The 2020 Tour of Sufferlandria is coming February 15-23
The Tour of Sufferlandria is the Greatest Grand Tour of a Mythical Nation in the World. Nine days of brutal stages showcasing the harsh beauty of that tortured country on the shores of the Great Lactic Acid Sea, all to benefit the Davis Phinney Foundation and their programmes to help those affected by Parkinson's Disease.
If you haven't ridden the Tour (or if you have but blocked the trauma from your memory) and are wondering what to expect, read on. Below you'll find everything you need to know about riding the Tour.
HOW IT WORKS
You do the rides from the relative discomfort of your own home or in a group at one of our Officially Licensed SUF Cycling Embassies.
For every $10 USD you donate or fundraise, you earn one chance in our prize pool (so if you donate, say, $100, you earn 10 chances in our prize pool). Even better: Start a fundraising page and ask your friends to donate to your cause. Each $10 you raise also earns you a chance to win. To encourage you to start your fundraising early, we have a few incentives:
- AltRed, a betalains performance and recovery supplement, and our generous sponsor of Stage 1, will match all donations made before the start of the Tour up to $30,000!
- For every $10 you donate (or fundraise) before the start of the Tour, you earn DOUBLE CHANCES AT THE PRIZE POOL!
- Want to be a part of the community? Join the Tour of Sufferlandria Facebook Page. It's the Official Race Village where challenges are made, tales of glory are shared, and prizes are lusted after. Not required, but totally worth it.
- Ride the video(s) for each stage of the Tour on the day specified.
Once it's over, you will have accomplished something truly incredible. HONOR, GLORY and VICTORY will be yours.
One week after the ToS, we take all the donations and randomly select winners for the prize pool.
What You Need:
- A stationary bike, turbo trainer, or rollers.
- A subscription to The Sufferfest (or join a Sufferlandrian Embassy near you).
- A device that’s compatible with The Sufferfest app (Windows, iOS, or MacOS—check minimum device requirements for details).
- Register and make at least a $10USD donation to the Davis Phinney Foundation.
- Design your race number
- Complete each stage, ideally when it starts and ends in your timezone, though you do have a 50-hour window. Check out the Stages Countdown Timers or the ToS Challenge Page in the app for start and finish times for each stage.
- A willingness to Suffer for the HONOUR, GLORY and VICTORY of Sufferlandria.
Did someone say prizes? Oh yeah.
Make Your Custom Race Bib
Race in style and let the world know that you're Suffering so those affected by Parkinson's don't have to. Click on the image to download the Tour of Sufferlandria Race Number Template for PowerPoint (don't worry, Mac users, it will open in Keynote) customize it, then print it or make it your Facebook profile picture. Instructions included.
Get The Poster and the Shirt
Suitable for framing and / or wearing, the Tour of Sufferlandria poster and shirt are essential for any well-appointed paincave or well-dressed Sufferlandrian. All proceeds go to The Davis Phinney Foundation.
Four Ways to Ride The Tour (and how to join Grunter's Gran Fondo)
The Tour is one of the toughest physical challenges you can take on. But *exactly* how tough it should be depends on what the Tour means to you, your experience level, and whether you’re using the Tour as a springboard to other goals.
So everyone can ride the Tour, regardless of fitness, experience or circumstance, Sufferlandrian National Team Coach and Chief Science Officer Sir Neal Henderson, together with Coach Mac Cassin, have developed four different ways to ride the Tour. All options are approved and heartily endorsed by Grunter von Agony and the Ministry of Suffering. Whatever option you choose, you’re riding the Tour. We’re in this together for HONOUR, GLORY, and VICTORY! You'll be able to choose your option when you apply the Tour of Sufferlandria Stages plan to your calendar in The Sufferfest app.
1. The Money-Raising Option
Take this option if: You can’t do all the stages but you really want to be part of the fun. Maybe life just isn’t going to let you do the full Tour this year. Don’t let life stop you! You won't get the ToS badge in the app, but you're ok with that -- just pick a few stages that you can ride, ride them however you can and start raising money for the Davis Phinney Foundation. You’ll have a blast, be part of the fun, and you can heckle the other riders from the sidelines of the stages you’re not riding. Grunter's Gran Fondo (details below) works perfectly for this option.
Sir Neal says to expect the following with this option:
- Intense personal satisfaction from raising money for a worthy cause.
- Increased confidence from nailing a few stages of the Tour with an eye to a full completion in 2021.
- You won’t earn a ToS finisher's badge in the app, but who cares. The 2021 one will be nicer.
2. The Get-Me-Through-It Option
You want to prove to yourself that you can take on something big and finish it off. You want to Suffer, but you need to do it on your own terms. Excellent. You know, most professional cyclists riding the Tour de France do the same thing - they target a few stages that suit their strengths and try to conserve energy on others. So, even though you’re not a pro, you’re smart like a pro! In this option, you should identify the stages you want to ride at 100%. These can be whatever stages you like, but should be ones you’re highly motivated to perform on. Space them out so you can recover in-between on the other stages, which you should ride at lower intensity (70-90% depending on how you’re feeling). Push yourself, but don’t lose sight that your main goal is to just get it done.
Sir Neal says you can expect the following if you take this option:
- Nutrition and recovery will still be key, but need particular attention the day before and on your targeted stages.
- You’ll need to be mentally up to the task of lifting your game on target days, so try something like the focus exercise in the Mental Training Programme.
- You will still have good and bad days. If you get to a target stage and your legs aren’t up to the challenge, either fight through it to learn how you cope in such a situation or change the plan and target another stage.
A faster recovery (generally in about 7 days) than those on the Nuclear option. It might take longer depending on your level of fitness at the start of the Tour and how brutal the stages are that you intend to target (we're looking at you, Stage 8).
3. The Focused Option
Take this option if: You want to ride a good Tour, but don’t want it to compromise your goals a little further down the road. Like any pro cyclist, you have goals that might not line up with the race you’re about to do. You need to ride the event out of a patriotic loyalty, but want to do so in a way that doesn’t destroy you for other goals down the road or derail you from your current training plan too much. If that’s the case, then take this option. The Focused Option has you identify the stages that suit your strengths (as determined by your 4DP profile) and ride them at 85-90% intensity, with all other stages done at 70-80% to keep you on track post-Tour.
Sir Neal says you can expect the following if you take this option:
- You might find it frustrating on days where you feel great to keep the intensity low(er), but rest assured the Tour will still grind you down...but not so much that you won’t rise again for your goals down the road.
- It’s still going to be really hard, so it’s still critical to think about staying on top of nutrition, hydration and rest/ recovery since you’ll be riding 9-straight days!
- You’re going to recover faster...most likely in about 5-6 days depending on how much you rest after the Tour.
4. The NUCLEAR OPTION
Take this option if: You’ve been waiting for the chance to destroy yourself and this is it. This is the Tour at 100% from the start, holding that as long as you can before you spectacularly burst into flames. And you will burst into flames. But, as a Sufferlandrian, you’ll pick up the ashes, mix them with a bit of Real Pagne and Holy Water, form it into a shape resembling you and get cracking again at full pelt. Until you burst into flames again. Glorious.
Here is what Sir Neal says you can expect if you take the Nuclear Option:
- Nutrition and recover are going to be critical. Pay extra attention to what you’re eating and drinking, build recovery into your schedule and make sure you get lots of sleep. Progressive decline in power output over the duration of the Tour. It’s expected and its OK because...
- ...you’re going to experience epic, epic, epic levels of Suffering. This makes it a…
- ...real mental challenge. Which, if you’re considering a post-Tour Knighthood, will be a useful exercise.
- Full recovery from the Tour will likely take at least 7 to 10 days or possibly more, depending on your baseline fitness at the beginning of the Tour.
- With a training overload this big, some people might not see as much of a fitness increase as possible due to the extreme nature of the Nuclear Tour.
- Lastly, your immune system is going to take a hit, increasing your risk of upper respiratory tract infection. So take care of yourself and pay extra attention to hygiene in public settings (wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands).
Grunter's Gran Fondo
New for 2020, this option is for those of you who can only commit to one day on the bike but still want to have a chance at Honour, Glory, Victory, and a shot at winning the Col Collective Cycling Tours "Taming Ventoux" Tour.
- Registration for Grunter's Gran Fondo is a minimum $20 donation through the 2020 Tour of Sufferlandria registration page. If you registered for the full Tour, raised or donated at least $20, and completed Stage 9, you're also in the running.
- You need to complete the final stage, Stage 9, at some point during the Tour.
- Everyone who completes Grunter's Gran Fondo will be eligible to win the Col Collective Cycling Tours "Taming Ventoux" tour, scheduled for Thur 24th - Sun 27th September 2020.
- You'll also receive the coveted Grunter's Gran Fondo badge in your passport.
No matter what option you take, don’t forget three very important things:
- Every stage is open as long as it is that day somewhere on Earth. That means there is a 50-hour window for every stage. Use that window wisely to help gain some additional rest.
- Whatever option you choose is yours alone. You don’t need to tell anyone what option you’re on, there will be no categories of riders and no competition. As Sufferlandrians, all we care about is that you push yourself and Suffer. Of this, we have full confidence in you.
With these four ways of riding the Tour, there is no reason not to ride. Those living with Parkinson’s Disease are counting on you. It’s your patriotic duty as a Sufferlandrian to be on the start line with the other members of your nation. Plus, it’s a lot of fun.
Choose your path and ride with COURAGE. We’ll see you there.
Taking Care of Your Body During the Tour
The Tour of Sufferlandria is no walk in the park. Nine days of back-to-back Suffering is bound to take its toll. It’s important that you look after your body as you ride the Tour to ensure you’ll be able to make it all the way to the end. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help keep your body primed for Suffering:
Fuel for the Fire
Ensure that you keep your body fueled properly by monitoring the food and drink you ingest. Where possible, we recommend eating an easy-to-digest meal that’s low in fat and high in carbohydrates around 2 hours before your scheduled ride. You should consume 1-2g of carbohydrates for every kilogram of body weight. Using this formula, a 70kg Sufferlandrian would aim to eat between 70- 140g of carbs a couple of hours before training, depending on the length of the stage you’ve got in front of you. For more information on how best to fuel yourself for our workouts, check out our Eating To Suffer Nutrition Guide, which is available with your subscription to The Sufferfest. Open the app, click on Training Plans, scroll down to the bottom, and click on Eating To Suffer to download the full PDF.
Beet Your Ass Today to Kick Theirs Tomorrow
Want to bring your A-game and boost your recovery? AltRed - Betalains Unleashed, a beet-based performance and recovery supplement and generous sponsor of Stage 1 and our pre-Tour fundraising matching funds, will help you do just that. AltRed performance supplement harnesses the power of Betalain—a compound found in beets—to naturally boost your performance by improving oxygen delivery, mitigating lactic acid and protecting muscles from damage. That translates into more power, better endurance, and faster recovery. AltRed is NSF Certified for Sport, meeting the NSF’s stringent independent certification guidelines for supplements intended for use by athletes. Plus! As a special offer for Tour of Sufferlandria participants, use promo code ALTSUF20 when you purchase AltRed before the Tour and get 20% off your first order (Limit one use per customer. International orders will be responsible for shipping and any customs fees). Shop AltRed now.
Crush Your Recovery with iKOR
This year we've partnered with iKOR, a Boulder-based company that strives to empower athletes to achieve their goals and recover faster through natural and scientifically formulated products. iKOR's products include Warming Topical Relief, Recovery Shot, and Daily Supplement derived from hemp. As a special offer to those of you riding the Tour, use promo code ToS20 when you purchase iKOR products before or during the Tour and get 20% off your order. (non-US orders will be responsible for shipping and customs fees).
Staying Mentally Tough
At some point during this year’s Tour, you’ll be tempted not to start a stage, or to quit a stage halfway through. If you’re lucky, that won’t happen until the end. If you’re unlucky, it’ll happen halfway through stage 2. The important thing is not to give up and maintain the Suffering - keep pushing. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish. Here are some tips to help keep you pedaling when you’d rather climb off and rest:
- If you haven’t tried the Mental Training Programme in the app, now is the perfect time. The Getting Positive and Positive Self-Talk modules will give you invaluable tools to help identify and neutralize negative thoughts before they derail your Tour. After the Tour, start the 10-week programme of modules and associated exercises to get the full benefit and to make the most of your post-Tour fitness.
- One of the easiest ways to stay motivated is to get others invested in your Suffering - Tell your family, your friends, your work colleagues, your local plumber and your pets that you’re taking on the Tour of Sufferlandria. You won’t want to disappoint them by backing out. By the same token, raising money for a worthy cause like the Davis Phinney Foundation is another excellent way to take some of the focus off your own Suffering and get you focused on helping those living with Parkinson’s disease. Here’s a reminder of where you can set up your donation.
- Another reason to raise money for the Davis Phinney Foundation (aside from all the good karma) is our prize list. As you ride along, think about which of the awesome prizes on our main prize list you’d enjoy the most. Can you see yourself climbing the storied slopes of Ventoux on the Col Collective Cycling Tour? Crushing the competition on your Indigo Custom Cycles gravel grinder? Or suffering it out on a brand new Wahoo KICKR BIKE? Remember that every $10 you raise gets you an extra entry in the grand prize draw, so the more you donate, the more chances you have to win! (Prize list coming soon).
- The easiest way to raise an amount of money that will earn you the respect of your fellow Sufferlandrians and soon-to-be Sufferlandrians is to let as many people as possible know about your quest. You’ll be able to find the Tour’s official Facebook page here, and you can interact with us on Twitter by using #tos2020 and directing your tweets to @TheSufferfest. You can also make yourself a totally awesome Tour of Sufferlandria race number by going here. Use it as your avatar on social media to let all Couchlandrians know that you are racing for honour, glory and victory.
Getting Your Torture Chamber Ready
Take some time to set up your Bike Torture Chamber with everything you’ll need for the week. At a bare minimum you’ll need your bike, trainer, and device with The Sufferfest installed. Other possible additions include:
• A fan to keep you cool (essential unless you live in the Arctic).
• A towel to mop up all the sweat (Sufferlandrian Holy Water) you’ll spill over the course of the Tour.
• A Sufferlandrian flag to inspire you.
• A bucket (you never know when you might need it).
• A Minion to observe your Suffering and ‘motivate’ you with floggings.
• A hamster.
If you haven’t used the app before, don’t wait until the start of the Tour. Our Help Centre has a wealth of information regarding minimum hardware requirements, tips on connecting devices, and basic troubleshooting.
We highly recommend going through the following checklist:
- If you want to connect heart rate monitors, cadence sensors, or power meters to the app to capture performance data, make sure you have everything you need to allow the app to talk to your sensors (ANT+ USB2 dongles, any adapters if necessary).
- If your Torture Chamber doesn’t have good internet connectivity, download the videos for the next stage the night before the start. That will prevent any interruptions to your suffering that might be caused by streaming issues.
- Make sure you have the most recent version of the app. iOS should update automatically. For Mac users, open the app and select Help>Check for Updates.
- If you have a smart trainer, make sure the firmware is up to date. Contact the manufacturer for additional information.
If you have a power meter, smart trainer, or conventional trainer set up for virtual power, take the Full Frontal fitness test a few days before the Tour and get your complete 4DP™ profile. Designed to determine your Neuromuscular Power, Maximal Aerobic Power, Functional Threshold Power and Anaerobic Capacity, Full Frontal will allow the app to customize all of the power targets to match your unique 4DP™ values. If you’re using a turbo trainer where your rear tyre is in contact with the trainer, buying a spare tyre (or a trainer-specific tyre) could be a worthwhile investment, as long periods on the turbo trainer will accelerate the wear on your rear tyre.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let me get this right. The Tour of Sufferlandria is simply doing one or more Sufferfest videos over 9 days as listed in the Official Route?
You got it.
Is it a race?
No. It is simply you against yourself to see whether you can push yourself for 9 days. We believe you can.
Where does it take place?
In your Bike Torture Chamber, Pain Cave or whatever you call it, using The Sufferfest App. Or join a group at one of our Official Sufferlandrian Embassies.
How do I know what stages to do?
We'll provide details of the Official Route about a month before the start of the Tour. You can also apply the Tour Stages training plan to your calendar in The Sufferfest app.
How do I sign up?
You register by making a $10 donation to our partner charity, The Davis Phinney Foundation through the Official Tour Registration Page. For every $10 you donate, you’ll have one chance to win one of the amazing prizes in our prize pool. As an incentive to kickstart your fundraising efforts, for every $10 you raise or donate up until the start of the Tour gives you TWO chances.
You're raising money for what?
For the Davis Phinney Foundation, which helps people with Parkinson's lead better lives. Read all about them below.
Can I donate money, not ride any of the Tour and still be eligible for prizes?
Yep, sure can.
Can I raise funds and get other people to donate in my name and then I earn more prizes?
Yes. When you registered, you'll have been given you own personal fundraising page. Send the link to that to everybody you know and even people you don't know. Get them to support your Suffering and this awesome cause!
How will you know I did all the stages?
We actually aren't fussed if you do all the stages or not. What we do care deeply about though is that you do a Tour you're proud of. That's going to mean different things to different people and only you can be your own judge. However, if you do finish all the stages in the app, you'll get a cool 2019 ToS badge in your App PassPort. AND BADGES ARE COOL.
Do I have to do the stages at 100%?
No. Unless you want to. Like last year, there will be different ways to ride the Tour. You can choose your option when you apply the Tour Stages plan in The Sufferfest Training Plans tab. Adjusted intensities will automatically be made for you.
For stages with more than one video, do I have to do the videos back-to-back?
Yes. You wouldn’t take a break halfway through a Tour de France or Giro stage so why would you expect less of the Tour of Sufferlandria?
Do I have to do them on the exact dates?
You actually have a 50 hour window in which to do each stage thanks to the wonder of a round planet and multiple time zones. To feel part of the Tour experience, we strongly encourage you to ride the stage during that window.
How do I get a ToS 2020 Badge in the app?
To get the badge, you have to do each stage in the app and in the 50-hour window.
Do I have to have The Sufferfest app in order to complete The ToS?
Are there donuts?
Flogging station 6 is open. Report immediately.
Why on earth do people think the Tour de France or Giro d'Italia is harder than this?
We've no idea. Amateurs.
I don't have the app so I'll just make up my own stages and do the Tour. That's cool, right?
You can do that, but then you're not doing the Tour and you're not supporting the Davis Phinney Foundation, which really is the point of all this madness.
What kind of bike do I need for this? Can I do it on rollers?
As long as you can Suffer on it, we don’t care what kind of machine you use.
Is this the most amazing event EVER?
Until the 2021 Tour, yes it is.
I understand that Sufferlandrians are always nice and supportive. Is that true?
Yes. We're the friendliest batch of badasses this side of the Great Lactic Acid Sea. As Sufferlandrians, we believe in the values of PAIN, MISERY and AGONY as the path to HONOUR, GLORY and VICTORY. That path is different for everyone and we enthusiastically support anyone who chooses to go down it. We have zero-tolerance in our culture to bullying, being nasty, mean, abusive or unsupportive, denigrating anyone else's achievements or just generally being a jerk. If we see any of this, we will delete and ban without warning or questions.
I can't do the Tour when it's scheduled. Can I ride it early and donate now?
Sure. However, if you ride it early, please do not post daily updates in the Tour of Sufferlandria Facebook group. It just confuses everyone in the race village. You're welcome to post an end-of-your-Tour summary, though. If you donate early, you'll still be in prize pool and we'll draw that once the Tour is over.
Can I post graphs of the data from my rides in the Tour of Sufferlandria Facebook group?
We far prefer that you post pictures of you Suffering. We're all doing the stages, we all know the route profiles and we all know how the data looks. We're already proud of you for doing the stage and we really don't want to see your data. But if you really insist on boring everyone to tears, then go ahead and post your graphs BUT YOU MUST:
- Make your post funny
- Donate an additional $10 to the Davis Phinney Foundation
I guess I'm going to get hungry? What do I eat?
Check out our nutrition advice for getting through the Tour.
After The Tour: What Now?
Assuming you survive all nine stages and arrive victorious in the Sufferlandrian capital of Agonia (and why wouldn't you), you're probably wondering, what now? Besides dancing on the shredded chamois of your vanquished enemies, here are a few recommendations for what you should do after the Tour:
- Donate to our charitable partners, the Davis Phinney Foundation, and help to make the lives of people living with Parkinson’s disease a little easier. Donate here
- Tell the world about the massive goal you’ve just achieved by getting the word out there on social media. Use the hashtag #tos2020 so your fellow Sufferlandrians can see it too!
- Convince your friends and loved ones to donate to the Davis Phinney Foundation. If you need help, offer them the choice of donating or riding the Tour with you in 2021. You’ll either get them to donate to a charitable cause or welcome a new citizen to the glorious nation of Sufferlandria. Everybody wins.
- Give yourself a week to recover, then test yourself by completing Full Frontal again to get your new 4DP profile. If you completed Full Frontal in the week before the Tour, you'll most likely see quantifiable differences in your fitness. If you didn’t complete Full Frontal before the Tour, now’s a great time to see exactly who you are as a cyclist, your strengths and weaknesses, and to start training with personalized power targets.
- Start one of our Training Plans for Road, Triathlon, Gravel, Cyclocross, XC Mountain Biking, or eSports. Designed by world-renowned Coaches Neal Henderson and Mac Cassin of The Sufferfest Sports Science Division (and available for riders of all levels), these plans are tailored to your 4DP profile to provide maximum benefit with minimum time.
- If 9 straight days of Sufferfest stages wasn't challenging enough, take the plunge and complete 10 videos in a row on one day to become a Knight of Sufferlandria!
- Start planning for the 2021 Tour. It's never too early.
Our Charitable Partners: Why We Suffer
The Davis Phinney Foundation is committed to supporting programs and research that deliver inspiration, information and tools that will enable people living with Parkinson’s to take more control in managing their disease. The DPF was founded in 2004 by Olympic medalist and cycling great, Davis Phinney, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2000 at the age of 40.
Davis Phinney is one of our heroes from the 80s. He was a professional cyclist with an impressive palmares who won (among many other things) two stages of the Tour de France. His wife, Connie Carpenter, was the 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist in the first Women’s Road Race and a World Champion on the track. Davis set up the Davis Phinney Foundation to help people with Parkinson’s live better lives now. Davis and Connie are our ToS 2018 Race Patrons. Their son is Taylor Phinney, who raced for EF Education First–Drapac p/b Cannondale professional cycling team before retiring this year. Their daughter, Kelsey, is a World Cup-level nordic skier.
Listen to The Sufferfest Podcast: Everybody Hurts with Davis Phinney and Connie Carpenter-Phinney