On February 7th, the Velo Studio had the pleasure of hosting three local riders – Jeff Mather, Alex Carleton and Nancy Gomes – as they rode to become Knights of Sufferlandria.

All hail the newest Knights of Sufferlandria!

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.

Set up the night before so you can get started right away.
Set up the night before so you can get started right away.

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.

The head minion, my wife Kristin, might be have had too much fun.
The head minion, my wife Kristin, was all smiles as she “cracked the whip”

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.

Real food for the riders.
And lunch for the minions.

Power and wifi – The riders will use both to track their efforts, keep equipment charged up and receive moral support through social networks.

Knights need wifi!
Knights need wifi!

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.

I joined the knights for the last three videos.
I joined the knights for the last three videos.
Distracting the riders with a pretty new road bike.
Kids with cowbells provide support.

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.

Yes, there was planking during the breaks.
Yes, there was planking during the breaks.
Wings and a tutu weren’t comfy but kept things light

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.

The candidates start to get a little goofy.
The candidates start to get a little goofy.

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.

The minions joined the Knights for the final ride.
The minions joined the Knights for the final ride.

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!

They say applying ice to sensitive areas can help with recovery.
Well done team!

You can check out more photos from the Knighthood quest on the Steve the Bike Guy Facebook Page.


3 thoughts on “How to host a Knighthood quest

  • February 9, 2015 at 9:54 am

    This was an incredible day and accomplishment for me. Steve the Bike Guy & Kristin the Head Minion were amazing!
    We are so lucky to have a local official Sufferfest Embassy.

  • February 10, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Thank you Steve & Kristin for so graciously hosting us last weekend and attending to our every need! It was an amazing day for a great cause! Much appreciated!

  • February 18, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    This was a fantastic experience! Thanks so much for hosting it. You really thought of everything. I can’t imagine a more supportive environment.

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