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Zwift was founded in 2014 with the goal of creating a platform for virtual riding that enhances the indoor cycling experience. Zwift is essentially a video game in which a user’s avatar is powered by the output the user produces. Users can meet up with others across the globe to ride together in a variety of ways including organized group rides which can draw thousands of riders at once, high-intensity races, organized group training workouts or just simply just to free ride. 2020 marked a major milestone for the Long Beach, California, based company as it surpassed one billion dollars in valuation.


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In order to ride on Zwift users require a bike, a trainer, a power meter or a speed sensor, an internet connection and a membership to the service which costs $15 per month. Smart bikes are easy to connect as well, however, only a few stationary bikes like the Bowflex Velocore are currently compatible with the program, a Peloton bike is not. 

There are a variety of features that gamify Zwift like power-ups the avatars receive when crossing certain points on the maps, of which there are many. Currently, Zwift offers nine unique maps several of which mimic real-world locations like the famous tree-lined boulevard of the Champs Elysees made famous in the Tour de France, and the unrelenting, switchback filled climb up Alpe d’Huez, developers have promised more are on the way. One was just released today. Meet Yumezi.

Press release:

Zwift, the online global fitness platform, has today opened its latest virtual travel destination, Makuri Islands. Makuri Islands is an entirely new Zwift World primed for future expansion. The first map within Makuri Islands will be Yumezi, a fantastical countryside destination, inspired by Japanese culture.

The spirit of an ancient land is calling. Yumezi’s tranquil forests have been still and quiet for years but from today, a new energy will be felt as its roads and gravel trails will be opened to Zwifters for exploration by bike or by foot. Yumezi (yu-meh-zi ᐧ 夢路) means “path to dreams.”

Yumezi is a Japanese haiku-inspired name, with its two characters (夢路) taken from a poem by renowned Meiji-era poet, Shiki Masaoka. Yumezi boasts a wide variety of road types from tight, flat, winding roads ideal for fast races to dirt roads and cobbled market streets. Zwifters exploring the new map will discover lush green fields, ginkgo forests bristling with life and mystical creatures, cherry blossom trees, gushing waterfalls and ancient temples. This new map really is one for the senses, so why not hide your display for the first ride and soak in the scenery?

Yumezi features 8 new routes across 53 miles of new roads:

Sea to Tree (2 miles/ 354 feet elevation) – A short, challenging climb from the peaceful Fishing Village.

Kappa Quest (5.6 miles / 459 feet elevation) – This scenic loop is filled with Temples and Shrines.

Chain Chomper (8.5 miles / 603 feet elevation) – Two challenging KOM’s and a Sprint, test your endurance around the countryside.

Countryside Tour (9.9 miles / 606 feet elevation) – From farmlands to mystical mountains, this looped route is the perfect way to visit the countryside!

Flatland Loop (8 miles / 324 feet elevation) – A gentle and flat route winding around the countryside.

Two Village Loop (8 miles / 288 feet elevation) – Explore two villages as you pedal through this challenging circuit.

Spirit Forest (5.25 miles / 442 feet elevation) – Grind your way through this mystical figure 8. Visit at night and ride with the spirits!

Three Village Loop (6.5 miles/ 303 feet elevation) – Climb, sprint and explore three unique villages in one go.

Explore all of Yumezi’s fresh roads May 20–30, 2021, when the Makuri Islands are available as a special Guest World on the Zwift home screen. Starting June 1, Yumezi will be available for regular rotation.

Learn more about the map and its inspiration here:


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