Don’t ever say Outdoor Sports Center employees aren’t hard-core athletes with heart. That was proven today when two of the store’s bike mechanics–Evan Tobey and Mike Horton–participated in a grueling 12-hour indoor bike ride at the store all in the name of charity fundraising.
They stationary-biked 170 miles and raised $1,900 so far to donate to the Davis Phinney Foundation. The Foundation’s mission focuses mainly on giving patients the tools and inspiration to live well with Parkinson’s Disease now, while also realizing it’s imperative to find a cure for the disease.
Avid cyclists, they chose to raise money by completing a challenge called “Sufferfest.”
“Sufferfest is a series of cycling training videos focusing on high intensity interval training. They really make you push yourself and, as they put it, endure PAIN, AGONY, and MISERY to achieve HONOR, GLORY, and VICTORY,” Horton explains, adding that there’s a bit of fantasy attached to the concept:
“‘Sufferlandria’ is the fictional home of all who ride the Sufferfest videos, the Sufferlandrians. It’s a place where only the most hardcore feel at home and has things like lava fields, minions who find ways to “motivate” your training, and terrible weather including mist of misery and volcanic ash falling from the sky. Think of Mordor with bicycles. It’s a horrible place and I’m proud to call it home,” he says.
Horton and Tobey had a goal, to achieve the status of “Knight,” and to do this they would have to ride 10 Sufferfest videos back to back, with a maximum of ten minutes rest in between. As Tobey says, tongue planted firmly in cheek: “No reason to ignore an opportunity like that.”
They added the fundraising component to make the grueling opportunity even sweeter, says Horton.
“I wanted to do this ride because I am an avid Sufferlandrian and wanted to see how far I could push myself. Completing the longest ride I’ve ever done (170.7 miles) feels incredible, and being able to raise this money for this cause is icing on the cake,” he told GOOD Morning Wilton.
Tobey agreed: “Being part of an elite group of a 160-ish people in the United States alone is s privilege. Sufferlandria was worth every moment no matter how many cramps.”
So far, the duo has raised $1,900 and is still accepting donations in honor of their feat. Not only will all donations go to benefit the Davis Phinney Foundation, but Horton and Tobey have the satisfaction of knowing they’ve gotten great support from their employer. Not only did Outdoor Sports Center set up a live broadcast of the 12-hour effort on the store’s website, but they also offered to match all donations, according to owner Will Maxwell.
“Outdoor Sports Center tries to support our employees in pursuits like this one where possible. This fundraiser was entirely driven from Mike and Evan, they came to us with the idea and committed to it. We commend them for their intense effort, and support them in how we can. It was an impressive feat of endurance, and we are very proud of them for what they’ve done.”
To contribute to the effort, visit the fundraising page. To offer congratulations, stop by the store–but you might want to wait until next week when they’ve recuperated.