A few years ago, on a mountain bike ride with my usual group of riding buddies, we happened to be joined by a female cyclist who was on the trails at the time. She joined the lot of us – only because we knew the trails.
Now, my group is typically all guys – and we do typical “guy joking” when we’re together. You might know what I’m talking about – the kind of joking where testosterone is flowing and machismo is the order of the day. It’s the kind of jawing that guys do – and we all dish it out as much as we receive (am I allowed to say we manly men “dish” it out?).
All that being said, we sometimes forget our manners when others are joining us. On this particular day, we continued our onslaught of verbal attacks on each other. Most of our group had ascended a climb and were waiting at the top for the last two to meet up with us. It just so happened that one of our male cyclists was climbing alongside this female cyclist (most likely just chatting). One of us at the top (it doesn’t really matter which one of us) happened to make a joke about “waiting for the ‘girls’ to catch up” (directing our usual machismo towards the male rider who often rode/jawed with us).
That didn’t sit well with the female cyclist. And she let the dis-er know that she wasn’t pleased with the chosen words. For the next 5 minutes or so, she ranted about why the word “girl” had to be used in an insulting way. We just stood and took in her rant – and (full disclosure) continued on our way talking about how she just didn’t get our humor. The rest of the ride (while out of earshot), we convinced ourselves that she was just moody and had no sense of humor.
Now, why am I telling you this?
It’s because today’s stage of the Tour of Sufferlandria (Hell Hath No Fury) is a 4-stage women’s cycling race that happens in a little over an hour. And these “girls” are tough! They’re hardcore! They beat me silly! In short, they grew me up quick! A few years after that incident in the mountains, I get it.
All the usual fun you get in a Sufferfest video is here. You get great music, great humor (love the jersey) and a lot of suffering. I’ve done enough of their workouts to know you can’t always trust what they tell you is going to happen. It’ll most always be worse – and, once again, they deliver!
You start out thinking it’ll be a nice flat section – only to find that you’re sucking wind keeping a pace with these racers. Great Googlie Mooglie! It’s fast! It’s – dare I say – balls to the walls the entire first part of the video.
It almost made me happy to see the climbing – until dang #16 Team Garmin (who just happens to be a Time Trial Champion) cranks it up and doesn’t stop. I mean ever! Until the top! Grrrrrr! I was ready for one of those text bubbles to pop out of her mouth saying something about the “boy” bringing up the rear……..sniff……sniff…..
After a short break, you quickly get whisked into Stage 3. And it’s another climb. Again, you’re cranking the entire time. I particularly liked the pace line – where I was able to take my turn pulling the front and rotated through. I tell ya – no one does race simulation like the folks at The Sufferfest!
Now, the bad thing for me is that my AppleTV pooped out with about 4 minutes left to get to the top of the second climb. There was no way I was stopping to figure it out. So, I just kept cranking for 4 more minutes. It was like one of those other cyclists was throwing the towel at me – just teasing me to “throw in the towel” – only it landed on my head. I had to finish out the climb – and the recovery – and the time trial – completely blind.
So, I don’t know if I won! My legs are telling me that I won’t be going back to do that again for awhile – so I’ll have to wait and see. If any of you happened to see me finish, can you let me know how I did?