Thursday, 14 January 2016

Testing a New Sufferfest Standard.

In December, 2015, I completed a Sufferfest Knighthood. It was a big deal for me. You probably heard about it, it was in all the news. No? Well I wrote about it here, if you missed it.

One of the privileges, some say duties, of being a Knight is the rare opportunity to test pre-release versions of new videos. I was one of five knights who had this honour this week.

The yet to be released cycling video is called Power Station. It runs at just over 50 minutes duration and it will be released in time for the upcoming Tour of Sufferlandria. 

Here is part of the review I wrote and shared with other Sufferlandrians about the video. I wanted to capture it somewhere other than on Facebook.

Today I had the privilege of testing a pre-release copy of The Sufferfest Power Station. Throughout the day I posted many of my observations and comments of the video, as observed by going through it, second-by-second on the computer. I also shared with David McQuillen, Founder and Chief Suffering Officer of The Sufferfest, some of my critical observations of the video, as was my responsibility and assigned task. 

This evening, I had the honour of riding the video. I rode it pure RPE, (Rated Perceived Exertion) with no indication of virtual power or real power. It was just me VS. the riders on the screen.

These are some of my observations:

  1. This is a video of honesty. It will be as easy or as hard as you make it. You can go into it thinking that you don't have to commit too much effort, but it entices you to try harder, to show your true Sufferlandrian, to pick a harder gear and to grind out power that you didn't know you had. By the end of the video, I was doing efforts that I never expected to be doing indoors. 
  2. This is a beautiful video. It is a feast on the eyes, the ears and the spirit. The music may not be to the liking of heavy metal or thrash lovers, but it has a driving, fresh rhythm, punctuated by a chill sound that keeps you accelerating. Keeps you climbing; and lets you recover, just enough to do it all over again. 
  3. Footage in this video is new. You will recognize the riders, from recent races and seasons. You will feel that you are part of those races. You will be one of those racers. You will also spend far too much time (in my opinion) looking at Contador's backside.This is not a bad thing. You will find yourself trying to dance in the pedals like he does.  
  4. This is the only Sufferfest video, that successfully incorporates The Elements of Style, or correct riding practices into every instruction. While I was struggling to climb, I was constantly reminded of posture, of core and effort. It is like having, beside you, a friendly coach, gently reminding you to ride well, while, having, behind you, a nasty minion, poking and prodding you onward with a pointy stick. 
  5. Unlike most Sufferfest videos, this one will work more on your low cadence strength, than your explosive attacks. When you finish this, you will not feel like you want to crawl into your bucket. Rather, you will have, as I did, a radiating glow of exhaustion, highlighted with endorphin rushes of inexplicable joy that will make you, for no reason, wish to do kind things to others and to small woodland creatures.

    Final analysis. This is probably going to be one of your go-to videos once you try it. It will grow on you. It will entertain you. It will challenge you. It will make you want to be a better Sufferlandrian.
    I also posted some screen shots of Power Station.  


    These screen shots and other musings generated lots of conversation on social media, and I found my Facebook inbox overwhelmed with notifications. 

    Was this a good experience? Absolutely. Would I do it again? At the drop of a chamois! 
    How was the actual ride, after I did it? This picture is worth a thousand words. See you at the Tour of Sufferlandria 2016. 

    See you at the Tour of Sufferlandria 2016.


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