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Ride new virtual roads in Zwift's Urukazi expansion of Makuri Islands

Bad weather getting you down? There are 8 new routes to explore in this 'coastal oasis' and Zwift teases a new type of surface

Makuri Islands is Zwift's most recent world and following this latest Urukazi expansion now includes over 40 miles of road. There are eight new routes to explore, some pavement, some gravel, and Zwift teases us with "a new type of surface not yet found anywhere else on Zwift."

2022 Zwift Urukazi expansion Makuri islands map

> Review: Zwift Subscription

Urukazi (woo-roo-kah-zi) is the combination of two Okinawan words - “uru” means “shore,” and “kazi” means “breeze.” Zwift says that the new roads available to explore in Makuri Islands will take Zwifters "from cityscapes to the country and now to the coast."

2022 Zwift Urukazi expansion Makuri islands waterfall

> How to get started with Zwift

Zwift says that you can enter this 'coastal oasis' (we're still unsure whether you can have an oasis at the coast) directly through a paddock or choose between heading south from Yumezi or Neokyo.

"Pedalling from Yumezi to Urukazi takes you through a slot canyon or you can explore the cave system while travelling from Neokyo," says Zwift. "Take in the shoreline with fast gravel roads that skim the water’s edge."

2022 Zwift Urukazi expansion Makuri islands

> What is ERG mode on your turbo trainer and how should you use it?

From launch, there will be 8 new routes to ride:

Mech Isle Loop

Take a lap around this short industrial loop.

Distance: 2.5 mi // 4 km, Elevation Gain: 127 ft // 38.7m

Bridges and Boardwalks

Explore the biggest island in Urukazi.

Distance: 3.9 mi // 6.3 km, Elevation Gain, 195 ft // 59.5m

Island Hopper

Visit all of the islands of Urukazi in a single lap.

Distance: 11.2 mi // 18 km, Elevation Gain, 421.6 ft // 128.5m

Fine and Sandy

Explore mangroves and sandy beaches on this off-road loop. 

Distance: 6.5 mi // 10.6 km, Elevation Gain, 253 ft // 77.1 m

Island Outskirts

Race around the outskirts of Urukazi

Distance: 7 mi // 11.3 km, Elevation Gain, 295 ft // 90.1 m

Makuri 40

Feel the burn on this 40 km loop around Makuri

Distance: 24.9 mi // 40 km, Elevation Gain: 1006 ft // 306.6m

Country to Coastal 

Cruise open fields to open oceans

Distance: 20.7 mi // 33.4 km, Elevation Gain: 899 ft // 274 m

Turf N Surf

A race from city streets to sandy beaches

Distance:  15.3 mi // 24.6 km, Elevation Gain: 642 ft // 195.8 m

The new routes are accessible for both free rides and workouts and will also be included in Zwift's ongoing 'Tour of Makuri Islands'. Stages 5 and 6 of the Tour are said to be located in Urukazi, you can read more and sign up for that specific tour here.

2022 Zwift Urukazi expansion Makuri islands oasis

Unfortunately, I'm unable to tell you what this new unheard-of terrain entails. I finish work at 5:30 pm so if you're going to spoil it for me then you'd better be quick!

What type of roads would you like to see Zwift add next? Let us know in the comments section below...

Jamie has been riding bikes since a tender age but really caught the bug for racing and reviewing whilst studying towards a master's in Mechanical engineering at Swansea University. Having graduated, he decided he really quite liked working with bikes and is now a full-time addition to the team. When not writing about tech news or working on the Youtube channel, you can still find him racing local crits trying to cling on to his cat 2 licence...and missing every break going...

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fenix | 1 year ago
1 like

I don't get the dislike for gravel or sand surfaces. Sure they slow you down but speed is a rubbish indicator of performance anyway.

Nobody complains about climbs do they ?

Power vs HR is a much better indicator for me.

Must admit the new japanese routes seem a lot more buggy and glitchy than the other worlds.
I'm disappearing or freezing and coming and going a lot there.
Very annoying when your interval is extended because you've frozen for 30 seconds.

I think they've tried too hard here.

bike.brain | 1 year ago

Is it sand maybe???

Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
1 like

Looks OK, I'd swap it straight away for a Stelvio and a Tourmalet to be put in Watopia. What I wish they wouldn't do is shove in all these different road surfaces that give different speeds for the same watts; as a pretty casual user I'd like to ride in different worlds and compare my efforts, with different surfaces that's not really possible. Couldn't they introduce a "standard surface" mode so that everywhere rides like tarmac? Obviously wouldn't count for races or KOMs but it would be useful.

Secret_squirrel replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago

I'm with you on this one. High visual density scenery at the expense of decent length route and some unpleasant surface choices. 

Just can't warm to it.  Style over substance. 

Just bolt another innsbruck length course onto France or similar. It's not like there's not plenty to choose from. 

PRSboy replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago

Agree on wanting more actual Alpine style roads. Alpe Du Zwift is so popular.  Curiously, Ven-Top doesn't seem to hit the spot in the same way. 

The Epic KOM is excellent, IMO, scenery and variety is great. 

Rendel Harris replied to PRSboy | 1 year ago

PRSboy wrote:

Agree on wanting more actual Alpine style roads. Alpe Du Zwift is so popular.  Curiously, Ven-Top doesn't seem to hit the spot in the same way. 

I think because, much as I hear from friends who've done it IRL, it models the real thing in that it just basically ploughs straight up with little variation until Chalet Reynard. Sounds like hell frankly, in fact it is and I've only done it virtually half a dozen times. Also Zwift don't seem to have really bothered with the modelling, the Alpe, as you say, is excellent with all the changes in scenery, Ventop is just the same thing mile after mile.

Secret_squirrel replied to PRSboy | 1 year ago
1 like

PRSboy wrote:

Agree on wanting more actual Alpine style roads. Alpe Du Zwift is so popular.  Curiously, Ven-Top doesn't seem to hit the spot in the same way. 

Part of the problem with VenTop is that it lacks the Gameification of the Alpe imo.  I want to know how I'm doing vs my PB on each section.

The Accountant replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago

The Alpe Du Zwift is modelled on the Alp d'Huez, and is a popular climb on Zwift. However, if you want to experience different climbs globally, a much better platform for this is Rouvy IMO. A friend of mine also uses Fulgaz, which I'm going to try out when my Rouvy sub ends later this month.

Rendel Harris replied to The Accountant | 1 year ago

Yes Nigel, we remember you being a fan of Rouvy. Don't bother with any of this "I'm a bona fide good faith commenter" nonsense, you've totally slipped up this evening and staff have been alerted to the fact that you are the user previously banned multiple times for trolling, libellous comments and racism.

mark1a replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
1 like

Did Turf N Surf earlier, and I couldn't get above 20km/h at ~200W on the sand using the road bike. Stopped and switched to the MTB, was getting 32km/h same power, but had to switch back to the road bike for the climb. What a faff. 

What was most annoying though, it crashed after 21km, first time ever in 7 years of Zwifting. Managed to recover & repair the FIT file though, so I would say, Zwift, if you're reading this, let's have less shiny scenery and get back to stable software. While you're at it, a climb up Mt Fuji, and a velodrome in downtown Watopia. I was disappointed a few years ago seeing the oval construction site taking shape only to see it launched as a running track. 

Rendel Harris replied to mark1a | 1 year ago
1 like

+1 vote big time for a velodrome, surely the simplest thing of all to create? I suppose it wouldn't fit with their everyone rides together ethos but it would be great for short hard sessions.

That sand sounds like I'd definitely give it a miss!

PRSboy replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago

+1 for a velodrome!  Would be fun for track races, and "hour records"

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