Zwift Community Q&A
By: Matt Gardiner
Something that we will be doing on a regular basis is featuring those people who make Zwift racing and riding what it is today:
To get things started, we asked avid Zwifter, Larry Parker, some questions so the community could get to know more about him. Read up below!
How did you get into Zwift?: A teammate told me he used zwift and a wahoo trainer instead of riding outside in during the winter months.
How long have you been riding or racing a bike?: I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in 2009 at the age of 42. I contracted a virus which later attacked my ventricles. I had a pacemaker and defibrillator implanted in 2011 and was given 3 to 5 years to live. I was always active in sports, motocross, martial arts, running, and exercising. One day I decided I was not giving in to the CHF and started riding an old mountain bike around the block with a backpack and oxygen bottle. Eventually the rides got longer and faster leading to where I am today. My first bike race after my diagnosis was in 2015. I won my first ⅘ crit race in 8/27/2017. I won my first Zwift B race on 2/5/19. It’s been a long road !
What team on Zwift are you on?: VR2209 Named after a teammates daughter who died from heart complications. She blessed us with her presence on this earth for 2209 days.
What trainer/power meter do you utilize?: I have 2018 Wahoo Kickr and Climb.
What kind of fan do you use for cooling?: I use 2 regular isolating stand fans.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?: I am a morning person.
What’s your pre-race ritual?: Greek Yogurt with honey, a banana, small powdered donut and 20mg of caffeine.
What’s your favorite “staple” (regular) race?: I really enjoy racing the with the Dirt Crew. The Morning Grind and Dadurday.
What’s your favorite Zwift group ride?: I enjoy racing so much that I have only done a couple group rides.
Do you think Zwift racing is different from outdoor bike racing? If so, how is it different to you? Zwift racing is safe, convenient, fast and fun. I enjoy racing outdoors but at my age the risk outweighs the reward.
What kind of fuel do you use to keep yourself going while riding?: Honey Stinger Organic Energy Gel and Powerade Zero.
If you could race anyone head to head on Zwift, who would you pick?: Leandro Messineo
Do you ride/race outside in addition to Zwift? If so, what discipline(s)?: Yes Pro123 Road
Do you feel that Zwift has helped your fitness for outdoor riding? If so, how?: Absolutely. Zwift racing has improved all aspects of my fitness. Zwift is great training tool, helps me with weight loss and maintenance, increases in FTP, steady state and sprinting power.
What one tip would you give to Zwifters looking to improve their racing in-game?: Race often and with fast guys. Be persistent and don’t quit.
Where do you see eSports for cycling going?: Endless possibilities. The near future UCI World Championship and the 2024 olympics.
What’s your favorite Zwift memory?: My first win and getting to meet and ride with Holden Comeau at the Dirt Studio.
Who’s your biggest fan?: My 12 year old daughter Lola.
What’s your favorite post-race food?: Protein shake and PB&J
What’s something your competition on Zwift might not know about you ? How much love and respect I have for cycling. Cycling literally saved my life. I am forever grateful!