It’s that time of year again: National Geographic Adventure has nominated ten individuals to stand in the running for 2013 People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year. This year in particular, we’re incredibly proud to announce that the outstanding Shannon Galpin of Mountain2Mountain is one of the Adventurer of the Year nominees — and you can vote for her now!
M2M, which Shannon founded in 2006, “believes in the power of voice as a catalyst for social action,” and has touched the lives of many since its inception. In its latest project, Streets of Afghanistan, M2M utilizes the power of photography as the voice of change.
In 2009, Shannon became the first woman to bike in Afghanistan, challenging societal norms and gender perceptions in that part of the world. In general, Shannon’s work has seriously highlighted the significance of perpetuating equality for women and girls in conflict regions, and will continue to impact generations to come.
For good reason, Shannon is nominated as Humanitarian of the year. Via Nat Geo Adventure:
The 38-year-old has braved some of the most violent periods in Afghanistan—a country considered by many humanitarian agencies to be the worst place in the world to be a woman—to work on women’s education and health. She fostered midwife training to combat infant and maternal mortality in the Panjshir Province. In Kabul and Kandahar, she helped develop reading programs for the daughters of women in prisons, some of whom were jailed for adultery after they were raped or for escaping arranged marriages.
She has used her bicycle as an icebreaker with village elders in remote mountain villages, and in a particularly bold fundraising act, she’s mountain biked 140 miles across the Panjshir Valley. In Afghanistan, women cannot ride bikes because of laws and social customs, a fact that Galpin believes has hindered women’s education by preventing them from being able to independently travel to school. As a foreign woman, Galpin was able to cross this boundary and turn it into a conversation starter.
Women’s rights are personal for Galpin. At 19, she survived being raped and knifed while coming home from work in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“I couldn’t think of anything worse beyond what had happened than being labeled a victim,” says Galpin. “I was petrified that I would be viewed that way and would have to wear that label for the rest of my life.”
Want to vote for Shannon Galpin? Go here to do so through mid-January.
Humanitarian, mountain2mountain, National Geographic Adventure, People's Choice Adventurer of the Year, shannon galpin, streets of afghanistan, vote
Imagine a bike that costs $20; is made entirely out of cardboard; is waterproof and fireproof; and that is as strong as any bike you’d want to ride. Now, watch the above video and see it.
According to a Reuters article, 50-ear-old Izhar Gafni is the man behind this brand-new bike, which is now in line to begin undergoing mass production in just a few months. Of course, it took Gafni a year and a half of testing, trial and error to create the prototype we see today. From the article:
“‘When we started, a year and a half or two years ago, people laughed at us, but now we are getting at least a dozen e-mails every day asking where they can buy such a bicycle, so this really makes me hopeful that we will succeed,” he said.”
What do you think of the cardboard bike? Would you buy one and, more significantly, ride it? Let us know what you think!
Our friends over at 5 Gyres are always doing amazing things. Most recently they’ve embarked on The Last Straw Plastic Pollution Solutions Outreach Tour — a trip that will take 5 Gyres staff 1400 miles by bike down the East Coast in an effort to educate more than 50,000 people about what they’ve discovered in their voyages to our world’s oceans and lakes. You can follow the tour and find specific event dates and locations via the 5 Gyres Facebook page and its Blog. What’s more, you can pledge one cent per mile to support the tour and even take part in the 5 Gyres I Am The Sea Change challenge and win prizes for doing so.
Have 5 minutes? Take the challenge!:
To enter, follow the instructions on the flyer pictured above. That is: 1. Print the flyer out. 2. Spend at the very least 5 minutes cleaning up your environment (street, gutter, riverbank, beach). 3. Have someone take a picture of you holding your sign and your garbage up for all to see. 4. Like 5 Gyres on Facebook and share the contest link (encouraging friends and family to do so as well!) 5. Email your photo to email@example.com with the subject ‘5 for 5 Gyres’.
Do the above and you could not only win some awesome prizes, but help 5 Gyres and the cause to clean up our environment immensely. The contest runs from October 3rd through November 6th.
The incredible organization known as 5 Gyres is about to embark on its latest outreach project: Last Straw Plastic Solutions Bicycle Outreach Tour. The Tour will take the team of 5 Gyres staff on a cross-country bicycle route where they’ll share stories of their 5 Gyres expeditions along the way; “doing trainings on how to enact common sense plastic mitigation policy, sharing film, networking, and… running a cleanup contest throughout the tour for a chance to win prizes from all our awesome sponsors!,” according to the 5 Gyres blog.
Check out the poster above for dates and details of the tour. And feel free to email 5 Gyres with any questions along the way!
Found on SF Bike Expo‘s Facebook Page.
Watch. Relate. Smile.
Ever get that nagging feeling that the grass is greener on the other side? Do you sometimes catch yourself looking ever so slightly at other bikes in the neighborhood? Then it might behoove you to explore this infographic created by REI to make sure you’re in the right bike relationship.
Have fun with it!
In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the Olympic Games in London, the traffic is — as you might expect — a little bit worse than usual. So, what’s a city to do to keep the flow of everything up to par?
London UPS fleets in particular have deployed delivery bikes to make necessary delay-free deliveries to areas affected by heavy traffic.
According to BikeBiz, “Extended bike fleet will be in use in the capital after the Olympics too, logistics firm says.” Also according to the site:
“Bicycles were actually a foundation to our business over 100 years ago; when a few messenger boys began the business which became UPS today,” said Cindy Miller, MD for UPS UK, Ireland and Nordics. “We’re excited to add them to our UK fleet at such a critical time for London’s businesses.”
As cities around the world battle heavier and heavier traffic, we wonder if all delivery fleets shouldn’t consider having at least a few bicycles ready to rip through the city streets via less crowded bike lanes. What are your thoughts?
PHOTO Via: loop_oh
Keep it local is a statement typically seen in regards to food — but it seems equally as fitting for the transportation funds that contribute to each community’s safe bike routes and bicycle structure systems. The problem facing local bike funding is this, according to peopleforbikes.org:
“During recent negotiations on a new transportation bill, the House of Representatives proposed drastic cuts that would hurt bicycling. Their plan would allow states to take federal transportation funds that make roads safer for bicycling and divert them to other uses, without any input from communities like yours.”
The proposed bill would eliminate the funds necessary for your local community to propose and flesh out ideas for safer bike transportation, which would basically halt any future concepts and eliminate the potential for further growth and increased bike transportation options. Of course that’s not something any of us want, so here’s what you can do, right now: Follow this link to the peopleforbikes.org page that explains everything in a nutshell. Then, get in touch with your two U.S. Senators and one U.S. Representative by going here and entering your local information. You’ll be able to write an email urging government to take back the proposal, and send it all via the second link listed above. Send it now to take action and keep bike funding local!
PHOTO Via: peopleforbikes.org
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!
When most cities consider a change in the infrastructure of their transportation system, the typical modus operandi is for city officials to sit indoors and look at drawings and written proposals. But what if city street improvements could be brought into the real world — into all three dimensions so that people could not only consider, but actually see, the changes that may or may not take place?
The city of Cleveland, Ohio is experimenting with this more “live” concept of proposed downtown street improvements in a project the city is pioneering called Pop Up Rockwell. Here’s the lowdown, via the masterminds behind it all, Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC):
POP UP ROCKWELL is a one-week experiment to test “complete & green street” improvements on downtown Cleveland’s Rockwell Avenue (between W. Roadway and E. 6th Street), which took place during April 21 to 27, 2012. The temporary street transformation explores fresh ideas for making the street more pedestrian and bicyclist friendly. Going beyond two-dimensional drawings used in typical public meetings, Pop Up Rockwell allows people to physically experience a future vision of the city in three dimensions, in a real environment, and provide feedback before large financial and political investments are made.
The temporary installations included “Cleveland’s first cycle track, stormwater bio-filtration benches, enhanced transit waiting areas and wind animated public art” for city residents to experience — and potentially put into real-life practice in the future. According to CUDC, Pop Up Rockwell was pioneered as a response to the community’s desire to see real life action in between the formal and often slow-moving stages of planning and actual implementation. As CUDC puts it, “Lessons learned from the short-term project may influence permanent changes, which support the City of Cleveland’s Complete & Green Streets Ordinance and Group Plan Commission recommendations.”
With all of this we feel compelled to ask: Should more cities implement temporary pop up street improvements so citizens can experience them and potentially choose to have a voice in regard to the real-life changes that may or may not take place? Would you be excited to see a pop up street in your city?
Every Monday on Lane Love, we’ll be featuring bicycling news, stories and photos from around the world. Have a lane that you love? Send us a photo! You can post it to our Facebook page or upload to our Flickr group and we might just feature it here on Lane Love.