Knight of Sufferlandria

*** Report of my quest here ***


As some of you more disturbed individuals already know, Sufferlandria is a fictional state in which only self-chastising – and enjoying every second of it! – cyclists live, or at least: reside. As a token of their bond, a number of videos have been made, in which the various aspects of cycling training are covered – very often quite literary too, in blood, sweat, tears and other bodily secretions…

These videos are pretty intense for the less hardened. Besides a bad taste in music, they also share typical Sufferlandrian characteristics like self-mockery and a twisted sense of humor to ease the dullness of it all.

Which makes them good for recovery and tapering sessions for minions like myself…

Once a year, the “Tour of Sufferlandria” is scheduled, in which participants ride their trainer for nine days in a row. As this is not much of a challenge for the seasoned residents of “SUF” either, they have therefor invented the “Knight of Sufferlandria” quest: 10 Sufferfest videos back-to-back, with only 10-minute breaks between them.

As a die hard* cyclist, spending countless hours on the indoor trainer during the winter months,  I really couldn’t escape from my personal attempt at this ridiculous “Knight of Sufferlandria” quest.

In December 2013 I successfully completed it and became the first Dutch Knight of Sufferlandria.

Sadly, I have lived in (voluntary) exile since 2014, as I felt that the original ‘intent’, the hardship and the importance of the quest, was being violated. Without going into the boring details, and being fully aware of the absolute futility of the matter in general, I was offended that the concerns I voiced fell on deaf ears and that – in fact – commercializing the movement was the higher priority.

Nevertheless, the Sufferfest and it’s half-witted population, does a lot of good to support various causes all over the world and – as a Knight and a cyclist – I challenge you to join the movement and perhaps even try to achieve Knighthood yourself.

A Knight’s Quest

As mentioned above, the quest consists of completing 10 Sufferfest videos back-to-back, no more than 10 minutes apart. As the average duration of a video is about 50 minutes, this comes down to a 10 hour effort. Even more experienced riders will find that at least a bit of a challenge, although it’s my understanding that most of them “dial back” intensity to (less than) 70% of intended RPE.

Well, I have done more stupid things on “zee baik” and I didn’t mind adding something else. So, my “Knight of Sufferlandria” quest was scheduled for – and completed on – December 28, 2013.

And as before, I was raising money for a good cause – that’s not a “must”, but if you do something as insane as this, you might as well ask people to pay for the enjoyment of watching it, let them pay an entry fee as it were…

I chose CliniClowns, which in 2005 was my first experience with this form of “active fundraising”, when I participated in a spinning marathon for 4 hours – there are countless charities that I could / want to do this for, but the clowns have always kept a warm place in my heart. CliniClowns is internationally known as “Clown Doctors” or “Clown Care” (Wiki).

The 2005 spinning marathon resulted in 1020 Euros raised and my goal was to raise at least half of that on my own. And I did – thanks to all the generous people who donated!


* So to speak: the close encounters with the asphalt which got me into the hospital were actually involuntarily.

More external links:

The Sufferfest on Facebook – and you thought it was all a figment of my imagination, didn’t you?

Knights of Sufferlandria – I was the first Dutch Knight.

Clown Doctors, By Dr Peter Spitzer – The Humour Foundation, Churchill Fellow 2002.

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