Known for riding off the front of group rides only to be caught in the first mile, CJ got back on a road bike and realized he must win the Donut Derby at least once in his life. Regularly pledging he's "not a climber," he can be found as a regular attendee of Trexlertown's Thursday Night Training Criterium or sitting on the couch watching Paris-Roubaix reruns. CJ has been a constant rider of the Hell of Hunterdon in New Jersey and races the Tour of the Battenkill before going into seasonal hiding on cross-country ski trails.

Review: The Sufferfest App’s G.O.A.T

Review: The Sufferfest App’s G.O.A.T

After a full day of responsibilities interfering with my ability to take an outdoor ride, I decided – with much reluctance – to click the bike onto the CycleOps Hammer trainer and pound out some virtual miles. I was not in the trainer frame of mind. 

 

I had many options for my virtual ride. I could send my mileage from the Hammer to the Garmin and come away with a weird design on Strava. Should I go that route I could pop on the Tour stage and essentially work not at all toward seasonal fitness. I slack during that option, so rule that out. I could do a recovery ride in The Sufferfest App but I’ve done them so much they have become a chore. On the other side of the spectrum is a full-blown Sufferfest video that would obliterate me midweek. This option would leave me trembling a couple miles into the weekend ride. 

 

I was about to give up when I scrolled through the available videos on The Sufferfest App and saw the new G.O.A.T. video. Curious as to the style of workout I was already intrigued at the 45-minute length when I tapped the video option. Talk about something that came at the right time of year; G.O.A.T. is a video designed to equivocate a trainer ride with a three-hour outdoor workout.

  One of the beautiful scenes from The Sufferfest App's  G.O.A.T . Here is the cobbled climb that Mike Cotty says is not like the stones of Roubaix or Flanders.

One of the beautiful scenes from The Sufferfest App's G.O.A.T. Here is the cobbled climb that Mike Cotty says is not like the stones of Roubaix or Flanders.

I have perseverated on the immense climb that has defeated me for the past two years in the Catskill Mountains. Being fewer than three weeks out from the Tour of the Catskills I have traded short speed workouts for steep climbs. At over 2.5 miles in length and an average of 12% (this number changes based on the source) Devil’s Kitchen has been looming in my mind like Mount Springfield. It climbs 1200 vertical feet in under 1.5 miles. It is my last great wrangling.

 

For my three attempts in the past two years I have approached the climb with a sensible dictated pace. I drop my speed to go up Devil’s Kitchen as slowly as possible, avoiding taxing myself for the duration. My cadence drops to less than sixty; standing to climb is rarely an option. It’s not so bad to stand; it’s the reseating and loss of momentum that possibly deliver the fateful punch. I climb with yawning strokes. I bob from left to right with my hands hooked on the tops of the bars. I spend much of the time thinking positively. The fastest riders have gone up the climb around thirteen minutes. Try thinking positive for thirteen minutes, assuming you’re one of the fast ones.

  One of the many waterfalls displayed throughout the video. Oftentimes we found ourselves wishing for a cool watering down during the trainer workout.

One of the many waterfalls displayed throughout the video. Oftentimes we found ourselves wishing for a cool watering down during the trainer workout.

This type of riding is exactly what The Sufferfest has concocted for G.O.A.T. Within several two-minute efforts the App sends riders into extremely slow cadence climbs to focus the legs into anaerobic territory. This was precisely what I needed to prepare myself for the climb in three weeks- time. 

 

Allegiant Sufferlandrians will recognize Mike Cotty as the footage comes from his Col Collective trips. Of all The Sufferfest videos, this one is the most striking to date. It is apparent the makers of G.O.A.T. were given more artistic license to feature the beautiful views and scenery that make up Switzerland. I could not take my eyes off the screen despite the brutal efforts going to the legs. The video asks the rider to maintain a quiet upper body. This is made possible by the beautiful images splashed across the screen. I am not a climber, but the beauty captured in G.O.A.T. had me mumbling my desire to go to these roads. I would fake being a climber for a while just to experience Mike Cotty’s views.

 

I was satisfied with having completed G.O.A.T. It was the perfect solution for my predicament. Should there be more blocks in riding outside, I’ll fire up the Hammer trainer again with alacrity with the goal to make it to the top of the blasted Devil’s Kitchen on August 4th. It will be my fourth attempt. I hope there is something unsaid about a ‘Lucky Number Four’ to find me at the top of Platte Clove Road having conquered the climb. Perhaps I could channel my inner goat and nimbly climb my way into satisfaction. Even now I have found my preparation specifically geared toward climbing high.

Essay: On the July Lag

Essay: On the July Lag

Rides We Like: A Progressive Double Ascent

Rides We Like: A Progressive Double Ascent