It’s been. few years since I did the Tour of Sufferlandria. The tour is a week-ish event raising money for the Davis Phinney Foundation. The foundation helps those affected by Parkinson’s Disease. The Tour of Sufferlandria has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years. (If interested in donating for the Tour, click here.)
After having a fantastic 2020 on the bike and a month off in October, I built a lot of fitness over the last few months. Technically, the Tour started on February 14, 2021, but as long as it is February 14, 2021 somewhere in the word, it counts. So I started a day early.
Stage 1 consisted of two workouts – Joyride and Cobbler. Joyride is a 30 minute effort with 5 MAP efforts over the cobbles. My plan had me run this at 100%. At the end of the first 3 minute interval, I was dead. Everything hurt. I turned the level down to 95% to complete the workout. It was awful and an ominous start to the day.
Cobbler is by far the best 1:46 indoor ride. It is based on the 2019 Paris-Roubaix and condensed to riding all of the cobble secteurs (not sectors) over three 25-ish minute blocks. This ride is doable at 100% normally, but my plan called for 90%. After burning up my legs with Joyride, 95% felt terrible. There were many points throughout the ride where I wanted to stop pedalling and get off the trainer. I was down to grinding at 55 rpm in the last five minutes of each interval.
But one thing that 2020 has taught me is to block out the negativity and negative thoughts. When the countdown. went to 0:00. I was spent. I had two empty bottles, a puddle of sweat underneath and the feeling joy and happiness. I think I may have had a bigger smile on face than 2019 Paris-Roubaix winner Phillipe Gilbert. It was the most beautiful and awful thing I have ever done.
Links to Strava below.