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A 5BBC cyclist’s memories of Bob Castro

Alfredo Garcia | Published on 12/1/2021

I consider Bob a very good friend & unique cycling comrade with the 5BBC. 


Once visited him, with others at his cozy home in Merrick, Nassau County, Long Island. Bob hosted a birthday party for Phil Goldberg, around ten years ago. Ira Najowitz was there, when he still rode his bike.


When he was a board member, Bob would sometimes eschew email, to talk to me at home on the (landline) phone on serious 5BBC matters, which more or less, we had differing opinions. Bob took the initiative, as always.

Has a doting very young granddaughter in Europe, living at the time. Many years ago, Bob shared photos of her cycling, esp. riding down outdoor short stairs. They were published in the then-print issue of the Bicycletter.


Was given 5BBC life membership at the club’s annual holiday party. On center stage, Bob humorously jousted contentiously with then-President Ed Ravin, I think, who presented him with the honor. Quite a ham, that Bob.


Remembered overtaking Bob several times, deep in Suffolk County on a pre-2012 era 5BBC Montauk Century. Little did I know of his glorious past as a hard-riding cyclist, doing long distance, multi-day cross country tours, in the US, Puerto Rico and Europe. Some of which is seen from photos of Bob on the funeral services website. Like at the Eiffel Tower or at San Francisco, on a fully loaded road bike:


Also on that website, there’s a photo of Bob, as a US Marine. Like 5BBC board member & leader Steven Lyon and lats 5BBC leader Wally Stuck. Bob was several of military veterans, who were 5BBC ride leaders, like Chris DiMeo (US Army) the late Jesse Brown (US Army & was also 5BBC President) and Terry Chin (US Navy)


Bob was a recent admin of the 5BBC Facebook page, sharing various cycling-related items, which generated a good reaction of likes.


I last saw him on Sat. August 17, 2019, during Summer Streets. Bob was riding solo north. Saw & rode behind him. I tried getting his attention but he didn’t hear me, until he stopped at the 5BBC Bike Repair station. After chatting with friends, he continued under his own pedaling power, to get home on an LIRR train, with bike, at Penn Station. At the time, Bob was 82 years old.


Rest In Peace, Bob. Sad he’s gone. For the past several years, there were people in my life who passed away. It hurts. And Bob’s passing also hurts. But I’m glad as well as many of you, we all got to know him. Even if you may not met him, at least you know that a good, pragmatic, imperfect friend & formidable cyclist like Bob was amongst us in the 5BBC. And that he also helped the cause of cycling locally, beyond the 5BBC, in his own humble & sincere way. 

Condolences to his loved ones & friends.

Alfredo Garcia