CAUTION: LONG THREAD!!! (You have been warned.)
So follow-up to the quest post, for the history nerds out there. Turns out this wasn’t as straightforward a request as you’d think - the Minions and I really had to dig.
I ended up taking a deep dive into the Internet Archive to research Sufferfest going back to it’s inception as a cycling blog ca. September 2008. Actually had a lot of fun working through the years. Here are the highlights:
Blog originally launched on Wordpress around Aug/Sept 2008. First workout, called “Workout 1” (soooo clever GvA!), debuted on or about Sept 14th…
Second workout, “Sufferfest Indoor Cycling Podcast 2”, described as “Pyramids, TT and Intervals” debuted around Oct 27th…
also switched platforms and was first available on iTunes.
Workout #3 came out around Nov 16th, also with a description, but still no names: “Breakaway, Climb and Sprint!”…
also TSHIRTS! (and a mug):
Workout #4 released ca. Dec 14th, and finally a name!: “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”…
Finally - for the blog - Workout #5 came out around March 3, 2009, and was titled “Glory Days of Tears and Pain”…though I couldn’t find a breakdown of the workout.
So there you have what I dubbed “The Legacy 5”, the legendary predecessors of all we know and love:
- “Workout 1”
- “Pyramids, TT and Intervals”
- “Breakaway, Climb and Sprint”
- “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”
- “Glory Days of Tears and Pain”
Sadly, as best we could tell, the original videos are lost to the ages, but I’d like to think that at least some of them morphed into the initial releases from the Sufferfest platform, which brings us to:
- The “original” Sufferfest.com website launched ca. Dec 12, 2009, with The Downward Spiral. Also bonus first use of IWBMATTKYT!
Videos were released on a regular basis after that. Some other highlights:
- The “bleeding eyes” SUFF logo first came out in late August, 2010.
- A big website revamp in Sept 2012 first broke the rides into categories (climbing, racing, etc.), intro’d streaming previews of the videos, and first assigned each ride it’s logo/icon.
- “Knight of Sufferlandria” was (most likely) intro’d around July 2014.
- another revamp in August 2014 incorporated Tri and Running workouts, as well as debuting the “original” Sufferlandrian crest. FUN FACT: Sufferfest released ONE (and apparently ONLY one, that I’m aware of) triathlon video in March 2014, Chrysalis, which I’m told has apparently been lost to the ages. Also the first FTP test The Rubber Glove (yikes!) launched.
Finally, around Sept 2015 GvA/@David.McQuillen.KoS launched the modern streaming platform, subscription plan, and hosted video streaming, though the “purchase and download” option remained for legacy videos until Nov/Dec 2016.
For all those who’ve gotten this far, here is the @David.McQuillen.KoS, GvA and Minion approved canonical release order for the original SUFF videos:
- The Downward Spiral
- Fight Club
- The Hunted
- Local Hero
- Hell Hath No Fury
- Extra Shot
- The Long Scream
- There is No Try
- The Wretched
- Rubber Glove
- Half is Easy
- Nine Hammers
- The Rookie
- Elements of Style
- The Way Out
- Power Station
- Thin Air
- The Omnium
- The Best Way is Blended
- Told off By Angels
- Open 60
- Open 30
One of the great remaining mysteries is the Tour of Sufferlandria. The first references I could find to the ToS were from late 2014, for the 2015 ToS, which was announced on the website in January, 2015. But we just rode the 10th Anniversary this year, so the first ToS SHOULD HAVE been in 2013, yet I can’t find any reference to those first two years.
EXTRA BONUS for sticking with me: ORIGINAL LOGOS!..