Everyone has their story. My knighthood story started just one short month ago after my wife and I returned home from vacation. Before heading back to our regular working lives we spent a Sunday evening hanging out with our great friends. Only a short few weeks had passed since we had all finished riding the 2015 Tour of Sufferlandria. It was this evening that the idea was tossed around that we take on the challenge of the Knighthood. At the time I thought “hell, why not, Ive ridden the TOS for the past two years, this is naturally the next step”.
Together the four of us read over the rules, they seemed simple enough…..ride ten videos back to back, take only ten minutes in-between, record your experience on social media or power/garmin files, own the videos or subscribe to the Sufferfest Video app, and raise money for a charity of your choice.
Before we knew it, we had moved from the kitchen to the living room and huddled around the coffee table. After a little debate, we had our 10 videos….
- Nine Hammers
- The Rookie
- There is no Try
- The Downward Spiral
- Rubber Glove
- The Hunted
- Fight Club
- The Wretched
Record your experience on social media…”check”
- Instagram - @jodydwilson
- Twitter - @thewilsonhome
- Facebook - Jody Wilson
- TrainerRoad power files - thewilsonhome
Ten minute Rests in-between - check! Done…worst part of the entire day, only having ten minutes to stretch, hydrate, eat and change kit.
Own the videos or subscribe to Sufferfest service - I own several videos, but I also subscribe to the IOS app as I like the streaming as compared to storing the files on my computer.
Charity of choice, Davis Phinney Foundation. It was obvious for us to support this great cause as it has became close to our hearts.
Now that we had our line up planned and all our bases covered, we could focus on raising money! Another friend of ours was also part of the 2015 TOS, so we also recruited her to join us on our quest!
Its funny because the beauty of this entire experience wasn’t so much a personal goal as much as it was a full team experience. Using the Knighthood quest to raise money is such an amazing concept. The five of us set out and before we knew it we had past our original goal and were approaching the $10,000 mark! There was discussion of upping it to $15,000. At the time I didn’t think it was possible. This whole process really shows you how much people really do care when you reach out to them. The more we asked, the more people would give. I challenged people to pay me per KM ridden after I was done….Laura offered to sing them songs if they donated over a certain amount, Ev and Garn price matched one evening! People continued to give….and give….and give.
Events like this just don’t happen. They take planning, and lots of it. Laura’s amazing skills came into good use here. She made sure we had a list of 10 minions that were scheduled to come at different times during the day to help out. She made sure we had enough food for the day, she set out the schedule, she timed our 8 minute breaks…follow by the dreaded 2 minutes to get back on our bikes. She got everyones dinner order the day before, ordered it, and made sure there was a minion to pick it up and bring it to us when the ride was over. Obviously the day went off without a hitch thanks to the superior planning!
The hours of suffering, now thats a different story. We had heard on the facebook planning page that there were “dark hours”, typically between video 4 to 7. Well, mine started around the middle of video 4…it lasted a while…but you adapt and push through the suffering. It was great to be surrounded by an amazing supportive team.
Someone had suggested that we do Rubber Glove in the middle, as it is nice and steady with a long warm up. Was it a good idea?….sure….did I like it, no. Lets not kid ourselves here people, this is no walk in the park. If your not ready for it, it hurts. It doesn’t matter how much you have been riding, 10 hours on a bike will give you a sore butt, your knees will hurt, your back will tense up and begin to ache. If you aren’t hydrated properly, you will cramp….it will hurt. But thats what Sufferlandria is all about, sacrificing one thing for another. You suffer through it, and somewhere, hopefully a the end of the tunnel…there is a bit of light.
By the time Revolver started playing, we were all in better spirits. Despite the pain, we managed to push through the 16 one minute sprints; all of us pushing hard at the end. Over the full day, you do get a second wind…and a third…and a forth!
I loved the event, I love the idea of the Knighthood and the honour involved in being named a Knight of Sufferlandria; but most of all, I loved the idea that 5 people could come together and raise over $16,000 for the Davis Phinney Foundation. I will hold my head high and be proud of being named into the Knighthood!
You think you can do it? Good luck with that….only a few of us out there in the world. For the time being HTFU, get back on your bike and practice a bit more suffering! Maybe someday you will be lucky enough to join us, for now, pay your dues.