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Cat's Hill Classic

history of Cat's Hill Criterium:
Bob Muzzy

A Note From Bob Muzzy,
1979 Cat's Hill Winner

Hi and thanks for 30+ years of a great race.

My recollections from '78 include having my cluster fall apart too late in the race for a wheel change. Also I watched Wayne Stetina catch his tire in the expansion gap between the cement road slabs on the block before the hill. He turned the bars to get out without lifting his front wheel, which ripped his front tire completely off the rim. It remained inflated albeit sticking out to the side of his brakes in a horizontal plane. To his credit he stayed up.

I won the race as a senior in 1979. Bill Watkins & I got away around 1/2 way into the race. Bill dropped his chain with maybe 15 laps to go on the hill. Keep in mind that we didn't have these new fangled Edward Shifter-Hands back then. Friction shift levers on the downtube were state of the art at the time. So the occasional missed shift was excusable. Bill was a good time trialist and I figured he would have caught me had I continued on alone. I was afraid I'd be worn out and decided we'd make better time together. All that went through my head in about 10 feet... I quickly decided to wait for him, we stayed away, and my strategy worked. I felt rested enough to have a good sprint left.

Bill won the next year but I like to think it was *only* because I crashed and didn't finish the race. Spectators tried to grab a stray dog on the downhill who jumped away from them, directly into my path. I T-boned the startled dog and flew over the bars. After I licked my wounds, I felt sorry for the dog, who couldn't have known what what happening in his neighborhood that day.

I won the race again in 1989 as a master by virtue of a better bike throw in the sprint. As memorable to me as the win was seeing the effect of the Loma Prieta earthquake on a surprising number of the beautiful old bungalows in the immediate area of the race course. Most were largely intact except for having jumped off a corner or two of their foundations. I rode down from Berkeley to watch the race a couple years ago and was glad to see that they'd all jumped back on by then.

Bob Muzzy
"quite possibly the oldest living winner of a senior Cat's Hill race"

May 2007



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