Adapted from emails to El Grupo from Dave Castro – US Military
Greetings from the far side of the Pacific Ocean. The intent of this email is two-fold. First, to introduce the bicycle that I intend to bring back with me on leave in Dec/Jan and in turn donate it to your fantastic organization. The bike is the one in the picture from my ride on Sunday. (Steel Masi 54cm, mixed ultegra & 105 components, crane creek brakes, origin 8 carbon fork) It has been on many adventures with me from Vermont, California, Arizona to Okinawa, and taking it to Hokkaido, Japan next month!
Secondly, the tie-in or words of wisdom that go along with the picture. In many cases throughout our lives we are laid a path before us that we sometimes cannot avoid. In 1945, on the eastern shores of Okinawa (pictured behind me), thousands of U.S. Marines, Sailors and Soldiers landed in order to remove the Japanese Forces from the Island of Okinawa. These young men found themselves on path that was unavoidable based on their decision to join the military during WWII. I will tell you that many made the best of their situation, because when life gets tough, the human spirit of young men and women is more powerful than hunger, tiredness, and any other limitation that we deem derailing. Make the best of the path in front of you, because you would be amazed at what level your body will go to when you have the willingness, desire to achieve your goals.
Growing up as a kid and teenage cyclist was (and still is) a blast. One of the things that captured my imagination was the fact that you and your bike could team up for adventures. First, it was to see what the other side of the neighborhood looked like. Then, what the other side of town looked like. It wasn’t until later that I began to realize the boundless reach of what you and your bike can experience on this earth.
Pictured behind me is Mount Yotei, located in Shikotsu-Toya National Park, Hokkaido, Japan. She stands 6,200 ft and is known for its resemblance of Mount Fuji. Hokkaido is a completely separate island from mainland Japan. Typically a winter wonderland, Hokkaido is enchanted place on earth filled with life in the mild summer months.
Great accomplishments at National’s, speaking of boundless things. Your youth are demonstrating the boundless potential to compete at the highest levels of competitive cycling. Simply amazing and inspiring.
Take care, Dave Castro
~ We will be honored to put your bike to good use and to have you involved when you return to Tucson, Dave. Thanks!