Bob Pfarr killed, son of local legend, hall of famer and Olympic racer

Bob Pfarr, Jr.

I am sad to report that Bob Pfarr, Jr. died as result of being hit while riding his bicycle in Highland Village, Texas. Police reported the 64-year-old Wisconsin cycling legend was hit by a 19-year-old woman driving an SUV around 4 PM Monday. He died Tuesday at the hospital as a result of his injuries.

I didn’t know Bob personally, but like most anyone who has raced a bicycle in Wisconsin, I knew his famous name. Bob’s father, started the Kenosha Wheelmen in 1945 and his racing career spanned seven decades. Bob Sr. deserves a story of his own, but I will list a few highlights here so you can better understand the dynasty that has ended with the tragic death of his son. Pfarr Sr. won the Wisconsin Junior Sprint title in 1935, won a gold medal at the 1959 Pan-Am Games, received a bronze medal in the 1960 Olympics and topped off his storied racing career as National Masters Champion in 1984.  Pfarr, Sr. co-founded the Kenosha Wheelmen  in 1945 and was their president for 40 years. He was inducted into the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame and died at age 86 in October of 2006. To this day,  the famous son of Kenosha is honored with The Bob Pfarr Memorial Classic at the Washington Park Velodrome.

Bob Jr., most recently was living in Denton, Texas and had just joined the Corinth Cycling Team. Killed on a training ride, sadly Bob did not get to see a start line in his new kit this season. At the request of Bob’s daughters, Kristin Blanchard and Jennifer Proly, the Bike Fed has established a memorial fund to honor their father by improving the safety of bicycling in the Kenosha and Racine communities.

Contributions to this fund can be sent to:

Wisconsin Bike Fed
c/o Bob Pfarr, Jr. Memorial Fund
3618 West Pierce
Milwaukee WI 53215

Please keep Bob and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

The information below is from the Corinth Cycling Team Website:

By Roland San Miguel

Bob Pfarr Jr. – It is with a heavy heart that we continue to remember the memory of Mr. Bob Pfarr. Bob was the latest addition to our race team. Last Saturday night I dropped off his team arm warmers and gloves. He invited my wife and I in for a glass of wine, unfortunately we declined. Monday afternoon, a couple of hours before his bike ride, I took Bob a team race kit. I clearly recall the huge smile on his face as he told me that the size large bibs that I delivered fit perfectly, he normally wore XL. Bob proudly showed me his cycling memorabilia in his office. Pictures of a signed yellow jersey and many of the awards he has received over the years. Most importantly, he showed me a picture of his Dad, a bronze medal winning Olympian, you could tell Bob was so proud. With smiles on our faces, we talked about each of his bikes hanging in the garage in great detail. I left a few minutes later, Bob continued his yard work and commented on how he should get out for a ride before the rains came the next day.

Today was the day we were going to feature Bob on our team introductions…we will still do that today.

The following are Bob’s own words…

2013 will mark the 53rd anniversary of my first victories on the track in Kenosha Wisconsin. I continue to compete at the Velodrome in Frisco as well as in road races and time trials.

I hold both Competition and Coaching licenses from USA Cycling and am a voting member of the US Bicycle Hall of Fame. I am a semi-retired forensic engineer who recently moved to Corinth.

I’ve been riding with Corinth Cycling for the last 2 years since I moved back to Texas with my sick wife, whenever personal or racing/team commitments allowed. I usually rode in Pitbull Racing or Hall of Fame kits.

I’ve been around racing my whole life, won my first race in 1959 and just enjoy competitive cycling. After my latest respite from formal competition I was relegated down to Cat4, but it doesn’t really matter to me since I compete mostly in age group racing now. I’m semi-retired and widowed. I plan to make a serious run at the racing circuit in 2013 and expect to race at least as much as you have recently as well as on the state and national level. I race road, track and time trial. I’ve never done cross or mountain bike racing.

Over the last several years I’ve won a number of state championships in Florida and Texas, and competed in the National Senior Games. I am a Certified Cycling Coach (USA Cycling), an amateur cycling historian (2012 Road and Track Symposium) and a voting member of the US Bicycle Hall of Fame.

Bob’s friendship, smiling face and advocacy of our great sport of cycling will be deeply missed. R.I.P Mr. Bob Pfarr Jr.

About Dave Schlabowske, Deputy Director

Dave was the first full-time staff member hired to open the Bike Fed's Milwaukee office 11 years ago. A former professional photographer and life-long Milwaukee resident, Dave lives with his wife Liz and daughter Frankie in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's west side.

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