- Committing to my first Tour and going nuclear then hitting all my targets give or take the odd one
- Really enjoyed Norway. Similar to Team scream. Found myself bouncing along and wanting another 20 mins or so
- Having to do Who Dares twice then Defender the next day.! Really struggled with the high cadence on the third segment but got through. Thank heaven for the lower cadence on Attacker or I may have had to ease off to finish
- Starting and ending the Tour with the longest stages. Somehow I was enthused, relieved, excited, and proud all at the same time.
- Norway. Everyone is saying it and everyone is… correct. What an amazing workout. I think it’s going to be a game changer for the world of indoor training. I’d love to see more workouts like this!
- The gains I saw in mental toughness. Fight Club and Defender in particular had me really struggling with mental strength to make it through those longer intervals.
Thanks to everyone for suffering together, raising money for a great cause, and coming out the other side stronger, better, tougher, and (in my case at least) even more motivated!
- Blowing spectacularly on Stag 1Cobbler.
- Nailing 9 Hammers after Stg 1. (MTP FTW!)
- Collecting the trophies on my ToS journey blackboard.
So this was my first ToS and my three things are:
I’ve been struggling with my training, for a while really. Hitting thresholds, etc. In short, I’d forgotten to enjoy the suffering / embracing the suck. ToS has helped me find my mojo again. To dig deep and I can do it.
I’ve enjoyed the videos for years on DVD. I’d never really embraced the Forums/FB group, etc. But the boundless enthusiasm, openness and camaraderie, from Sir Neal and Sir David, all the knights, the Minions, the other first timers and everyone else here really showed me that Sufferlandria is more than a bit of a joke. It really is a headspace (case?) that we all share. And is a much better set of values and principles than many real countries share.
I liked that there is a willingness not to rest on laurels, but to expand the videos and the styles. Whilst Norway, for me, wasn’t quite it. There are some good ideas and shows that this mythical nation isn’t going to disappear and be subsumed into Wahoo. I’m sure GvA is just self-isolating, and the Minions are having fun putting out videos without his approval…
So a big thank you to all involved and see you on the start line, next year.
I’m still scarred by stage 7 (I don’t like Defender at the best of times but this one put me in a proper hole so I finished on an unusual mental low) but the positives are starting to come back. My top 3:
- The GSL gang. There’s something special about riding the Tour with a group of friends that you’ve never met who care more about event banter and old school IWBMAT than “focused” or “nuclear” or “get it done”. GSL: Kicking Knights’ Ass since 2015
- Stage 4 = the one I enjoyed the most. A self indulgent clean out of the dregs at the bottom of my AC bucket followed by a nice gentle grind above threshold. Oh and stage 5 - pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed that one and how immersive it was (even on a so called but absolutely not “dumb trainer”). Kudos to Sirs Mac and Francois for turning it from what it was in to what it is.
- Sir Neal’s (+ Davis + Alex + Mike) Joyride + Cobbler + Joyride. My favourite live broadcast (still have some catching up to do for the ones that didn’t involve Europe) especially Sir Neal’s final effort - no erg, no targets, simply try to do what is possible (3:02:20 onwards https://www.facebook.com/1032873539/videos/10221453479459734/)
That’s my 8th official Tour done. Looking forward to next year and totally onboard with the 7 day format. Still reckon it’s the easy Tour though (hashtag Knights’ IWBMAT Tour )
Too kind Pierre… but we’re not here to make you happy, we’re here to make you SUUUUUUFFFFFFFER!
You’ve been awesome mate. Top notch entertainment the whole week. Keep up the good work.
1st ever Nuclear throughout
completing 9 hammers without an unscheduled pause.
Getting on the bike and finishing attacker after the way I felt from defender
These are all personal and selfish goals, it is just as accurate to say
2-care, attention and hard work of Suff staff to make this possible
3- brilliant cause
For me the highlights have been, in no particular order:
the amazing engagement of the Sufferlandrian community here on this forum. It’s been so motivating to come here before and after each stage to see how everyone is getting on.
Sorry for making you stand! Sorry, not sorry
Cue the evil laugh!
My top 3 moments were:
Starting the Tour — I had to rebuild my fitness after losing all motivation to train last year. When my last event got canceled I moved to Couchlandria , bought real estate and became a loyalty rewards member of Stan’s Donut Shop. Digging out from my pit was a challenge, but I couldn’t stay there. It wasn’t uncomfortable enough.
Finishing the Tour — while this wasn’t in doubt, I wasn’t sure if I could ride it all nuclear since my fitness levels are still sub-par.
Averaging 100% — my real satisfaction lies in this result. I cracked on Attacker, finished it at 93% average unable to ride any harder. But I was above 100% through Stage 6, so I hit my goal regardless. Totally spent on the last video. Exactly as it should be. My last FF was February 6th for those who are wondering.
1 Norway: I’ve never raced (or ever wanted to!) but the video was so immersive it was definitely my favourite ride of the Tour. Added to my list of workouts to go on “repeat”
2 Stage 4: As I’m normally a steady 85-90 rpm endurance oriented cyclist the combination of the short sharp intervals in Half is Easy followed by the slow grind of G.O.A.T. took me well out of my comfort zone. Without the ToS would never have run those two together!
3 Stage 7: Not feeling too fresh after six consecutive days when starting Defender, and that took it out of me. Then Attacker came and somehow I got it into my mind that there was no way I was going to fail and ruin a weeks Suffering. Felt stupidly proud of myself getting through that one!
2021 was my first ToS, after joining SUF just before the 2020 event and stupidly thinking that I was not ready for it. In any case, my 2021 highlights:
I really loved the double video stages, except Stage 1. Not a fan of Cobbler, but I enjoyed the others. I think that all of the paired videos really complemented each other. GOAT was a great grind for me, as always, so it was a nice complement to Half is [Never] Easy. I had to ride The Cure with my eyes mostly closed (I hate donuts! ) but it was still an awesome set with Who Dares. And Stage 7 was amazing all around. Like so many, I especially enjoyed the finale of Attacker.
Getting through Stage 3 () even though I was ready to use the bucket that I didn’t have (I will fix THAT before 2022). It’s been a few years since I worked myself that hard, and then pushed through it. It was a great reminder of what I can accomplish!
The amazing SUF community here and on FB. Absolutely encouraging and always entertaining. The support and positivity was balanced with awesome humor and irreverence. I expected the humor and support to some extent, but I did not expect the fun contests and drawings; hilarious videos; and fundraising challenges. I loved it all!
I have a million others, but those stand out right now. Thank you!
- The very brief moment when Dylan was ahead in the fundraising to wear the goat suit and I really thought he would be in it. Ha ha.
- The first shot of herring juice that I watched Dylan drink because I thought it was very funny and that there was no way I would have to drink one. Ha ha.
- When Neal had to ride Joyride again after he finished Stage 1. Because.
- I have to go all the way back to the prep plan and especially the mental toughness program, which is simply brilliant.
- Being fully immersed in Cobbler, smashed by Hammer-3, only to lift and own all the other Hammers, stage 4, 6 and especially back-to-backing Defender and Attacker.
- As the tour went on, I loved watching my watt output increase as my heart rate decreased, thinking ‘how efficient am I’, only to then read the note from the coaches about what my nervous system is doing to me.
And because I can’t count, as a special 4th, checking in with this community, watching Pierre’s videos and feeling part of something.
Thank you everyone!
Norway. Totally immersive (to include me not spinning to avoid riding into the tyre in front of me:) and fun. Well placed in the tour. I also enjoyed @Magnito challenge during Norway (thankfully no skin suits were damaged as part of the challenge:); it made me think of performing my own challenge in 2022.
Slowly realizing the Hobart crew was riding HIE during stage 4, as I apparently had chewed stem the entire interval section of HIE and had no idea there was dirt riding followed by bucolic scenes of dogs and hammocks.
Support of my family, who shot off mini-confetti cannons and sprayed me with water when I crossed the Attacker “finish-line”.
2021 ToS was about perfect and a great experience. Thank you everyone!
My 3 in no particular order.This was my 2nd TOS.
The support and donations of non-Sufferlandrians for what I was doing.
Davis Phinney’s thank you video
Norway. That was fun.
@JamesT That was a great video - it is amazing watching Sir Neal riding with David Phinney and Alex Stieda and then joined by Mike Friedman for the 2nd Joyride. When they put down the hammer on the last interval of Joyride that was something else - very inspiring!