A 5BBC Cyclist's Memories of Bob
Like most of us, I consider Bob a very good friend, ride leader and a unique cycling comrade with the 5BBC.
My first glimpse: Remembered overtaking Bob several times, deep in Suffolk County on a 5BBC Montauk Century, early 2000s.
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 you can see from photos of Bob on the funeral services website. Like at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France or San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge in California, on a fully loaded road bike: https://www.cobbsfuneralchapels.com/obituary/robert-castro
I 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.
Bob helped lead rides with the 5BBC, also served on the club board, notably as treasurer. He also assisted updating the 5BBC leadership training manual and helped the cause of cycling locally, beyond the 5BBC, in his own humble & sincere way.
Ben Sted McRoberts: “When I was the events director at Transportation Alternatives, Bob Castro selflessly volunteered to draw our maps and turn sheets for every major ride we produced, and marshaled as well. He was a very kind man, and great cyclist.” In 2014, TA recognized Bob with an award - you can read all about it on our web site here.
When he was a 5BBC board member, as Treasurer, 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, as always. As a former USMC, of course he did!
Bob has a granddaughter who was living in Europe, many years ago. Bob shared photos of her cycling, esp. riding outdoors, down short stairs. They were published in the then-print issue of the Bicycletter.
In 2012, Bob was awarded 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.
Ed Ravin recalls: “…The joke Bob made during the award ceremony, if I recall correctly, was that he approved of the Club's fiscal prudence in awarding a life membership to someone as old as he.”
Quite a ham, that Bob.
Also on that website, there’s a photo of Bob, as a US Marine. Like 5BBC board member & leader Steven Lyon and late 5BBC leader Wally Stuck. Bob was among several 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 long time admin of the 5BBC Facebook page, sharing various cycling-related items, which generated a good reaction of likes & shares.
I last saw him on Sat. August 17, 2019, during Summer Streets. Bob was riding solo north on SoHo. I saw & then 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.
Condolences to his loved ones & friends.
Rest In Peace, Bob. For the past several years, there were people close 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 have met him, at least you knew that a good, pragmatic, a pleasant friend, an experienced & formidable cyclist like Bob was amongst us in the Five Borough Bicycle Club.
5BBC has made a donation through The Arbor Day Foundation to have trees planted in Bob's memory.
Bob Castro, July 21, 1937 - November 22, 2021
Alfredo Garcia is a longtime 5BBC cyclist since Summer 1992. He currently serves on the 5BBC board as Co-Vice President/Communications.