Tour of Sufferlandria: Stage Eight (The One with Adam’s Dongle)

Holy shit, that was hard. Really hard. Adam and I just finished Stage Eight of the Tour of Sufferlandria, and it was terrible. Just awful. And it was also great.

If you wanna start at the beginning of this Tour, you can go check out Stage One. Or you can also go check out Stage Five – the one where I wrecked my bike on the trainer. But we’re here to talk about Stage Eight.

The Eighth Stage is the one I was most dreading. It’s also the one I was most looking forward to. Stage Eight is the Dame Alissa Memorial Stage.

Dame Alissa Memorial Stage at the Tour of Sufferlandria

From the Sufferfest Tour Page:

“Our youngest Knight of Sufferlandria, Dame Alissa Schubert, was killed earlier this year when she was hit by a truck while out cycling. Revolver was her favourite video. We dedicate this stage, the hardest stage ever to feature in the ToS, in her memory. We also dedicate it to her parents who also became Knights of Sufferlandria with Alissa. A true Sufferlandrian’s stage. Crush it.”

So this Stage had a lot of meaning for all Sufferlandrians. And it was of the utmost importance to ride this Stage with Strength and Honor.

But this morning didn’t start out so great. I had everything together and laid out before Adam arrived. Lots of water and Skratch Labs hydration mix, a few snacks, mostly-dry shoes, extra towels, etc. I thought I was ready to roll, but I was mistaken.

Preparations for Stage 8 of the Tour of Sufferlandria

I didn’t realize it yet, but something was missing.

I somehow lost my stupid Wahoo Speed and Cadence sensor that I was using to log each Stage on TrainerRoad. After all the suffering so far in this Tour, I really, really didn’t want to drop out of the TrainerRoad part of the Tour. Yes, I could still be an official “finisher” of the Tour without logging each Stage on TrainerRoad, but, to me, it would have felt incomplete.

After searching everywhere at least twice and even driving with Adam back to Robby’s house (where I last remember having it), we never found it. We even tried two bike shops for a new one. No luck. I was pretty bummed.

But at least I could still do the Stage with Adam and finish the Tour. That’s when Adam mentioned I could use his Dongle. No, not that Dongle. He had an ANT+ Dongle at his house. We went and got that to plug into my laptop so TrainerRoad could at least pick up my heart rate info from my Garmin HR Strap (which uses ANT+ instead of Bluetooth).

Fortunately, TrainerRoad is super easy to use with the Sufferfest Videos. After quickly figuring out how to use TrainerRoad on my laptop instead of my iPhone (which is what I had been using), we were back in business.

pre-stage 8 photo of the ToS

We were all smiles even though we knew it we were about to start suffering.

Adam and I mounted our steeds, and started video number one: “Revolver.” I had done this video once before, but it was done as a stand alone workout and not as the first of three videos and not after suffering for a week straight.

“Revolver” took us through 15 (or was it 16?) 1-min high intensity intervals with 1-min recovery spins in between. It started out fine, but by the last 5 or 6 intervals, we were deep in the pain cave and soaked with Holy Water.

end of part one of three of stage 8

Still smiling for the most part, but very sweaty and tired already.

Up next was “Violator.” Our transition to this video was probably a minute, maybe less even.

Again, I had already done “Violator” once previously but as a stand-alone workout. In this video, we had to do three rounds of short sprints ranging from 5 seconds to 15 seconds. Each round, the recovery periods were shortened which made it much harder.

The first round of intervals were pretty good. The intervals themselves hurt a bit, but there was ample recovery. Then the second round of intervals, with shorter recoveries, was harder. And the third round of intervals, with the shortest recovery periods – and I’m talking almost nonexistent recovery periods – really sucked. Man, that hurt.

The final two intervals had us going really hard for 15 seconds with just 15 seconds recovery. I remember thinking that we had to do those exact same interval ratio in the next video… FORTY EFFING TIMES!

end of Violater

Not so smiley any more.

We quickly filled water bottles and went potty, and then we started “Half is Easy.” This is a misnomer. I can’t recall any easy parts – even the recovery intervals felt difficult.

The stupid sprints just kept coming. Again and again. They wouldn’t let up. 10 minutes straight of sprinting for 15 seconds, “recovering” for 15 seconds. Then a few minutes recovery followed by another 10 minutes of 15/15 intervals. Pain, suffering, misery. It was terrible. But we made it.

End of Stage 8 of the Tour of Sufferlandria

We’re only smiling because we survived. Trust me, though. We were nearly dead.

And here’s a photo of Robby during his ride (he had to do it later than us and by himself – the poor bastard):

Zombie Darkness

This was taken when Robby still had two videos left.

As shitty as we felt at the end of today’s ride, we still felt great. That may not make sense, but that’s exactly how we felt. Our legs were completely fried, but were stoked for having done it.

Adam and I bro-hugged it out and said our good-byes. Then I slowly climbed the stairs out of my Bike Torture Chamber. I ate a ton of food and drank a ton of water.

I got an email to confirm that TrainerRoad did indeed record my suffering. So I’m still in it, baby! And that’s when I noticed, more than an hour later, that my legs were still acting a little funny. Take a look:

Does anyone else’s legs do this after a hard effort? Or is it just me? Seriously, I want to know.

So, we finished this stage. We have one stage left for tomorrow. I’m weirdly sad that this is coming to an end. It’s been so much fun. For real. Even though it’s been really hard, it’s been a blast.

Also, after the Stage tomorrow, we’ll continue riding until we hit a metric century to finish up the 4th annual Super Century! You should too!

Until tomorrow, suffer on, my friends.

(Update: Stage Nine and the Super Century is done.)

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About Lukas Lamb

Husband to a wonderful wife, father to 4 incredible kids (3 daughters and 1 son), adventure racer, mountain biker, runner, lifter of weights, reader of books, and lover of life. He can be found on Google+

Posted on January 31, 2015, in Cycling, Sufferfest, Tour of Sufferlandria, Trainer Ride, TrainerRoad and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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