David McCaw writes:


I am happy to write that I accomplished one of my two goals this year for

Randonneuring  by completing Quadzilla.  The other goal is this month's PBP

We were very fortunate to have great support from Mark Frank and his team.

Mark's information package was great and he kept telling us that if you have

done the training, just rest the week before which I did take his advise.  I

wanted to finish Quadzilla this year as a training ride for PBP and also

since its reputation with hills is undaulting for some randonneurs.

Quadzilla is 400 miles of mostly hills ( except from Canandaigua to Auburn )

and I recording 29, 452 feet of climbing, which is  417 feet more than

climbing Mount Everest. The temperature was cool at the beginning, approx.

10 C - 50 F and through the day only rose to 25 C or 77 F, which was good

for Oliver and Bryan, whom were just using water bottles.  There was a group

of almost 40 riders at the start, including 7 from Randonneurs Ontario:

Vytas Janusaukas, Oliver Moore, Scott Chisholm, Don Magie, Lori Matthews,

Peter Dusel and myself.   I drove down from Ottawa, ON with Vytas on Friday

and arrived at 5:30 pm


Ithaca to Naples ( 170 km, 2536 meters of climbing ) - We all rode slowly at

the beginning of the ride, awaiting the climb after 3 miles.  I went ahead

since last September I did climb this hill very well.  I met Bryan Johnson

from Boston, who was climbing very well with hill low gear of 39 x26.

Oliver joined us and then passed us as he was standing on his bike.  Don

also joined us and later Rich Ruge from New York City.   It was good to

climb the first hill in the cooler temperatures up to Black Oak Road at

Elevation 1810' ( delta + 1410 feet in 10 miles ).  The sunrise was

spectacular over the hills and lakes as we did our fast descent toward Route

79 West.   Some other riders joined us near Watkins Glenn,  I think Ralph

took the first left, instead of the second left.  The groups broke up again

as other took their nature break, again more climbing up route 329.  I

remember seeing some Deer, in fact we saw deer different times of the day,

which was unusual. We continued on to West Lake where there was a secret

checkpoint ( approx. 50 miles ), we filled up bottles and filled our pockets

and left, although I was late following trying to top up the camelbak, too

 bad we couldn't stop longer, lots of food and drinks.  The rest of the ride

was uneventful, except a steep short climb up Bully Hill and Bryan inquiring

if I used my granny gears - which I replied yes to 30x23, since Oliver and

Bryan were standing climbing the hill.  I think Don was walking, since he

had only 39 x25.   Oliver managed to get some great photos overlooking Bully

Winery and the lake, awesome views as we re-grouped on top of the hills.  We

did miss one turn at Matoon Road ( mile 90.55 elev 1950'); we ended up in

some dirt roads, although we did not need to back track, it probably would

have been easier, again mile and elevation checks should have helped, and

when in doubt stop and do a map check, instead of climbing more hills.  We

arrived at Naples around 12 noon, again lots of food. We were going to take

longer than 10 minutes, so we wished Bryan well and he continued on the rest

of Quadzilla and we did not see him until the finish.  Don arrived about 15

minutes after our stop and we left about 25 minutes after that on to the

other fun climbs as the temperature was starting to rise, but again much

cooler than previous years, possibly only 75 F.


Naples to Letchworth Park ( 118 km, 2153 meters of climbing ) - This section

was very slow compared to the first section, Mike Lau was right that it does

get tougher as the ride progresses, since I only did parts of the Ithaca to

Naples ride last September.  After about 6 miles we start the long 1.4 mile

climb up the hill, I remember Oliver yelling out that he see us in the

hospital after this climb as he danced away out of the saddle.  I climbed

Gannett hills a few times before but not after riding 110 miles.  I stayed

focused and kept spinning up the hills and left it mostly in 30 x23.

Unfortunately the hill, which I believe at some sections was > 15% and for

seconds above 18% got to Don and Rich, thus they walked up parts of the

hills.  Oliver and I were well attended to at the top of the hill with

volunteers that had lots of food and water, this helped us cool off again

and enjoy the view of the hills.  We jumped back on the bikes and did our

loop around the Park and 12 miles later starting climbing French Hill, it

was not long, but I did measure one section that was 17% grade, again Rich

and Don had to walk up the hills due to their 39x25 gearing.   Several more

hills and we got to Springwater checkpoint after getting turned around a

little with Wetmore / Wheaton / Strutt section, but good navigating by

Oliver.  It was a decision point for Oliver and others whether to go the

FL350 or QZ400. Don decided to take the FL350 route back and rest his knee.

Oliver decided to continue, although only to have a couple hours of rest the

night before made it difficult and he did not want to have an accident

before PBP.  Again the roads were very quiet and we just seemed to be

climbing all the time and our average speed was dropping.  We continued on

to Nunda and Oliver and Rich refueled, while I was checking my bike for a

clicking noise, which it wasn't a stiff link.  We arrived at the Letchworth

Park checkpoint at approx. 7 pm and recorded the time and answer to the

question in the control card.






Letchworth Park to Auburn ( 166 km, 1482 meters of climbing )


It was great to see the park during the daylight, the light was fantastic

over the canyon and we enjoyed the smooth roads and more downhills and

flatter sections to Canandaigua.  This section was uneventful after the

park, our speed picked up and we made most of the section in the light.