Just read that Bob Tetzlaff, a local racer from the way-back days, passed away yesterday. Hadn’t seen him in quite some time, but he was at the “Dino” (aka “Old Farts Ride”) that I didn’t make it to a couple weeks ago. Jenny, another (much closer) friend from the past, came by the shop the other day and mentioned how frail he had looked.
Bob was anything but frail when I knew him. At our racing club (Pedali Alpini) meetings we’d sometimes show films (almost called them videos!) of the more-famous local races, and I have vivid memories of Bob Tetzlaff riding up a steep grade no-handed… no-handed because he was using them to push down on his legs to help him climb!
What I remember most was a training camp he ran for juniors (15-18 year old racers), one day of which was held around Lexington Reservoir. He demonstrated to us how to throw an elbow and otherwise intimidate (and possibly crash) a competitor without being caught by an official (useful stuff!). This is where I should mention that Bob was a high-level ABLofA (Amateur Bicycle League of America) official. But as memorable was the crazy return from that ride, where we rode down 17, which is basically a freeway, down from the reservoir and take the first Los Altos exit. One of those rare exits from the left-hand lane. A mad-dog group of teenage competitive cyclists, racing the cars downhill and merging into the high-speed lane to exit. It was pretty amazing.
Interesting to think that I, and others, did have a history prior to digital cameras and internet ramblings. I should look through some of my writings in Competitive Cycling; I’m sure there’s something about Bob Tetzlaff in there someplace. But Bob has already found his way into oral history/story-telling, as my son has long known of the stories told here, without any audio-visual aids. Not even an 8mm projector. Just conversations about racing days past. –Mike–