Tour of Sufferlandria – Stage 9 Recap (Violator)

violatorbadge2Yeah, yeah!  I know!  The Tour of Sufferlandria was over on Superbowl Sunday.  It’s about 3/4 of a week later – and I finally had the chance to do Stage 9 – Violator.  No victory for me.  I have no real good excuse.  Sure Stage 8 really beat me up, but so did most of the other stages.  I couldn’t use the same excuse about celebrating with my wife for her new job.  I guess it was just downright Couchlandrian of me….

Since it was so much later, I thought that – maybe, just maybe – no one would notice me rolling across the finish line.  Maybe there would be no one there to watch.  Of course, then I found out that there were actually 64 sprints in today’s stage – and there were still people there watching every one.  And the last stage actually had 9 Stage finishes – and there were people there, too!

There was no hiding!  Being so late, I had to wear the shredded chamois……..outside of my clothes…….on my head……..   It wasn’t pretty.  The Sufferlandrian wine I dreamed about at the end of Stage 8 was reserved for those who finished on time.  I was stuck drinking – dare I say – Shredded Chamois-mille tea (Ewwwwwww!!!!).

The workout itself was – as most of The Sufferfest videos are – pretty intense.  After the first few sprints, you think “OK – this should be no problem.”  But that dang countdown meter beckons from the lower corner of the screen.  By the time I got through the first set of 5-10-15 second sprints, I peeked at that countdown meter.  “Only 38 sprints to go!” (said NO sane rider……ever!).

Each section of 5-10-15 second sprints gets faster – since the rest time between them gets shorter.  The Pavlovian bell that sounds to tell you to get ready to sprint comes faster than you want it to.  The only good thing to say about the final set of sprints is that it’s over fast!  It hurts, but you’re shifting so much that you don’t have time to cry until the set is over.

Throughout the entire workout, you get a few surprises.  A hamster here, a wildcat there – even a shark enters the picture.  You’ll have to see it to know how these all fit in!

You also get to sprint alongside the Manx Missile himself – Mark Cavendish.  He just might beat you to the line a few times – but take some time to heckle him while he’s huffing, puffing and rocking himself up the climbs before the sprints!  It harkens back to my review of the 3LC Climbing video – when Cavendish was left in my dust, arms raised in defiance in the background.

The music on this workout isn’t as good as some of the others.  It’s not bad.  I just don’t see myself downloading any of the songs for my personal use.  The one Italian opera singer has a beautiful voice – and it reminded me of that scene in The Shawshank Redemption:  “I don’t know what that Italian lady was saying, but….”



IMG_0247The cooldown period is very appropriate for the end of the ride.  I’m pretty sure that the camera has you following someone with body bags on the back of his motorcycle.  Who knows where this section was filmed – but those drivers are loco!  I don’t see any traffic signals at very busy intersections – and the motorcyclists are riding the wrong way on the street with traffic coming right at them.

And so ends the 2014 Tour of Sufferlandria.  I’m glad I participated in it – even though I didn’t finish in the official time.  At least, now, it’s nice to know that I have a great collection of indoor cycling workouts to use for a long time!

Overall, the folks at The Sufferfest have succeeded in their goal to make riding on an indoor trainer fun.  It’s hard to get anyone to stay on a trainer for an hour.  Many of their workouts had me on for two hours (or more) – but their humor and great “in-race” footage makes the entire series the best that I’ve seen so far!

Ride on!

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