On Sunday afternoon, I thought I would head back to the land of suffer and try my luck at “The Downward Spiral”.
It was Milan San Remo night, so I needed an afternoon nap. What better way to make myself weary.
Having sorted out a few of the issues I had with the trainer, I was ready to go in a flash. I fired up the old laptop and jumped on the bike.
The warm up is footage of some gnarly mountain bike stuff that had me jumping about on the bike pretending I was, well, gnarly. I’m not!
Next thing I know I am thrown into suburban Melbourne in a bunch doing a crit!
Now we are trying to reel in a small break. I wasn’t expecting that. I was looking at the guys seeing if I know any of them and boom, more effort.
A bit more warming up and then the real work starts.
Yeah, that doesn’t look too hard actually. The minions then give you a virtual bitch slap with the next frame of the video, you are doing it twice.
I did one of those exaggerated cartoon gulps and tried not to think of what was ahead. I was still mentally preparing for the smashing I was about to give my legs, heart and lungs when the GO sound went and we were off. I flicked the gear shift for the front mech and into the big ring I went, testosterone coursing through me like a 16 year old boy surrounded by cheerleaders.
Looking at the screen I am think “hey, that looks like…” when this message pops up.
I was going great, pushing out some good speed and thinking the interval nearly over when I got a look at the screen, 1 minute left. What the, what the?
I was back in the time warp that is The Sufferfest. I grind my teeth and keep pushing, making it all the way through the full 2 minutes. Rest time and I was wasting energy punching the air. The first real interval of the Sufferfest I had completed. I was a champion in my own mind. I was still kissing my biceps when the 2 minute rest was up and I was off again. How does this happen? There is no way that was 2 minutes rest.
Bang, off we go for a 1:45 effort.
This can’t be good news, what dastardly deed is coming up?
Ah yes, excellent, more effort to latch on to the team car. Once again I dig deep, immersed in my very own Paris Roubaix, hoping I don’t do a George Hincapie when he was with US Postal and fly off the bike after the handle bars decided to go to lunch and shot him into a ditch.
The efforts keep coming. I finished the first block and had kept up the efforts for the allotted times. Unlike Revolver where I had bailed at the second or third interval. I was happy with the power I was putting out. The rest time went quickly. I was more than halfway through my drinks. My towel looked like it had just come out of the washing machine with out a spin cycle.
Bang, off we go again. I worked my arse off. I was turning into the human sprinkler again. The encouragement from the minions kept coming.
You just can’t help but go harder. It is like a virtual reality video game, you are there. All that was missing was a couple of burly makes to shake the shit out of the bike whilst I flew across the cobbles.
The minions really can’t help themselves. I am telling them to STFU and trying to see through the sweat. I finally smash out the last effort and notice I hit a record of 780W. I sit down and look at the screen expecting to be told what a man beast I am on the bike. I should know better.
I wont ruin the surprise for those yet to do The Downward Spiral, but the clue is the number one!
A few fuzzy minutes later it is all over. I am licking the condensation of my empty bottles. I look at the power reading.
Screw you minions, I’m a BEAST! (dear reader, let me have my moment, I realise 893 watts is nothing special and Brad Wiggins probably poops with more force, but I am a Non Pro Cyclist, a knackered one at that!)
I was a bit wobbly on my feet, but walked past a pair of dogs thinking I had gone mad and topped up my water bottle. This photo was about 15 minutes later. 15 minutes in front of the fan.
Here is what the work out looks like on Strava.
To celebrate my first successful Sufferfest video, I threw this together.
One down, 12 to go.
Suggestions for the next video to try?