Adventures in life and photography out West


Well into the quest for Knighthood, plenty of suffering.

Well into the quest for Knighthood, plenty of suffering.

I’m at my day job and I can just barely contain myself. I’m thinking back on a really good week; completed the Tour of Sufferlandria while earning a Knighthood of Sufferlandria. It’s a fitting start to the slow build up to the riding season. Although, for me, the real kickoff event for the 2015 season is Saturday night in Denver. This will be fun.

Saturday night is the Ride the Rockies Route Premier Party at the Seawell Grand Ballroom at the Denver Center for Performing Arts. Yah, it’s kind of a big deal. This year marks the 30th RTR and the party features food by Maggiano’s Little Italy, adult beverages by O’Dell Brewing. Live music by Minor Note Orchestra. All proceeds from the event benefit the Denver Post Community Foundation.

There are usually fun and games, including a chance to win free entry into this year’s RTR; Guess the Route! If someone can guess which town’s this year’s rout will include, that lucky person will get to ride for free. There will be gifts and other surprises, as well.

You still have a few days to order tickets on line at this site for $40. At the door on Saturday, tickets will be $50. I will be there talking with organizers and riders, shooting video and having a great time.

So you haven’t heard of The Sufferfest or the Knights of Sufferlandria? Well, you are missing out! If you live north of New Mexico or higher than about 5,000 feet, you probably have a real winter, as I do. That requires some time on the indoor trainer, rollers or spinning bike. Even if you own TdF videos, “Breaking Away” and “American Flyers” you won’t be training long before you have had enough. The Sufferfest offers a variety of workouts with footage of major pro cycling races. The instructions on the screen are easy to follow, as well as being humorous to break up the suffering. They offer short time trial videos, long climbing videos and everything in between. I own three of the videos, including two that feature the 2013 Giro d’Italia. You can purchase individual videos or, now, download their mobile app which allows users to pay for a month of unlimited use of unlimited videos. If you have a tablet of iPad, or can tolerate the tiny screen of your smart phone, this is likely the best deal.

The Knighthood of Sufferlandria is a daunting challenge involving riding to 10 consecutive Sufferfest videos while taking no more than 10 minutes in between. While you don’t have to, The Sufferfest encourages those questing for the knighthood to use the event to raise money for a favorite charity. I chose the Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation for my ride. I raised a little money, but did this on a whim, so didn’t publicize very well. The Sufferfest offers resources to help get the word out for you, and to help keep track of your quest so it can be verified.

This is not for the faint of heart. Plan your quest well. Use plenty of electrolyte drinks, lots of food and a good fan. The Sufferfest points out that you don’t have to go all out on every video, but make yourself proud.

It’s time to plan and train. Have fun with it and your summer season will be the best!

Have fun, be safe. I’m going riding!

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