POLL: Jump in the Pool Party (5 questions)

I am mulling over an idea for a new feature and would appreciate some feedback before I post details.
Please take a moment to answer the following four questions.
Select one answer per question.
Results are anonymous but you are welcome to comment. :wink:

How often do you ride indoor endurance level workouts per week during indoor trainer season?
  • 1-2x
  • 2-3x
  • 3-5x
  • 5-7x
  • All of the above.

0 voters

What type of indoor workout do you prefer for most endurance workouts?

0 voters

When do you usually train indoors?
  • Early morning
  • Mid-morning
  • Afternoon
  • Evening
  • All of the above.

0 voters

Would you consider joining a group endurance session that meets your training goals for the day and starts at whatever time you wish to train on any day of the week? (i.e., on-demand)
  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe
  • I only ride solo.

0 voters


I’m a bit confused. Are you talking about a new xert feature?

Yes. A proposal for an enhancement if there is enough interest.


Whilst you’re at it please, please, please increase the font size on the garmin xert player.

Did I say please, if not please.


Agreed, but I am just another subscriber like you. :smiley:

My head unit journey started with a phone app (don’t remember name) then on to a Polar 450 followed by a Garmin 1030 and now back to various phones running EBC. However, I understand why many dependent on Garmin Connect would prefer a refresh of the Connect IQ player.


Bumping this post…
I’d like to reach 100 responses as my sampling goal.
Then I’ll outline my ideas and get your feedback.
Please vote if you haven’t already. TIA

1 Like

Almost there :wink:

Ugh. Now I have to pull together all my scattered notes and rambling thoughts into something that makes sense with minimal code changes required by Xert. :slight_smile: Stay tuned…


Im looking forwards to seeing what it is.

Poll results as of Jan 2 2023 –

Everyone rides endurance level workouts with 72% at 2-5x/week.
Most prefer o/u LTP (46%) or under LTP (26%).
The majority of users work out early in the morning (29%) or in the evening (32%).
83% have an interest or would consider group endurance workouts if the right time and level.
17% prefer to ride alone so I’ll leave them be for now. :slight_smile:

Here’s some details of my idea and why I think it would be of benefit.

TL;DR elevator pitch – Ride when you want with others doing the same thing.
When you start a workout or session you can immediately join a pool of riders who happen to be riding at the same time as you.
Watch a movie (scenic routes), listen to your favorite music, chat with others if you want.
Ride as long as you’d like to meet your training goals for the day.

Scheduled public group sessions have until recently been a bit hidden due to menu location or they are private (club, team, squad). The new Sessions tab on XO home page is a step in right direction as it lists group workouts open to the public and scheduled within the next 7 days. Anyone can join if a session meets your training goals and start time is acceptable. However, those issues limit usage. Scheduled group sessions may not meet your needs based on start time, focus, difficulty or duration. I have missed a number of early morning sessions simply because I woke up late. In my case sleep is more important than start time. :sleeping: :sleeping_bed:

The LCD (lowest common denominator) is that everyone rides LSD (long slow distance) several times a week.
Many of us are also in Base phase (endurance) riding indoors for the next month or two. But regardless of ATP setting all of us need to ride some LSD on a weekly basis.
What if that was easy to do that as a group session available at any time?

I have two overlapping ideas that fall under the same umbrella.
I’m calling this umbrella Xert World (XW) for lack of a better name at the moment. :wink:
Part 1 is the LSD portion that includes scheduled group sessions.
Part 2 is BYOW (bring your own workout) that includes on-demand group sessions.
I’ll limit this post to Part 1 but want to start off describing what XW isn’t.

  • Not a virtual SIM (Fulgaz, VeloReality, etc)
  • Not 3D world avatars (Zwift, RGT, Rouvy, etc.)
  • Not a race (ZRL, RGT, etc).

Simply put Xert World is an option to ride with other Xerters who are training at the same time.
It’s a group workout on your terms and schedule. No need to schedule or join in advance.
XW is an opportunity to watch a movie, listen to music, and chat with others while you work out, whenever you want to work out.
As anyone who’s participated in group sessions knows, the movie, sound, and chat room distractions ensure time flies. 90 minutes can seem like 30. You get your training done and have more fun doing it. Of course, you can do this elsewhere, but the components are also present in Xert. Let’s make it easy to do.

Part 1 – LSD public group sessions #1 and #2

LSD #1 is Lucy in the Sky (Forever :wink: ) that is scheduled on the hour.
LSD #2 is Back to Blue is scheduled to start on half past the hour.
Both are 75 minutes long (warm-up to cooldown).
XO server generates these sessions continuously over the course of the day. Only two entries of each session show up at any time. The next one on the hour (or half hour) and the other is the one in-progress. That means four additional group sessions are listed under the Sessions tab at all times ready for you to join one.
For example, if you login to XO at 12:05pm and select the Sessions tab, the list would show –

  • Lucy in-progress (started at Noon) with 70 minutes remaining. Hop on now if you want.
  • Lucy in-progress (started at 11am) with 10 minutes remaining. You’ll ignore this one but can see if anyone is riding it.
  • Blue starting at 12:30pm. Join when ready. You’ll see others who’ve joined and are warming up.
  • Blue in-progress with 40 minutes remaining. Hop on now if you want. You can always hop again later to extend your workout.

Trick is XO does not auto-generate the next LSD #1 or 2 until the prior session has ended. In example above, Lucy scheduled for 1pm would not show up on the list until the 11am session ended at 12:15pm. That keeps the list manageable. No need to see Lucy’s scheduled all day long every hour. This also instills the habit of riding LSD on the hour or half hour since it’s now obvious you can do this every day. Running a bit late today? Another session starts in less than 30 minutes. Oil your chain. Wipe down your frame or trainer mat. Put some air in your front tire. Restock on fuel. No time to waste? Hop on a train and start riding right now.

Missing warm-up isn’t crucial when joining an LSD session in progress. You can always warm-up in Slope mode and switch to AUTO when ready. The point being you can hop on a train that just started or wait a few minutes for the next one. Then hop on/off for as long as you want to reach your XSS goal or time you have to train today.

Why 75 minutes? I thought this might work best for overlapping workouts ending at quarter past the hour and quarter til the hour. Session could be 59 minutes long if that works out better programmatically. Either way they’ll always be an LSD train running you can join.
Ride however long you want whether you have 45 minutes to train today or 2 hours.
You can always ride less by dropping out or more by hopping trains.
Those so inclined could turn this into an LSD 2-3 hour session or ultra-endurance contest. :thinking:
Rinse and repeat for as long as your sit bones can handle it.

XW doesn’t prevent you from running something else over the top of the Session Player if you prefer that. You can also pop-out the rainbow gauge or power chart or chat box and use them as you wish. The power chart isn’t necessarily useful since it’s all LSD level strain. You won’t care much about interval transitions or count. It’s more about how long you want to ride while distracted by content (movie, music, chat).

Requirements –
EBC on phone (Android preferred for now. See below.)
Session Player on laptop/PC/tablet
Rocket Chat app on phone (easier for chat than keyboard)
Optional big screen (cabled or mirrored)

Likely code changes required –

  • Update to XO to auto-generate two LSD sessions (one on the hour and the other on the half hour) as soon as prior session ends.
    Suggest rotating through a stack of BTW urls so there is a new “movie” each time the next session is generated. With over two hundred possibilities, it would be highly unlikely to see the same movie from day to day. Could be something that only changes by the day. Every 24 hours the movie URLs change for the daily editions of LSD #1 and 2.
  • Update to EBC iOS to match Android feature (end workout, start another as one activity). Not crucial analysis-wise, but I’m sure most users would prefer one activity recorded no matter how many trains are hopped.
  • Updates to Session Player:
    +Add toggle icon in title bar above stats box to switch between stats box and leaderboard.
    +Add toggle icon in title bar above rainbow gauge to switch between overlay format without pop-outs and overlay with default SP settings. I think overlay works better than embedded for this purpose since title bar is always visible to show elapsed time and XSS.
    +Add age group option (<20, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, 80+) to dropdown for leaderboard so you can see who’s in same age group as you.
    +Add Time Zone (UCT) to dropdown for leaderboard so you can see who’s in same time zone as you
    +Add status stars count/color to dropdown so you can see who’s at similar TL as you.
  • Update to Rocket Chat: LSD 1&2 become new chat rooms or combine into one XW chat? Or General chat room could change to Xert World. [Part 2 BYOW comes into play here which I will post next.]

Group Session Report issue – Haven’t thought this through but an easy solution would be to exclude those who hop sessions and don’t complete a full session. You’ll only get a group report if you start/end a 75-minute session in its entirety. It may work that way already.

At any rate…the gist of this idea is “Work out when you want with others if you want.” :smiley:
If anyone has questions about what I’ve posted so far, let me know and I’ll create a mockup or provide an example in more detail. Part 2 will complete the picture so that ANY workout or session you start solo can join the pool.

Hopefully there is enough interest for Xert to consider changes along these lines in the future.
I realize their current focus :slight_smile: is on Xert 2.0. :+1:


Here’s Part 2 of my concept to complete the picture.

Part 1 (above) is continuous LSD sessions throughout the day; starting every 30 minutes but you can hop on anytime you want and hop between sessions to extend your workout.
Part 2 is Bring Your Own Workout (BYOW), aka Everyone Everywhere All at Once – Sometimes. :smiley:

Requirements would be the same –
EBC on phone (Android preferred for now as discussed above to support hopping)
Session Player on laptop/PC/tablet
Rocket Chat app on phone (easier for chat than keyboard)
Optional big screen (cabled or mirrored)

Code changes to XO would entail –

  • New option under Account Setting to enable public sessions by default.
    Example: :white_check_mark: Join Xert World and make all my workouts/sessions public group sessions.
    Enabling this automatically enrolls you as a Xert World club member with club-level privacy. I.e., basic info; data is not shared like you can do at the Squad level. You can also blur your name on group session reports if desired.
  • New option to define a Spotify playlist or radio channel you want to listen to on a regular basis. You can change this URL as often as you want. This replaces the XBL podcast on SP when enabled.

Session Player (SP) changes –

  • Opening SP at any time (no workout/session selected) would display a slide show of BTW videos in the vid box. I.e., still shots provided by Open Road with course title at top. Slide changes every 15 seconds.
  • Next trick is the stats box can be changed to leaderboard by tapping a new icon in title bar above the stats box. Leaderboard shows any other XW club members currently riding along with the name of their workout (instead of Intensity). You can change column to view list grouped/sorted by intensity, XSS, rpm, etc.

So without starting a workout or session you can view the SP and check to see who’s riding at the moment and pop into chat if you want.

  • There is also a new icon in title bar above the rainbow gauge. This icon lets you toggle between overlay video in full screen mode (as though you pressed F11 on a Windows browser), same but without any pop-outs (movie only view), and your default settings. Reason being overlay gives you a full screen view of the video with workout title, elapsed time, and XSS. You can toggle back to your personal stats box from leaderboard whenever you want.
  • Chat box defaults to a new Xert World chat room (or this replaces General?). Even though you haven’t started a workout/session you can chat with others in XW if you want.

Because you elected to join Xert World whenever you start or schedule a workout or session entry (from Recommended Training) that workout session becomes a public group session in Xert World. You are listed on the XW leaderboard when you start the session. Someone can join your session if they want.
This means your session in-progress (or scheduled session) shows up under the Sessions tab on XO. Since the list may get crowded at various times of the day, the default view could be sessions starting within the hour (including any LSD session from Part 1) along with public group sessions currently in progress. The idea here is you have the option to start your own public session with a specific workout you want to ride or review sessions about to start or in-progress that meet your Suitability requirements for the day. You have the option to join one of those instead.
You could further refine this list of candidates by only listing in-progress sessions with a suitability rating of Good/Near Focus or better and sessions started less than 10 minutes ago (plenty of time left to join). You and others are creating hop-on opportunities whenever you BYOW or BYOSession to XW. When anyone logs into XO they can see others riding, join them if they want, join an upcoming scheduled session. or elect to do their own thing in XW with others doing the same.

BYOW defaults to constantly changing BTW videos (stacked deck of URLs) when you pick a workout. Otherwise, the video is whatever is assigned to the session library entry you selected.
Main point is you can watch a movie, listen to music, and chat with others in XW doing their own thing.
Commonality in this case is group chat and a position on the leaderboard. The leaderboard keeps you within view so you can change columns to view others riding at similar intensity, rpm, etc.
The default audio option is the XBL broadcast unless you entered a Spotify URL for your account, or you join a group session with pre-assigned Spotify URL.

I probably introduced some glaring loose ends to resolve, but that’s the general concept. :smiley:
I’ll leave off with this final poll –

Would you join Xert World Part 1 or Part 2 if features like this were added?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe

0 voters