Up to 6 riders at a time are linked to computrainers, which apply resistance based on the pre-set course. My first ride out "Pre-Season Race #1" was a 25k hilly course. There were only 3 riders in my heat, one of them very strong and very elite....pretty humbling all in all.
The experience can be described in one word: Gasp.
The dreaded Zone 3 on a bike is every bit as hard as running. Maybe even worse because of the resistance being applied and the relentless grade changes. I damned near threw in the towel at 20 minutes - it was THAT painful. At just under an hour the little yellow biker on the screen finally crossed the finish line and I was so relieved. Having been my first time on a computrainer and first time doing Z3 on a bike, I had nothing to compare it to. It was just bloody HARD.
....and then I signed up for next week!
So here's the stats for pre-season #2 hilly course: 59:04 total time. 25.5 kph avg speed. 47.3 kph top speed. 158 avg watts. 316 peak watts. 2nd female. Not sure what that means....but hopefully there will be some improvement over the "indoor" race season!