Greetings to all 5BBC members.  I hope everyone is doing well and will be joining on the many exciting rides listed on the club website.  We have rides going out year and our spring training rides are in full swing.  We are indeed “the friendliest bike club”.

As a thank you to all members, the club is pleased to offer a free string bag to every club member.  They have the club logo, a reflective strip and a separate velcro pouch.  They are durable, washable, reusable, sustainable.  We hope you recommend the club to your friends.  Ask any cyclist in the club why they ride and they will describe a sense of freedom, the opportunity to experience the great outdoors, and a sense of joy that makes them feel healthier and happier while on a bike and in addition, the countless friendships they have made.

The string bags are for pick up only and will be distributed at most of the club rides by the ride leaders.  You can reach out to me directly by email to to arrange for a pick up which will be in the Prospect Park or Grand Central area. 

On behalf of the 5bbc board, we thank you for being a part of the 5BBC family and hope enjoy using the string bag, and we look forward to seeing you on our rides.  Please recommend our club to your friends.

Toby Weiner



A 5BBC Cyclist's Memories of Bob


By Alfredo Garcia

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:

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 withthe 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

We are ordering the jerseys for our 21 in '21 leader recognition special award.

It's an opportunity to let the general membership order jerseys too. The picture shows you what's available. If you'd like to order, please e-mail and Toby will tell you how to pay after letting her know what you want. Here's how to specify your selection including sizing information:

Finding the right model, cut and size for yourself.

Getting your size right. Read the sizing charts carefully This particular supplier has excellent documentation of their products so you can select the right size. It's the best we have ever seen - but you have to really pay attention to it. Each Jersey DESIGN comes in 5 different MODEL-CUT combinations from which you can choose the typical sizes. You can read about them in detail on the web site but to net it out for you:


There are two MODELS of Jersey: Elite and Core. The Elite jersey is described on the Verge web site here (toggle between men and women at the top) and is a time-tested classic you can use for training, off-road or charity events. It’s built using durable Trafo™ fabric on a traditional pattern including side panels, and three rear pockets. Despite being a budget jersey - priced at $65, it’s more than capable of providing you with countless hours of enjoyable rides. If you like a looser fit, there are 3 cut options in this model: Fitted, Relaxed and Comfort.


The Core jersey is described on the Verge web site here (toggle between men and women at the top) and is a modern update to the classic form; it’s everything you love about a traditional jersey with the addition of up-to-date technologies. Built around next-generation Focus Lite™ fabric means you will be comfortable in this jersey regardless if you take it out for a spin on the road or carve up the single track. Priced at $75, it's basically $10 more for a more modern look. There are only 2 cut options in this model: Fitted and Relaxed. So even though Elite sounds like it should be above Core - it's not. It's the basic jersey but has looser fitting options. Core is the more up to date modern and sleek design for which you pay more. 


Basic descriptions of the CUTS are provided here

  • Fitted: Snug fitting and designed to contour your body.
  • Relaxed: Comfortable fit with a little extra room throughout.
  • Comfort: Cut large and designed to be loose-fitting. (Only available in the Elite! If you need a looser fit, please choose this one and save $10)

All of this is taken from the web site. Read the sizing charts carefully. Why so complicated? Because we have many preferences on how clothes fit within our membership and want to satisfy as many as possible rather than assuming one style or cut may please all which experience shows it does not. And this provider has the flexibility so we thought, let's take advantage of it. If you are an L in one supplier, it is not a safe assumption to just pick L in this one. Read the sizing charts carefully and make an educated choice. There are no refunds or exchanges. Period. Another way to confirm sizing is to make sure you check the “Sizing Tables” link at the bottom of the individual product pages for the items you are purchasing before selecting your size.  Cycling clothing sizing varies widely across brands and returns or exchanges are not possible with custom clothing orders.


What to order?

Have you ever been frustrated by the fact that a club typically has only one design per year? If you don’t like it - you don’t buy it. Last year, we had a member who helped us with a branding exercise. In the end, after many creative brand re-designs were offered, the club's board decided to stay with an updated version of our familiar logo and branding. You will see it featured prominently on each design. However, we had so many creative treatments of our 5BBC moniker, we thought why not turn them into Jersey designs and voila, you now have a choice to make from 7 current designs. We also have shorts and bibs as well as two cap designs. Happy Shopping!


Our 5BBC Wheels Design is available again: 


Our Newer 5BBC Designs are: 

  1. Patchwork
  2. Red White Chain
  3. Navy
  4. Gray
  5. Fade
  6. Red White




If after all this - you get stuck? E-mail for help :) 

Ask your NYC Council Member to support Resolution 1072-2016. Co-sponsored by Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez and CM Costa Constantinides,1072-2016 calls upon the Port Authority to widen the GWB paths as part of the upcoming recabling. And if they already support the resolution, thank them!

Share this with your mailing list and on your social media!

– To find your local Council Member, click here.

– For the text of 1072-2016, click here.

– For more info on widening the GWB, click here.


Overall this winter was a huge improvement over winter 2015.  But it was still winter and many of us cut back the extent of our riding.  But fear not, spring is coming and so is the 5BBC Spring Training Series.  Starting the first weekend in March, we will be listing a diverse offering of fun rides to help put the winter doldrums behind us and get us in shape for the season.  This year in addition to old favorites, we will be offering some new training rides to new locations.

The spring training series is the perfect vehicle to help train for a century (regular or metric), other events, the Five Borough Bicycle Tour or just to participate in great rides with fun groups.  We will have various mileage and speed options - be sure to only join a ride appropriate for your level.  Additionally, we will still offer our other rides (can anyone say Empanada Ride), some of which can double as training rides for shorter events like the 5BBT.  Ride listings should be appearing shortly.  Check back regularly for updates and new listings as the calendar will keep expanding with new offerings.  Encourage your favorite leaders to list a training ride. And please ride safely at all times. If you have any questions, or suggestions email



spring training


Dear 5BBC,

As the Membership Coordinator, I am interested in what you would like the Club to offer.  Obviously, we all want to continue having great rides, but what else would you like?  More Happy Face Rides or Advanced Moderate Rides?  More socials?  Bike Repair or Skills Courses?  This is YOUR club and I would love to hear from as many members as possible.  Please log onto the FORUM and give me your thoughts.  To go to the FORUM, simply log onto the web page as a club member, click the COMMUNITY link and then scroll down to the MEMBERS FORUM.

We are also planning a Spring Kickoff Meeting for all members to celebrate the coming of the 2016 Spring Cycling Season.  Still in the planning stages, but more will be revealed in the near future.



Join us for our first social of 2016 @ Inform Fitness, 201 E. 56th Street, #2

January 20th 2016

7P.M.- 9P.M.

We had a great turn out last year so we thought we would do it again.

Learn about a strength program and exercise that is done in just 20 minutes a week.

Learn about the Power of 10!

Learn about nutrition to help us exercise and build strength.

Adam Zuckerman is the owner and developer of this unique program, come meet him. He will show you what Ed and Liz do to keep in shape.

Light refreshments will be served.

The following persons were elected to the respective Board positions named below, for the 2016 term:

Shawn Carney – President

Andrea Casertano – Vice President

Bill Mastro – Day Trips

Ed Sobin – Leadership Training

David Meltzer and Mark Guralnick, jointly – Membership

Andrea Mercado – Secretary.

Elizabeth Peters -- Treasurer

A great Thanksgiving to all.  Remember , on that day overeating is a sacred and patriotic duty.:) See you all at the Holiday party.  Until then, if not before, on the road,

Andrea  Mercado,



Nominations--No further nominations were received from Club members present at the October 19th meeting meeting or received by the Secretary through email. Accordingly, the list below reflects all the Club members running for 2016 Board positions this year:


Shawn Carney – President

Andrea Casertano – Vice President

Elizabeth Peters – Treasurer

Andrea Mercado—Secretary

Day Trips Coordinator – Bill Mastro

Membership Coordinator – David Meltzer and Mark Guralnick jointly

Leadership Training Coordinator – Ed Sobin


Dates and Mechanics of Election--Elections will take place electronically and online and will open on October 25th and close on November 8th. Each Club member in good standing will receive an email with a hyperlink to the ballot.  Members may cast their votes for write in candidates as well as those whose names appear on the ballot. They may cast only one vote per position, the vote for  members running jointly, to count as only one vote. The results will be reported at the November 9th membership meeting and social at Galaways’ . 


Happy to do my best to answer any questions sent to me at


Over and out,


Andrea Mercado







Hats off to all of us for another great year. 
Our club is governed by all of us—its members.  Each year we elect 7 of us to be members of the Executive Board of Directors, who commit for the year to contribute their time by filling the roles as described at the bottom of this email blast and, in greater detail, in the bylaws found on our website. Each elected member serves for a period of one Club fiscal year, between December 1 and November 30.

We are all volunteers. There are many ways any and all of us keep it running—the ride Leaders without which day trips and weekend trips would not happen; the folks who volunteer to table at bike community events, everyone who encourages their friends or neighbors to ride with us, serving on the Executive Board and those who volunteer to take on non-Executive Board tasks for the year, to be our Communications or the Website Coordinators or on a one-off basis—to help with holiday party, for example.
We encourage you all to take ownership of your Club—to run for office, become Leaders, to lead rides, to reach out to any of the Board members to offer your time or resources (for example, free meeting areas)

Under the bylaws, which are listed on the 5BBC website, the Nominating Committee presents the slate of candidates at or before the 6PM-8pm October 19th Member Meeting at Galway Pub, 7 East 36th Street | New York, NY 10016 (212-725-2353 | The slate of candidates I have received is listed below. Anyone else may nominate themselves or anyone else by doing so at the meeting or by emailing me at
The site and mechanisms for voting online will be announced on the 5BBC website in the days following the October meeting. Results will be announced at the end of the 6PM-8PM Novermber 9th Member Meeting, again, at Galway Pub, 7 East 36th Street | New York, NY 10016 (212-725-2353 |

We hope to see all of you at the Holiday Party on December 18th, at Dinosaur BBQ.

Andrea M Mercado
Secretary and for the Nominations Committee


Candidate Slate for 2016
President – Shawn Carney
Vice President – Andrea Casertano
Treasurer – Elizabeth Peters
Secretary – Andrea M Mercado
Daytrips Coordinator – Bill Mastro
Leadership Training – Ed Sobin
Membership Coordinator – Mark Guralnick & David Meltzer (jointly)
Meetings -- least six times per year, by telephone or in person

  • The President presides at all meetings and is the Club’s CEO.
  • The Vice-President assumes the President’s office in the absence of the President and may head specific projects or oversee specific activities.
  • The Secretary keeps Board meeting minutes the Executive Board and the Executive Council and posts summary minutes on the Club webcite, and is responsible for general Club correspondence.
  • The Treasurer directs Club’s finances and prepares periodic financial statements, prepares and oversee the annual budget, receive and deposit collected dues, account for all funds received or disbursed by the Club, prepare reports of receipts and expenditures, maintain an inventory and listing of Club assets, coordinate insurance coverage, and coordinate the filing of the Club’s tax returns.
  • The Membership Coordinator promotes membership in the Club, coordinates with outside organizations on membership related matters, responds to member inquires.
  • The Rides Coordinator coordinates all  Club ride scheduling, be they day trips, weekend trips or other rides.
  • The Leadership Coordinator  organizes the leadership training course, assists new Leaders in the process of leading rides, promotes bicycle safety and maintains ride Leader lists

Note that responsibility for any Director, Officer or Coordinator position may be shared by two persons, who for election purposes run as a joint team to fill the position. The President, Vice-President, Rides Coordinator, and Leadership Training Coordinator must be Club ride Leaders. No person shall take office as President or Treasurer unless he or she has been a Club Member for at least two years or has been a member of the Executive Board for at least six months. The President may serve for no more than three (3) consecutive terms.