ToS feedback

And so ends today’s (UK time) ever growing list of feedback - keep it coming if you’re seeing this thread fir the first time …

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I think having the Tour on my birthday week every year is just cruelty.

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Here’s my feedback, echoing some comments by others which I hope reinforces T.O.S. 2022 design and beyond!
1st of all… great route this year! Thanks to all who planned our Suffering! 7 days is plenty. Covid or no Covid, if the intent is to get more participation, then the effort needs to stay at 7 days. My legs are still hurting this Tour hangover week. It is supposed to be a serious challenge, and it is. 9 days is really, really, really hard (I’ve done a few tours before), even with pacing/focused/get-me-through-it options. 7 days allows more of us to “go nuclear” (as I did most stages this year) and fewer days suffering could encourage more riders to sign up.
I don’t know about other folk, but I still am fortunate enough in this COVD era to have a job, and one which means I have to go into work 5 days a week. So this year’s tour required some planning. Even if just 7 days, due to the number of back to back efforts or stages with >60 minutes riding overall. Plus I knew with my planned effort level I would need to go easy 1 day. 4 out of the 7 stages were double-headers. I’ve not looked back at previous Tours for comparison, although a triple header called Revolver + Revolver is Easy + Half is Easy is a mental scar I still have… Anyway, what I am trying to say is that I really love the fact that The 'Fest have more workouts around 30 minutes that suit us mortals who have kids and a Mon-Fri job and need to squeeze a quick Suffersession in several times a week. KEEP THE 50 HOUR WINDOW for THE TOUR. KEEP IT AT 7 DAYS. SAVE THE 60+ minute rides for the weekends.
Now I salute Shift workers also who may say “weekends… what are those? I work Saturdays and Sundays”. Y’all at The 'Fest have a hard problem when designing the Tour. Y’all will never please everyone. But keeping sessions to 60 minutes, may be figuring out an option for those wanting to do marathon sessions that fit in with their own schedules… Y’all are creative so I know you can figure it out!

One final point… totally MISSED Youtube. Perhaps after signing up for the Tour, and when the Tour is underway, send an email about “highlights of the day or here to go get more info on “live” events”. I do not study this thread daily, neither Facebook. But us older gen do look at email. Recognize that different generations use different platforms to communicate.

Thanks for reading if you get this far. Can’t say thanks enough for the planners that made this significant fundraiser event happen this year. Unsung heroes. Y’all rock and looking forward to spinning my giblets out in 2022!

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Awesome. Thanks folks.

Ahh, what is this project? Ive not seen this discussed anywhere? Can you enlighten me? Cheers

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Please have a look here:

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First of all - thank you so much everyone for an amazing Tour. Organisers and participants alike. Third one for me and once again I was looking forward to it for months and spent glorious, emotional and happy week with all of you. What we’re all doing really means a lot for a lot of people and I’m really excited to be part of it.

OK, constructive feedback it is, here’s my take on the glorious week:

  1. The ToS 2021 was well adapted to circumstances and massive thank you for taking the current situation into account. Wise decision! That said, I can’t wait for return to SUF normality - 9 days, triple stages and really tough days are part of the experience and I miss those. Questioning my own ability, numbers, playing tough mental games, tears, going down in flames and then picking myself up is somehow part of this glorious Tour.

  2. Please please don’t change the 50 hour window. I know it might be confusing for some, but there’s a very limited subset of us here travelling for/with work who would just be unable to complete the tour without this special rule at all. The last two years I was able to finish purely because of 50 hour window. This year, being furloughed at home was a big exception from norm. There are days when I’m out of home for 16 hours and all I can do is sleep or even days when I don’t return at all and stay away overnight, without a bike in sight. This allows me to catch up or ‘buffer’ stages before I have busy days ahead. For me it’s a must.

  3. The Forum vs Facebook. Oh dear, where do I start. I was trying hard to prioritise the forum, as it is clearly the way forward - outside of ToS. But as was mentioned here already - for a generic chitchat it just doesn’t work, despite the threading options available. I was unable to keep up with the action at both places and as a result I have missed out on many interesting conversations. The FOMO is real! The sad thing is that Facebook is pretty bad too. Privacy issues aside, the way it prioritises posts and subsequent discussions is unpredictable and completely non transparent. And don’t even get me started on the formatting and additional content options. This is the problem that’s hard to solve. Both FB and Forum are good and bad for different things and I think we need some guidance/decisions next time. I can only imagine how tough it must be for newcomers to find their way around.

  4. Onboarding process and Tour updates. This is an important one. I think the Tour needs a well designed and live webpage, the ToS Dashboard of sorts, where anyone regardless of their experience will find everything they need to ride, track their progress and stay in touch will all the action throughout. I personally think an announcement on Forum or FB is just not enough, especially when there’s not just one place where it happens. The simple text hyperlinks to other places are also not enough, especially when they’re not SUF branded. I can imagine a site, that’s purely dedicated to ToS and showing:

  • All the general tour information we have now, plus
  • Clear onboarding process describing step by step what you need, how to participate, where to click, what to fill in, how to prepare, ride, finish, report and discuss your first Tour Stage 1.
  • Links to places where live action happens. When you talk about bibs, there should be examples and link to forum where we all post them. The gallery with all of them. When you talk DPF, there should be a live section with everything from DPF - posts, videos, press releases, TOP10 donors, current funding goal status. When you talk live sessions, there should be a link to YouTube where we can watch. When you talk Stages, there should be a link to each stage discussion thread on Forum.
  • Personalised Tour progress section. Somewhere on the side, and always visible - the time windows, countdowns, statistics, DPF funding target and the personal stages Dashboard so we have all the important progress info available at all times.
  • And finally the big one - News Ticker. The logbook of official and community updates, so we all know when and where important things happen. Live feeds planned/ongoing. Special challenges. Notable community ToS events. Funding milestones. When Stages open with related stage info, related forum discussion and reminder when they close. That way, no one misses out on anything important, without going through hundreds of posts on two different sites and their related conversation threads.

So that’s my take on it. Always humble and happy with what I’ve got :joy:

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I had no issues with it. Since the winter conditions here were stellar and some great bluebird days, with snow in excellent shape, I took my 7 day TOS outside for each day on the Fat. Gotta make hay when you can.

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Seems like a no-brainer! I’ll see what I can come up with.

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I think condensing it from 9 days to 7 days made the tour way easier from years past. The tour didn’t start nor end with 2 days of 2 hour worth of videos. That takes an incredible load off mentally and physically. Plus there was a lot of grinding segments that suited my riding style, so that helped as well.

As always, the Facebook group was encouraging and supportive to all. Looking forward to it again next year.

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Thanks. Added to the list.

Great that you are asking for feedback.

As a Sufferfest and ToS newbie, here’s my two-cents on some thoughts that have already been expressed:

  1. I loved Norway, and the aspect of something new and novel being first released as part of the ToS was a great way to generate some interest. I’m sure that there is no lack of novel ideas for workouts. If it’s in the works for Sufferfest to branch into this kind of content, it would be neat to include something like the simulations on Fulgaz or RGT - maybe a grind up part of Alpe d’Huez or some other iconic climb.
  2. Forum vs Facebook - I’m not on Facebook, so would want to have the Forum as an alternative.
  3. You Tube videos - I guess this has some value in promotion. But I’m more inclined to see this in the same way a fellow cyclist described golf: in heaven you get to play it; in hell you watch it on TV.

Finally, a comment I haven’t seen made, but is worth raising. It’s clear that the Sufferfest community is, like Parkinson’s Disease, a global phenomenon. It would be great if ToS participants could direct donations to the relevant non-profit organization serving Parkinson’s patients in their home countries. It would make a more compelling case for fund-raising and come with the additional carrot of being a tax-deductible donation for non-US participants. This is not to take anything away from the great work done by DPM. But in the same way that Sufferfest has spread “suffering” around the globe, perhaps the ToS can likewise spread relief from the suffering of Parkinson’s Disease around the world.

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This +1 for me too. I love the idea of Norway, it’s a step away from traditional SUF but it’s a great addition as it keeps people interested, a change is as good as a rest and all that.

I’d love there is to be a mini series of these for iconic races or climbs. I can see it would be difficult to do in races as you are beholden to riders / teams wanting you to film but getting Mr Cotty to film himself or be filmed climbing Alpe d’Huez or Ventoux and then turn it into a workout would be great.

It would never replace the SUF ethos or ‘proper’ workouts but it would be a great addition to keep things fresh…

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An email newsletter would be a good way to surface the announcements that were posted in the forum. They could have exactly the same content as the forum post, with a link to the forum post for those who want to reply and engage further.

It’s relatively easy to miss things unless you proactively look for them, like when the tour became available as a training plan, or when the dashboard went live. Not everyone checks the forum obsessively.

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Thanks folks keep it coming …

My first Tour of Sufferlandria. Awesome stuff. Loved it. Well done to everyone involved in the organisation of it and everyone who took part.
I also really enjoyed the broadcasts from Hobart. I never thought I’d sit there watching three blokes on bike trainers but I must admit I found it fascinating, particularly as I always watched it after I had completed the stage so it was interesting watching them do the exact same stage.
To be honest, I hadn’t even heard of The Sufferfest until I bought a Wahoo Kickr on Black Friday and it came with a 12 month subscription to The Sufferfest. So glad I discovered it. Awesome app.
Don’t know if this has been mentioned before but I just wondered if it would be possible to have a few words inserted in to the beginning of the video for each stage, in a similar way to the messages that were inserted at the beginning of the final stage. So for example, at the beginning of Nine Hammers it could say for example ‘Welcome to Stage 2 of the Tour of Sufferlandria’. Would just make it that little bit extra special.
I realise that those not doing the Tour and just doing Nine Hammers as part of a normal workout would also see this but it would only be visible during the 50 hour window.
Just a thought.
Anyway, keep up the good work, fellas. Cheers.

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Thanks !

Great experience overall. First TOS, won’t be my last.

Pros
#1 the amazing community!
Loved getting a new workout introduced during the TOS.
Enjoyed the 7 day format and choice in difficult. I went focused for my first, next year is definitely nuclear.

Cons
Hard to find the dashboard. I didn’t even know it existed till Stage 5.
Lastly, obviously not SUF fault… Texas “snowmagedon” left me snowed in away from my trainer and was late to complete stages 1 and 2. So no badge despite completed all stages in 5 days.

Thanks for a great Tour!
Matt

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It was may second tour after last year’s.

First time i joined the sufferfest and the first possible tour was 2019. I remember that I didn’t get it how it works back then. Register/join/choose route etc. I really don’t get how it works. Back then I had a monthly subscription and canceled it because weather was getting better and I wanted to go out and just finished my indoor season.

2020:
everything was more clear to me. New app design with in- app training plans ( choosed the focused option). I got registered successfully and loved the tour and experience. Changed to yearly memberhsip as beeing more familiar with indoor training and

2021:
I choosed again the focused plan. Works brilliant.

(pre/post) plans? I have the feeling, that the plans are designed another way than last year’s. Maybe it’s the ftp or base training focus nowadays that meets my sustained weakness.

7 vs. 9 days? works great. family time was much better especially on weekends.

forum vs. facebook? the focus should be on one of them. too many infos were here and others there.

live action? I haven’t seen the livestreams as much as last year. I don’t know why. But I liked the streams from Boulder and I missed the “after” shows from last year.

summary: great tour, can’t wait for 2022 :bike:

cheers

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Thanks for the credit Martin. This got buried in my inbox and I only just took a few quiet minutes to catch up with the forum!

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