TeamODZ was created by two optometrists from Riverside, CA in May 2015. Jason Flores and Quan Nguyen wanted to start their Zwift rides early Saturdays (around 5am Pacific) before they head into the office. Hence, you see that the ODZ logo is a cyclist riding on a bicycle that resembles a pair of glasses.
At that time, the only organized group ride available was WSR (World Social Ride) which was targeted for beginners as a no-drop ride. The intensity was around 1.5 to 2w/kg. Jason and Quan had a FTP above 4w/kg. Therefore, it was not the right ride for them. Out of necessity, they created the ODZ Coffee Ride. To make the ride more fun, there is an Espresso Lap to heat things up towards the end of the one hour ride. Initially there were a handful of regular riders joining the ride. The ride was extended to Tuesdays as popularity grew.
Instead of using the Zwift messaging system, ODZ Coffee Ride was the first group ride that made regular use of TeamSpeak (TS). One of the driving reasons was that ODZ ran at the same time as WSR. As respect to WSR, ODZ didn't want to confuse WSR participants with text messages. Through time and testing, ODZ found that TS was a more effective way of communicating and made the ride much more fun.
As his in real life (IRL) cycling season was approaching in the Fall of 2015, Quan wanted to add a less intense ride to the weekly format. Instead, the opposite occurred. Cat and Mouse was created. As the number of regular riders continued growing, a Planning Committee was naturally formed to come up with ideas for fun ride formats. ODZentury (i.e. 3.0, 2.5, Wagner’s Wagon, and Reliability Ride) and Team Races were created.
As displayed on the jersey and bibs, many of the ideas, buzz words, and phrases mentioned or discussed during ODZ rides are captured as sponsor logos. The goal of creating the ODZ jersey kit is to carry the fun and creative aspects of the virtual Zwift ODZ rides into real life rides as the outdoor cycling season starts. There will be ODZ real life meetups in which we will proudly wear this TeamODZ kit. We are proud to say that our avatars on Zwift can also wear this kit!
Many teams on Zwift started as real life teams (i.e. dZi, Finkraft, Vision, etc). ODZ is possibly the first team started as a virtual Zwift group extending to real life.