Yes, Stage 7 could’ve been better organised, and personally I’d prefer not to include On Location or Week With… (despite the workout, they somehow fit less into the spirit of the tour, I need that music or race atmosphere for motivation!) - but otherwise I enjoyed it, found it much easier to fit into a busy work/family week, and raised a bit of money for a good cause.
This year’s Tour is my first and here are some thoughts I have:
Rabbit Mountain was definitely a good indication of how fit (or unfit) I have become since recovering from Covid in November 2022. The ride, especially the last MAP effort was definitely a killer for me at least.
I was always intimidated with the ProRide series in SYSTM for not being able to keep up to the rapid changes in effort. But this time, the changes in effort was well managed possibly because I riding the entire tour on a turbo trainer.
Cash Register is a very fitting ride to start the Tour. Kudos to the Company.
I share the sentiments with our fellow Sufferlandrians that Stage 7 could and should have been better communicated prior especially on obtaining the badge upon completing Stage 7. Also, there could have been better integration between RGT and SYSTM when it came to Stage 7 and more so when searching for the stage on RGT.
Otherwise everything was OK, but now that the Company has organised the Wahoo-toooot Tour for this year, can we have the Tour of Sufferlandria in 2024?
This year’s tour is my first and fresh experience. I really enjoyed all six stages and I believe all stages was planned in balance for navigating work, personal life and training for novice and intermediate level riders. I felt the workouts were optimal considering we’re in transition of fitness level following pandemic years. Definitely Stage: 7 experience was not great and many frustrations impacted overall experience. Felt accomplished and positive since I was fortunate to support Wahoo’s good cause. Looking forward for many more years experiences.
Here are my (hopefully constructive) comments regarding the 2023 The Wahooligan Tour.
The Sufferlandrian community is still strong and supportive of each other. We see the Tour as a competition with ourselves not with each other.
The goal of the Tour is fundraising for the Davis Phinney Foundation. Compared to other fundraisers where the event is a ride that happens to be a fundraiser, this one is focused as a fundraiser that is a ride. Cash Register is a ‘must have’ ride within the Tour, thank you for including it again this year.
The various rides done within Sufferfest, On Location, A Week With, ProRides and RGT did give a taste of them to riders who had not done them before.
The not so good:
Lack of communications, especially Stage 7 and the Yoga video. Trying to conduct a stage on RGT was commendable but left many of the SYSTM riders who had never used it vowing not to EVER use it. Buggy video, huge cpu/bandwidth demands, crashing apps, faulty programming, etc. made it a real downer for many. User error was some of the problem (both minor and major) but since there was no Wahoo Support for the most part, it was up to several novice users of RGT to try to get people on the right path to be able to do the ride.
After hearing the issue of the first group ride on Friday, I did TGTTOS in SYSTM and almost ditched doing the RGT ride on Saturday. I gave it a shot, had RGT crash right after signing into the ride, got it restarted but lost the workout side (no power or cadence targets) of the ride even though I went back in the same pathway for the group ride. The one positive was listening to Neal Henderson talk us through the climb up the Stelvio otherwise I would have bailed and went mountain biking instead…. That being said, doing the Stelvio in level mode was much harder than doing TGTTOS the day before (even after doing the UCI Road stage).
The improvements for next year:
The name: I know that Wahoo users have called themselves Wahooligans but there is a negative connotation with hooligans. I didn’t publish the tour or solicit outside donations on my social media because I didn’t want that negative association tied to me. Although the name Tour of Sufferlandria is outdated due to the continued integration of Wahoo X, I would not totally get away from those roots (more on that later). Personally, I would like to see something along the lines of “The Davis Phinney Foundation Tour by Wahoo X”.
The date and length: I would like to see the Tour in February. Perhaps starting the 7th Saturday after the start of the New Year. That puts it roughly the third week of February. This is still the winter training season in the northern hemisphere when most people are doing indoor training. It also positions the Tour to have a 6-week prep plan starting just after the holidays.
I propose making the Tour as an 8-day event starting on Saturday and ending the following Saturday. Several participants commented on the 90-minute ride on Friday as being long for a workday, which should be taken into consideration.
Riding options: How about two different styles of the Tour: Traditional and Challenge. The Traditional has the 50-hour window for the rider to get each stage done. The Challenge allows a rider to mix up the stages however they need to due to work/life/etc as long as they get all the stages done during the 8-day time frame. Within the styles, have the ‘Get Me Through It’ (reduced intensity) and the ‘Sufferlandrian Nuclear’ (full intensity) options.
Advertising: Most of the Tour advertising seems to have come out late. Having the Wahoo athletes and coaches on Facebook this week has been interesting but what about generating some interest prior to the Tour? Start in December with tour announcements (dates) and tease the route a little. In early January use the Wahoo athletes and coaches to introduce the stages on social media so that the route is known before the 6-week training plan starts. Have them put some interest and effort into the announcement versus reading off a teleprompter (they are the face of Wahoo and should be enthusiastic about the product).
Employee knowledge: There were several Wahoo RGT Tour training rides that were announced, but the one I participated in was disappointing as a customer who had bought a Kickr to train for Ride the Rockies asked about The Wahooligan Tour. The Wahoo employee response was pretty uninformed and unconvincing as to what the Tour is and how much ‘fun’ it is. Having the employees up to speed on the Tour so they can field the questions and recruit new riders (and Wahoo X users) is imperative to the health of the Tour (and of Wahoo).
Solicit assistance to help with the Tour. There are some within the Wahoo X community that would volunteer time to help organize the tour (such as pre-tour group rides on RGT). This could take pressure off the Wahoo employees who are doing other projects and help with the learning curve on some of the different technology that has become part of Wahoo X.
There is still strong support for the Tour and its mission of supporting the Davis Phinney Foundation as seen by the passion that many have shown by participating this year. Hopefully the feedback provided will help improve the 2024 Tour.
Big +1 for all these observations. Especially the negative connotations associated with “hooligan” - here in Germany it basically means neo-nazi; it’s not hard to see why we don’t want to spread the word…
You’re right about that Sir Jon, TdS W2 is a lot more tamer than the other 2 ProRides I have done before and actually intimidated me a little to the extent that I would do another ride instead of the scheduled ProRide.
I would give TDS W#1 a try one of these days since it’s a criterium and since I attempted one criterium last year and failed miserably. Hopefully my body is up for it a training ride😌
100% this. I attended all of the RGT Whatchamacallit group rides that fit my schedule (I think I hit one each week). Only the first one had a “host” of sorts for it. No matter how many or how few show up, each of the tour-associated RGT group rides should have an engaging host and ideally (perhaps an additional) someone that could attempt to provide tech support (and maybe in an off-line/off-chat way or heck even a phone call) to new users of RGT.
I’m not sure how public or discoverable these group rides were in the RGT app. On one Tuesday night 7PM EST, I rode the “group” ride all by my lonesome. These should be encouraged and recommended if there will continue to be an RGT stage so that tour attendees have plenty of opportunity to work out issues before the Tour.
All that said, I agree with @cdwright22’s ENTIRE post, well thought out recommendations. Also, the idea of promoting the Tour pre-Christmas/holiday season as well as the folks with New Years resolution’s would be great. Hook in those new customers and give them a goal, a training plan, a charitable fundraiser and an event all-in-one!
As a returnee this year the sum of the accumulated changes was perhaps more apparent to me than if I’d been experiencing the changes in slow time.
For me TWT was TWT #1 but not recognisable as a TOS (9-days, zany fun, tough gig with dial down as required).
But investor returns (surely being demanded) are more likely to be driven by science and broader/‘mass’ market appeal/value than what is perceived to be too narrow/off-putting to the mainstream I guess.
It seems most unlikely to me that the direction of travel will 180 and that for the Sufferlandrian’s that want TOS events then it’s simply up to them to make that happen.
Which is what has happened in a small scale, short notice way already. Sir Mike Baxter led the way with a 9-day event (733 TSS) event in Feb and I created Fluffy’s Grand Tour of Sufferlandria 2023 (9-day 810 TSS) which ‘embraced and extended’ TWT (7-day 542 TSS).
At least three of the previous TOS were over 1000 TSS over 9 days.
Pre-notification : Fluffy’s Grand Tour of Sufferlandria 2024 will be 3rd-11th February 2024.
9-days. At least one SUF vid each day,
plus open to excursions beyond border / 2nd SUF vid on some days.
800 ish TSS
challenging Final Stage
dial downs/ 50 hour day enabled rest days to be managed by riders to ride through all 9 days without illness/injury;
dial ups available to those whose 100% 4DP numbers @ daily performance seem to deny the science;
Sufferlandrian’s bring the Zany Fun and Shenanigans
F.G.TOS can be ridden to raise funds for DPF/other charities of riders choice in addition to TWT #2, whose stages Fluffy will try to incorporate - if the 2 different Tour’s dates do overlap for 2024.
If the dates don’t overlap then there will more opportunity for more people to do a Tour (date-wise) and if dates aren’t a factor then they have more choice as to what motivates them to do one or the other - or both! (mwaahahahaa).
TWT “AND” TOS
TWT “OR” TOS
= WIN WIN
at least in my book