Sometimes I think I deliberately try to make life more difficult for myself.
Like how I am currently stuck in Albany, NY, in a hotel with no room service. It wasn’t as if I didn’t know that universal rule that a hotel located in a not so urban area, no matter how many amenities it may offer, will always make you feel more helpless than it really has a right to. I simply chose not to ask a stupid question [“do you guys have room service?”] and am being punished for it as a result [I am starving]. No, it’s not like I lost my will to stand and walk around - although more than 24 hours in Albany might have that effect on some - but it’s sleeting out. Sleeting or icy raining or wintry mixing. Basically, miserable is coming out of the sky and walking on the sidewalk is like wading through a giant frappucino.
And I don’t have my bike. Not that I would ride it on roads that are starting to look like rivers of slushy diarrhea, but because - as the saying goes - when the going gets fucking icy out, the real roadies try to figure out the fastest way to make themselves puke while riding the rollers indoors.
A seasonal rite of passage where contrition for even considering participating in cross season is exhibited in the form of intervals, a bludgening market for trainer DVDs has emerged in the past few years that seems as varigated as porn. And with titles like, “Spinervals Fitness 2.0, Sweating Buckets,” and “Mindy Mylrea: Super Cycle: The Best Ride in Town,” the similarities between the porn business and the sweating on your bike business might not be so few and far between. It might be slightly awkward to watch at times [“what exactly are they....that can’t be real...am I actually supposed to want to do that?”], but how terrible could a training video be?
With that thought in mind, and a preference that is more Suicide Girls than Chasey Lain, I invested $10.99 of my hard-earned money to purchase Revolver, a video by the newest trainer video producer on the scene, Sufferfest. Available immediately for download, I was on my bike and rolling through a ride within 20 minutes of hitting “Buy Now.” And since that moment, I have been hooked. Like turning that shit on and riding until my legs shake, four days out seven, hooked. Hitting “play,” to a soundtrack that I now associate with suffering at a perceived rate of exertion of 10/10 in one minute intervals, for thirty goddamn minutes, I first follow a bunch of guys on a brisk ride, before heading vicariously to the Manchester velodrome for the Madison event, then onto the U-23 World Champs, the UCI Cyclocross World Champs, and wrap it up [my favorite part] with Tatiana Guderzo and the ladies. It’s excruciatingly hard - the first time I did it, I wanted to weep, then pass out in a puddle of my own puke - but it’s equally addictive: Revolver has become the perfect 45 minute escape from the snowy shitfest that is Boston.
This could be all because, like I said, I might enjoy making my life more difficult than it should be. Of course, it wasn’t enough for me to just schedule in a few Sufferfest sessions into my week. I had to do it on rollers, thereby forcing myself to sit through the sprints and savor the sensations of my ass falling off while I was at it. But like any cyclist - from seasoned pro to newbie amateur - will tell you, that feeling of despair and complete destruction after a hard workout can’t be beat. And when you don’t have 2+ hours, or daylight in which to ride, Sufferfest will deliver, kicking your ass good and proper so you can keep up with your crew, or at least feel like less of a lazy waste of space.
I can’t say I’m putting out 6000 watts yet, but I am working my way up to Sufferfest’s newest, Local Hero, which clocks in at 85 minutes of pain, intervals included.
God, I can’t wait.