Archive for March, 2011
Welcome to Pedaling Change! There’s a lot of good work being done in the world of bikes, from alternative transportation advocacy to international development. To highlight some of the great action that’s going on out there, once a month we’ll be profiling a non-profit in the bike world to look at just how they’re working to make positive change.
Being inspired to act can take many forms. For some it’s taking a weekend to volunteer. For others it’s writing a letter. For Shannon Galpin, it meant leaving her career, selling her house, launching a nonprofit and committing her life to advancing education and opportunity for women and girls. Focusing on the war-torn country of Afghanistan, Galpin and her organization, Mountain2Mountain, have touched the lives of hundreds of men, women and children.
As if launching a nonprofit wasn’t enough, in 2009 Galpin became the first woman to ride a mountain bike in Afghanistan.
Now she’s using that initial bike ride to gain awareness around the country, encouraging people to use their bikes to “as a vehicle for social change and justice to support a country where women don’t have the right to ride a bike.” It’s called the Panjshir Tour and it’s being organized to take place in cities across the US on October 8, 2011.
We caught up with Galpin to learn more about the tour and why she thinks bikes are such a great vehicle for social change.
Tell us about Panjshir Tour.
Panjshir Tour was created out of my own desire to mountain bike in Afghanistan. I rode in 2009 and 2010 in the Panjshir Valley amongst my multiple trips to the region with my non profit, Mountain2Mountain. I found that I could do a lot of things, like ride a bike, as a foreign woman with the encouragement of Afghans that Afghan women were still forbidden to do. It’s an interesting phenomenon that me, with my blonde hair, can push on some cultural barriers in a unique way without offending the locals simply BECAUSE I have blonde hair. So after the success and the positive reaction by the local men in Panjshir in 2009, I decided to plot a series of grassroots rides in the US exactly one year from the first day I mountainbiked (October 3, 2009) to create a fundraising event on bikes while I was attempting to ride the entire Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan – linking our project communities and our donor communities through a bicycle for the first time.
Why launch the tour now?
Last year was the first incarnation as a series of very grassroots rides in various communities that took place during the same time that I was riding across the Panjshir Valley. The thought had been to make that connection, create a story to build off of and launch a Panjshir Tour 2.0 this year. Then we got the support of Matthew Modine and David Holbrooke in NYC and we thought, okay, let’s really build this up. So right now we are at 9 rides, three of them grassroots community rides, and the other 6 are more formally run events that can attract bigger crowds. Minneapolis, Portland, NYC, Los Angeles, Denver, and Washington DC – each ride having its own unique personality. Road rides, mountain bike, kids rides, cruiser bike rides, even a cyclo-cross event. It’s really cool to see a biking event that can spread across the US that isn’t just a road or just a mountainbike event, its much more inclusive.
In the world of Telemark Ski Racing, especially in Europe, the weather can be variable. It can be freezing (-30) in Norway, raining in Slovenia, then snowing in France. On race day, I undress to my lovely spandex at the start, dress back up at the bottom, and move my ski’s to and fro so they are out of the way of the other racers. All this sticking my hand in the snow, taking on and off my gloves and the weather leads to one thing: frozen hands.
In May 2009, a small team of rock climbers departed for Namibia with two goals: to find a way up an unexplored face, and to find a way into a deeper understanding of southern Africa. At the heart of their trip lies the question: can adventure and culture combine to create understanding? WayPoint Namibia is the story of their journey…
If you haven’t seen the film yet, you’ll have a chance to watch it this April as it premiers on ABC Universal Sports!
30 Days of Biking kicks off on Friday April 1, 2011, and we hope you’re going to take part.
It’s an online initiative to get people out on their bikes at least once a day, every single day during April.
From 30 Days of Biking:
The only rule for 30 Days of Biking is that you bike every day for 30 days—around the block, 20 miles to work, whatever suits you—then share your adventures online. We believe biking enriches life, builds community, and preserves the Earth.
Make the pledge! Register here.
Ride your bike. Ride to work. Ride around the block. Meet some friends and bike around town. If you’re riding your bike, you’re participating.
Share your story! Tweet about your bike ride and include the hashtag #30daysofbiking. Read what others are tweeting, and join the conversation!
Repeat Steps 2 & 3 each day throughout April!
The only rule for 30 Days of Biking is that you ride your bike every day for 30 days, then share your adventures and stories with others on Twitter, Facebook, and right here on our blog.
That means no excuses. Rain, snow, sleet or hail, you have to get out on your two wheels all of April. Will you take the challenge?
Every Wednesday on Ditch Your Car we’ll be bringing you just another reason to spend more time on two wheels. Be it a photo, a statistic or an inspirational video, we want to keep reminding you about why riding is great!
We’re excited about the latest round of Mountainfilm guest speakers to be announced. In keeping with the 2011 Moving Mountains Symposium theme of “Awareness into Action,” the series of special guests announced last week, “have all committed their lives to rolling up their sleeves and making a serious difference in the world,” Festival Director David Holbrooke said.
Going on an interesting adventure abroad this fall? Like to take pictures and write about your travels? Then you should check out the Glimpse Correspondents Program.
Powered by Matador, and supported in part by the National Geographic Society, the Glimpse Correspondents Program provides selected writers and photographers with a $600 stipend and one-on-one editorial training and support in creating a portfolio of published work.
Anyone over 18 is eligible, and writers and photographers of all skill and experience levels are encouraged to apply. The criteria for selecting Correspondents not only include candidates’ talents in writing or photography, but also their vision for engaging communities and finding unique stories while abroad, as well as their commitment to developing these stories into polished long-form narratives over the course of the program.
Application details are here. You’ve got until June 2011 to submit your application.
I am always open for a language lesson, often needing to express myself to audiences the world over. And since I was addressing 500+ Chileans later that night, Mateo and his girlfriend Fran, painstakingly taught me the subtle differences between ‘cuatico’, ‘filete’, ‘hueon’ and ‘po’. All useful words, slang of course, and I listened attentively during an impromptu training.
I was in Santiago for a screening of two films, 180º South and Power in the Pristine, as well to emcee and play reggae music on stage for 3-nights. It was the 3-day Adventure Film Festival held in the urban gardens of the Cultural Center of Los Condes in Chile’s thriving capital, where almost one third of its 17-million inhabitants live.
Sometimes the best bike lane isn’t a lane at all. Kaldidalur, Iceland.
Have a lane that you love? Send us a photo! You can post it to our Facebook page, shoot us an email at blog[at]ospreypacks[dot]com or upload to our Flickr group and we might just feature it here on our weekly photo feature, Lane Love.
Image: Hello I Am Bruce
I’ve had the temporary post-finals insomnia, when my brain was just too crammed with information to shut down, but after a few nights, I would reacclimate back to my regular sleeping patterns. But transplanting to Switzerland was a whole different animal, and studying will never seem daunting again.
I arrived in Switzerland with the intentions of revamping my telemark racing technique. During an intensive camp, my brain usually goes into hyperactive mode, so I expected a few sleepless nights. What I didn’t expect was the sleepless nights trying to learn French…
In conjunction with OutsideTelevision.com
It’s spring. It’s time to emerge from winter. It’s time, for me, to stop wearing long underwear. This is hard, because I have been wearing the same pair all winter long. One pair. It’s been easier this way. This wooly bottom/top combination has swathed me while I swung at ice in Montana, Wyoming, Ouray, Michigan, New Hampshire and Vail, throughout a dozen journeys to ice climb this winter.
But on Monday I am headed to a tropical island with daytime highs in the 90’s. I keep putting those long-underwear into my luggage, right by my second bikini, and keep taking them out. This—not the rope, quickdraws, or bolts—will be what gets me flagged as a suspicious suspect in customs. It’s time to move on.
I am a grudging participant in the multi-sport revolution. I live in Boulder, and my opposition is thus poorly chosen. Boulderites switch deftly between a morning ski, an afternoon mountain bike, and an evening climb of the flatiron by headlamp. Over the past six years of living here I have learned that I am good for a two-fer, but that the trifecta continues to allude me. It’s therefore time for new rules.
1: Rollerblading is a sport.
2. Hula hooping counts.
Work with me. Wait—hold on. I just hula hooped. It’s 7 am and I’ve already got one sport down.
I’ve always secretly thought that the tri-sport addicts were ostentatious athletes in need of showcasing their talents on a revolving basis. But now I’m starting to understand that we might add a sport to be bad at a sport. The good part about this rational is also that the more you do it, the more tired you are, and the more chances you thus have for mediocrity at more sports, and thus you have more and more motivation to get better.
This is why this spring, I am embracing the multi-sport lifestyle. In part I am doing this because I got too good at packing for ice climbing, and it seems that my clutch pair of long underwear are permanently forged in the shape of my body. Something needs to shake loose. So I will travel to sport climb and then come back and slide into the wool to go and ski in Canada’s Adamants when I return. I will change my cadence and see if I can keep up. Maybe this is why we have seasons—why the sun, wind and precipitation force us to make different decisions throughout the year. We can cheat the system by hopping on a plane and chasing the sameness in our lives. But eventually we will get a window seat and fly over snowy mountains when we’re pursuing summer’s permanence, or sunny beaches when we’re hot on winter’s tail. Eventually we will want to try our hand at it all. But to do this, we sometimes have to be willing to try more than one at a time.
I’m making the move, but maybe not how you’d expect. The long underwear are not island-bound. I’ve taken them out to make room for the hula-hoop. I’ve got climbing and hula-hooping, guaranteed in the next week. I just need my third sport. Right now, I’m betting on salsa dancing.
Read More at www.majkaburhardt.com