Tour of Sufferlandria, 2020

Davism72

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tl;dr
I'm punishing my body, and I want you to give me money for it. The money goes to the Davis Phinney Foundation, the pain goes to me. You can donate here.

Background
Some of you may know that I've bounced around jobs a bit in the last year. I lost a job I loved in May of 2019, then took one I did not love to pay the bills. In December, I left that job for my current role. The company is called The Sufferfest, and we make a training app for cyclists. It was a gamble, because I knew very little about the company and even less about cycling, but the pay was good and I knew I wasn't happy with the work I was doing at the time. Turns out it was the right move! I totally love this job. Interesting work, cool people, a product people use and care about. I'm so glad I made the switch, and I'm excited about putting down some roots for a while.

One job responsibility I didn't expect was that they'd want me to learn to ride. I knew I'd be on bikes a bit so I could test my code, but I was surprised when my boss said I should be spending a few work hours every week riding. In the two months since I started, I've ridden 24 workouts, for a total of about 30 hours. I assume there are some cyclists on this site, and to them those numbers might as well be zeros, but I'm really pumped about it.


The Tour
The Tour of Sufferlandria is an annual event comprised of nine back-to-back days of riding. Each day has at least one workout which lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. The last day has three workouts. It's an opportunity to do something ill-advised to your body in the name of charity. All donations go to the Davis Phinney Foundation, which supports Parkinson's research and people living with Parkinson's disease.

Here's this years Tour announcement video:

And the details page:
https://thesufferfest.com/pages/community-tour-of-sufferlandria-2020

I encourage you to check it out! The Tour has begun in some parts of the world, but It's not too late to sign up. If you have a bike and a trainer, you should be good to go, and the 14-day trial of our app is more than enough to get you through.

My Goals and a Call to Action
My goal is to complete the Tour. I will ride every ride, all nine days, but I haven't set any specific performance goals for myself here. Completion alone will kick my ass. I'm also not setting any firm fundraising goals, so no hard feelings if nobody decides to donate. But I hope you do! We all spend quite a bit of money on some pretty dumb stuff here. Why not spend on something a little less dumb? In return, I will post updates on my progress in this thread so you all can laugh at my pain. Fair?

If you're feeling generous, please visit the page below and make a donation! If you do, please also send me a PM with your name so I know who it's from. Thanks!
http://events.dpf.org/site/TR/Events/TourofSufferlandria?px=1133914&pg=personal&fr_id=1140

For Glory!
Matt Davis

Disclaimer: Tour entrants are eligible to win some pretty cool prizes, but as an employee, I am not. I'm not just trying to pump you guys for cash so I can win stuff. :)
 

Davism72

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Diving into Stage 1! The first workout is called It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time. Looks a bit like this:

1581807114666.png


That chart shows the time in minutes along the X axis and power output in watts on the Y. No specific markings on the Y axis because the effort levels are scaled to my ability, but I you get the gist. Those big spikes, especially the orange ones towards the end, will be really hard.

Wish me luck!
 

Davism72

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And done! It was hard, but manageable. I'd never been on a bike for two hours straight before, so that was probably the hardest part. I really appreciated the storyline of this ride and the pump-up music.

Here are my stats:

1581815365237.png


1581815385959.png
 

Davism72

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Two rides today: The Bat and Fight Club. Was burning petty low by the end of the second! But I’m glad to have made it through the weekend in one piece. Onward!
 

Davism72

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Thankfully, Stage 3 was the easiest so far. Only one workout, only 45 minutes long. The entire thing is a climb, which got a bit rough, but the shortened time alone helped keep me in it. Looking forward to tomorrow!

So far I've done four workouts in three days, for a total of about five and a half hours on the bike.
 

DMack

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Cycling is so much better outside! Can you do these workouts on an outdoor ride, or is it all from a trainer? I don’t get near as much time in the saddle as I used to. I sure miss peddling around God’s creation.
 

Davism72

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I'll absolutely be riding outside eventually, but the Tour is an indoor activity. At the heart of the app are videos of compiled race footage overlayed with power and cadence target, so you need to be in front of a screen. I also don't own a bike yet -- I'm just go use the ones we have in the office for QA. Soon, though!
 

Davism72

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Yesterday's ride (stage 4) was my least favorite Sufferfest workout I've done yet. It was called Team Scream, and the premise of the video is that you're part of a five-man time trial team. It's an hour of cycling between medium and medium-high intensity, with very little rest time for the duration.

Today's actually went much better, which is a surprise, because this ride is known as one of the most difficult in our catalog. It's called Violator, and it looks like this:

1582179792159.png


It's fantastically inelegant. The entire workout is comprised of 64 all-out sprints. There are no precise power targets. The colored bars you see above are just rough estimates of the power you should be putting out. You're instructed to turn off the resistance-control on your trainer (if it has that capability) so it doesn't interfere with your ability to sprint.

In a word, it was brutal. But it's done! I feel very encouraged to have gotten through this stage, which I thought would be one of the hardest of the tour. There are still much longer days ahead, but this ride was really daunting. I'll drop my stats below if anybody's interested.

1582180039579.png


1582180067523.png


p.s. Donations are still open! I'd love to be able to hand over some cash in addition to the sweat. Thanks in advance!
 

DMack

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It’s rider specific, but a lot of studies have shown keeping your RPMs around 90 is the most efficient. I had to adjust to it way back in the day, because it just seemed like a lot of wasted energy spinning that high of a cadence, but there’s no doubt it benefited my performance.

Keep up the good work. I enjoy seeing your stages.
 

Davism72

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It’s rider specific, but a lot of studies have shown keeping your RPMs around 90 is the most efficient. I had to adjust to it way back in the day, because it just seemed like a lot of wasted energy spinning that high of a cadence, but there’s no doubt it benefited my performance.

Keep up the good work. I enjoy seeing your stages.
I feel pretty good at 90, so there’s probably some truth in that. This workout was different than the rest. Usually I just ride to the cadence target target and let the trainer figure out the power, but on this one I basically stopped riding between sprints, then went as hard as I could.
 

nitzilla

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Can you point to Sufferlandria on this map: :ROFL: :ROFLMAO:
valuetown.png


Good luck though! ;)
 

DMack

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Totally makes sense if you were doing intervals. I need to check out that app one of these days. The better half just got a Peloton, so I’m curious as to how that’s going to be. I can’t stand riding inside, but I’m hoping that will spice it up a bit.
 

Davism72

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Quick update! Stages six and seven were tough, but doable. The Tour is meant for everyone, which means the rides during the week are generally easier than the rides on the weekend. You'll notice that we've again arrived at the weekend...

Just finished up stage eight, and it was brutal. Two back-to-back workouts: The Tool Shed (which itself is a mash-up of two Sufferfest workouts) and 14 Vice Grips. The stage was lovingly dubbed The Hardware Store. Here's some screencaps of the efforts:

1582429979250.png


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Next up is stage nine. The final stage! Three workouts, back-to-back, spanning a little under three hours. If you don't hear from me after this, I've died, and none of you may have my chips.
 

Davism72

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Welp. That's it, I guess. I'm glad I did it, and I'm glad it's over.

I wrapped up my Tour on Sunday. All in all, I'm really proud of my efforts. Being completely new to the sport, I didn't really know what to expect, which may have actually been a blessing. If I knew it'd be as hard as it was, I may have bailed. No donations from PCF, which is fine. It would have been nice to hand over some money, but that's not the main reason I did this. I'll post a few stats below for any interested parties.

Total Workouts: 14
Total Miles: 193
Total Time: 13h 15m

Avg Watts: 103
Max Watts: 778

Avg RPM: 86
Max RPM: 211

Avg MPH: 13.9
Max MPH: 24

Avg BPM: 150
Max BPM: 188

And here's the full data.

StageSubstageNameMilesTimeAvg WattsMax WattsAvg RPMMax RPMAvg MPHMax MPHAvg BPMMax BPM
1​
AIt Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time (ISLAGIATT)
27.23​
1:51:15​
105​
225​
86​
154​
14.2​
18​
150​
169​
2​
AThe Bat
13.86​
0:59:51​
93​
163​
86​
117​
13.3​
17​
145​
164​
2​
BFight Club
12.78​
0:55:52​
89​
173​
91​
125​
13.2​
16​
139​
154​
3​
AG.O.A.T
10.13​
0:42:11​
102​
140​
72​
154​
13.9​
16​
136​
152​
4​
ATeam Scream
17.29​
1:03:48​
107​
186​
90​
110​
14.3​
16​
145​
159​
5​
AViolator
15.01​
1:03:43​
103​
778​
79​
211​
13.6​
24​
156​
188​
6​
AHell Hath No Fury
16.12​
1:04:21​
112​
221​
90​
118​
14.5​
18​
150​
174​
7​
AIgniter
4.85​
0:20:58​
96​
341​
95​
132​
13.4​
17​
149​
176​
7​
BJoyride
7.1​
0:29:58​
100​
191​
90​
171​
13.7​
17​
153​
171​
8​
AThe Tool Shed (Mash-Up)
15.37​
1:02:14​
111​
591​
90​
163​
14.3​
21​
152​
171​
8​
B14 Vise Grips
13.06​
0:55:30​
99​
177​
88​
175​
13.6​
17​
148​
172​
9​
APower Station
11.88​
0:49:59​
99​
160​
75​
113​
13.7​
17​
149​
165​
9​
BAngels
13.32​
0:55:16​
110​
262​
87​
123​
14.5​
19​
157​
174​
9​
CThin Air
14.99​
1:00:15​
109​
602​
83​
133​
14.4​
22​
158​
181​
Total
192.99​
13:15:11​

If anyone's interested in riding next year, let me know! It'd be cool to get a PCF team together.
 
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