A selection of Blog posts and rider comments and kudos from
QuadZilla 2010, the 10th edition.
Jud Hand: http://www.njrando.com/blog/?p=133
Onno's Blog: http://blog.onno.com/?p=343
Leslie Holton’s Blog:
From Judson Hand’s Blog:
Quadzilla 2010: A Race Against Time (And Myself)
Me on Cayuga Heights Road, overlooking Ithaca, NY, near the very end of Quadzilla.
As my long-awaited event, the hilly, 400-mile Quadzilla, unfolded this past weekend, my body performed as requested, but my mind did not always follow. This is a bit ironic, because going into the ride I was questioning my physical state more than my mental state. So it goes. You can’t predict everything.
I arrived at the Wegmann’s Supermarket parking lot in Ithaca, NY on Saturday morning for the 5 a.m. start with a good case of the pre-ride jitters. There were 23 Quadzilla entrants, including organizer Mark Frank, for the start. It was still full dark when we rolled slowly onto Route 13 south and began a journey that we all hoped would finish successfully 40 hours later at the Meadow Court Inn across the street. Little did we know how hard success would be.
Many long-distance brevet riders I respect have called Quadzilla the toughest ride they have attempted. The ride has been held about 10 times since it was started by Mark Frank in the mid-1990s. At first, it was called the Finger Lakes 350. Then he made the fateful decision to add another hilly 50 miles and call it Quadzilla. A monstrous four century tour of 11 lakes and seemingly every uphill road around them. About half the field finishes in a typical year.
The course can perhaps best be summed up by this familiar children’s song that keeps repeating itself: “The bear went over the mountain and what do you think he saw? He saw another mountain,” etc. Imagine being the bear in that song for two days. If there was a fork in the road, you could assume the route headed the more upward pointing way.
The weather felt cool and comfortable at the start. The two women in the field, female record holder Michelle D. from New York and Leslie H. from Colorado, set a comfortable pace for the pack over the first three miles to the first climb, up Route 327. Three riders almost immediately went ahead and disappeared down the road. I thought about joining them, but thought better of it. Then a quick right and the climb was on, steep at first.
Later power meter readings would show that this climb continued on and off for the next 30 minutes or so. The first five minutes I averaged 299 watts, a respectable number for me on a first climb, though nothing outrageous. Eventually one of the three leading riders dropped back to our group of five, which seemed to be the second group on the road for many miles. After a long downhill, the five of us stayed together more or less for a while, eventually thinning to three by the time we stopped for water at mile 38 in Watkins Glen.
The way I analyzed this ride, sleep would play a big role for me. I do not function well mentally or physically if I go completely through the night without sleep. At PBP in 2007, I couldn’t find my hotel in Loudeac and ended up skipping my sleep stop and riding 46 hours before sleeping. I am now convinced that that was a major contributing factor to my DNF on that ride. I was determined to get at least 3 hours of time for the sleep stop in Auburn, allowing me at least 90 minutes of sleep.
Unfortunately, Quadizlla is 25 miles longer than a standard 600k, with the same time limit of 40 hours and a course that has to be as hilly as any 600k anywhere. That means the sleep stop at the Super 8 comes at mile 270. To get there by 5 a.m., in order to depart at 8 a.m., would not be easy. But I had no idea how much harder I would make it.
This was my first trip to the Finger Lakes and I very quickly began to appreciate the spectacular views from the many hills we were climbing. Lakes and hills were everywhere. Even I, cautious as ever on descents, was hitting the mid-40s on these downhills. Physically, I felt good. Mark the organizer was at the front a lot during this first section. I remember thinking how strong he looked.
At Watkins Glen, Mark and another rider left before me, as I decided to spend a couple of extra minutes finishing my chocolate donuts (it works for me). That left me alone for the first time and required me to start paying close attention to the cue sheet. After all, I no longer was riding behind the organizer. Going out of the parking lot, I made a right instead of a left. Just like that, I wasted a mile going right and a mile retracing my steps when I realized my mistake. Each mile represented about six minutes of lost time. So I had gained 90 minutes to that point on the road, then gave 12 of them back.
No problem, I thought. I just kept on alone. I kept nearly catching up to Marcel M. from Quebec, who seemed to be having all sorts of problems with his cue sheet and his English. But somehow he made up for it with sheer strength and determination. I frequently saw him during the next 40 miles or so, as we rode through more persistent heat and humidity. At mile 75 or so, we rolled through the town of Hammondsport, as usual along the lake. All the towns seemed to be on the lakes, and at the bottom of the elevation scale.