For those unfamiliar, to become a Knight a cyclist must complete 10 of the Sufferfest cycling videos (which range in length from 55 minutes to two hours) in one day — on an indoor cycling trainer.
In addition to attempting knighthood, the candidates rode in support of Boston Children’s Hospital Miles for Miracles.
Reflecting back, we have some tips for anyone who may be thinking of attempting, or hosting, knighthood:
Plan ahead – For the riders, that means training and connecting with other Knights and candidates for advice and information. (The Sufferlandrian Knighthood Quest Planning Committee group on Facebook was very helpful). For the minions (the Sufferfest’s term for helpers), it’s anticipating what the riders may need, as well as clearing your schedule for a long day.
Start early and plan for a long day – For yesterday’s quest riders and minions were in the Studio for a solid 12 hours. Starting at 6 am allowed us to finish up at a reasonable hour.
Name a head minion – With only 10 minute breaks allowed between videos, riders need to focus on their physical and biological needs. A head minion helps keep the riders in compliance by cracking the whip, um, we mean, tracking the time, cuing up the next videos and posting photos to the planning Committee group.
Food, water and air – Bottles of water for hydration, fans for air flow (both individual fans and larger room fans), and food are essential. Make sure you have plenty of all.
Power and wifi – The riders will use both to track their efforts, keep equipment charged up and receive moral support through social networks.
Invite visitors – Speaking of moral support, other riders can help the candidates by joining in for a few videos. Minions, spouses and kids can also provide much needed distractions and encouragement.
Mix it up – The candidates will want to change their kits a few times during the day. Make sure there is a place they can change and take care of those “biological” needs. During breaks one of the riders did planks and pushups, which she swears was a nice break from the bike.
Change the tunes – As the end drew near, patience was waning and the techno-vibe of the videos was starting to get to the riders. During the last ride we turned down the volume on the video, and turned on something a little more soothing – Indigo Girls.
Pull together at the end
While my wife and I joined in to help the riders on the last video, the rest of the minions and family members cheered on from the sidelines.
Don’t forget to recover and celebrate
After so many hours, it can be tempting to pack up the bikes and run home. Instead, take a few minutes to celebrate the success of the candidates!
You can check out more photos from the Knighthood quest on the Steve the Bike Guy Facebook Page.