Technology Archives

Wahoo Elemnt and Ride With GPS

I’ve used a Wahoo GPS unit since November 2016, starting with the original Elemnt and now the Elemnt Bolt (I’m just going to use ‘Elemnt’ to refer to either device). Since then, with the exception of a small problem with one firmware upgrade which was quickly resolved, it has been trouble-free and easy to use. The top feature for me is still how well-integrated the device is with Ride with GPS (RWG) and how easy it is to load routes without needing to connect to a computer.

Here is what I know about using RWG and the Elemnt together. This may sound a bit confusing the first time through but, it’s easy once you’ve done it once or twice.
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Electronic Proof of Passage

Recently, the RUSA Board approved a change that gives Permanent/Populaire owners and riders the option of using an Electronic Proof of Passage (EPP) in addition to the current control card/receipt process in use today. There was a long discussion among the route owners about the possible challenges, additional opportunities, policies and limitations of EPP but, in the long run, there was significant support for allowing it. The key takeaway, at least at this point, is that EPP is optional and must be agreed to by both the route owner and the rider before it can be used. No one will be forced to use EPP if they don’t want to. This means that you will find route owners who accept it and others who do not.

For now, the key benefit of EPP is in reducing the time and effort required from the rider to document and submit their rides. Many feel that, for all but the most technology savvy route owner, it will increase the time spent approving a route. Maybe, at some point, the policy will be expanded to allow routes that require EPP. This may be a limiting factor for riders who don’t want to invest in GPS devices and/or smart phones but it would allow for more creative route designs that don’t have to rely as heavily on control placement. Read the rest of this entry

Sufferfest Spreadsheet

Back in 2011, I sat down to see if I could come up with a way to automate the creation of an ERG file to use with the Racermate software and my CompuTrainer that would synchronize with the Sufferfest videos.  The ERG file format was documented, so all I had to do was come up with a model to convert Perceived Exertion to watts and record the times of all of the RPE changes in each video.  I created a spreadsheet that anyone could use, as long as they knew their Functional Threshold Power. It was never intended to be scientific.  It was just a way to use the technology I had to make sure I didn’t cheat during a Sufferfest workout.

4 1/2 years later, I am officially retiring the Sufferfest ERG Spreadsheet.  In all honesty, I never expected there to be a lot of interest but the file has been downloaded from this site over 15,000 times since I first posted it.  But, too many things have changed and I’m no longer capable of or, frankly, interested in keeping it up to date.

Once TrainerRoad added support for the CompuTrainer, I stopped using the Racermate software and spreadsheet to control my workouts.  TrainerRoad is a better experience and added hundreds of other workouts as well as syncing with other workout videos I own. Last year I made the switch from the CompuTrainer to a Wahoo Kickr.  It is quicker to set up/tear down, doesn’t tear up tires and works wirelessly with multiple devices.  Also, as David at The Sufferfest came out with more and more new videos (and updates to old ones), I had to acquire videos I would probably never use, just to keep the spreadsheet up to date.

So, since I don’t use it and really have no way to test it, I’ve stopped upgrading the spreadsheet.  Thanks to everyone who downloaded it and gave me feedback.


Violator and ISLAGIATT


The Sufferfest ERG Spreadsheet has been updated to include support for Violator and ISLAGIATT. If you don’t have the videos yet, you can purchase them at

I’m not convinced that using an ERG file with Violator is the best idea.  It will work with a Computrainer but the sprint segments are very short and there is a small amount of lag as the resistance changes.  The workout might be a more realistic sprint workout in “Slope” mode, varying cadence, slope and gearing instead of resistance.  I plan on playing around with the slope percentage and switch from the large to the small chainring between the sprint and recovery sections.  I want to be able to generate as much power as possible for the length of the sprint segment and not have the resistance ease up to artificially keep me at a calculated 10/10. But, the ERG file is ready if you want to go that way.

I have to say, recording the timing for 64 sprints in Violator was more than a bit tedious.


BlenderCoverArtThe newest Sufferfest video, Blender, has been released and the Sufferfest ERG Spreadsheet has been updated. The new video is 1 hour, 40 minutes long and the workout was designed by Neal Henderson. Neal is an Elite Cycling and Triathlon Coach at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine and coaches Taylor Phinney.

The video is also presented in partnership with the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s.



The Wretched

The Sufferfest ERG Spreadsheet has been updated to version 5 and includes support for The Wretched.

The video is 49 minutes long and includes 2011 and 2012 Tour de France footage.

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