The Quabbin RR was April 26th, a rainy cold Saturday. I entered it for the 2nd year having a decent race last year and being able to register in Masters 50+ since it is not sanctioned. It rained all the way there and continued for most of the day, temps around 40F, but at least no wind. No warm up (useless), so did a couple of laps around the parking area then got into line. 3 mile neutral start downhill, so by the time we hit the course, everyone was even colder and waiting for the 1st hill to come and get warmer. I lost a bottle sometime in the 1st 10 miles so only had 1 left, but it did not matter later on anyway. We hit 202 north and were warned the road conditions were sketchy, lots of missing pavement. Not a major problem going uphill, but DH was an issue in a pack especially. I could not warm up and decided to tempo up some of the climbs to generate heat and pulled away from the group, which worked ok as I had a clear shot at picking my line on the descents, then the group would pull me back in. So, I was wasting some energy, but getting my core a little warmer. My left hand was completely numb and I could only use it to brake if I was careful (not to overbrake). Shifting my front DR I had to do with my right hand reaching over (not a comfy thing to do in a pack in the rain). Unfortunately, my fuel (GU flask) was in my back left pocket and I had no chance of getting it out with numb hands wearing water saturated winter gloves. This is a 65 mile race with lots of climbs, so I was wondering how long I could last. At 50 miles, I could feel hunger setting in but thought I could tough it out for the last 15. With 10 miles to go, energy and mental sharpness was diminishing quickly. I decided to drop down to my little ring and leave it there because I could no longer do it with my right hand and there was a lot of climbing to come. We finally made it to the park entrance which meant 3 miles to go, mostly uphill and a reasonably steep final climb. At 2 miles, I hit the wall and speed dropped to a crawl. I was around 6th place entering and guys were shooting by me now like I was going backwards, could hardly turn the pedals. I looked ahead and could see the finish. My vision was blurry and I could see stars flickering, but I crawled across the line feeling weaker than I ever had and not caring about anything but getting into the car with the heat on. I ended up finishing 16th which was better than I had thought. I had ridden for 3 hours, 65 miles, with absolutely nothing to eat and drank only about 5-6 ozs of liquid. I never bonked that bad before. It must be like hitting the wall in a marathon, everything shuts down including the brain!
Yeah, I’ll do it next year but only if the weather is decent!