, post it to our #ride-with-me chat on Discord. Invite others to join you! No strings attached!
For weekly races, we selected two events. The Fearless Beginner Races – where all races are under 7MI/11.5KM and more doable for many of us. The second is the Fearless Women’s Tuesday Night Crits offered in 3 time zones. 10 furious laps of Downtown Dolphin.
There’s something for everyone on Zwift! What’s your passion? We want to make sure there’s something for every woman on LiveByCycling. Becky will be spearheading invites to the weekly Fearless Beginner Races. We?ll be exploring events that target our 50+, 60+ and 70+ riders. And…it might be fun just to get together for recovery rides to spin out our legs and share conversation on Discord.
These types of events will also be posted to the #ride-with-me chat. This is your go-to place to see what teammates are riding. Then you can make a conscious decision about what YOU want to ride!
Less is more.
Step back. Take a breath ? and design your own LiveByCycling experience.
Team points don’t matter.
What do you want to ride? Take a minute to offer your ideas!