Finding Tr♀be

We are excited to announce the newest program under Mountain2Mountain, Tr♀be. Tr♀be is launching as a series of yoga/surf camps targeting middle school aged girls of different cultures and backgrounds.  The camps are about connecting young women together and empowering and inspiring young girls to find their voice and discuss social justice issues that affect them and their communities as a means of finding unique and sustainable solutions.postcard-1

Tr♀be will be located in several countries with two phases of programming.  The initial camps launching in 2017 will be based out of Maui, Hawaii with the established local yoga and SUP/surf community, led by Sarah Callaham and focusing on local Hawaiian girls alongside local legends like native Hawaiian and pro surfer, Mariko Strickland Lum.  Additional camps in unique communities that tie back to our decade of work in Central Asia with girls will focus on Iran, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nicaragua, and Palestine and each camps will connect the girls with local women breaking barriers in their sport, adventure, and activism.  Mountain2Mountain sponsored Iran’s first surfer and snowboarder, Mona Seraji in the upcoming European FreeRide World Tour and she will be assisting with the camp in Iran next year.  In each case we would be establishing the initial camps with local girls as a means of connecting them into a community network of like-minded girls interested in social justice issues.

The second phase would involve camps that integrate the girls from various countries with each other for an exchange of culture and conversation that will plug them into global issues affecting women and girls.  These diverse girls will engage in a mutual social justice project together of their choosing and will meet with mentors to discuss application and logistics.



Why surf and yoga?  The idea is to engage within a new environment in a unique way through sports to bond and build confidence. Yoga and meditation to integrate mindfulness, self-reflection, and focus on creative energy.  Each camp will include guest filmmakers, photographers, activists, and adventurers from diverse backgrounds to inspire and spark new ways of thinking.

This new program aims to tap into the power of young women at a key time in their development and show them they are not alone, they have a tribe of other girls and adult mentors.  Discussions around gender violence, diversity, racism, and sexism will introduce the girls to ways to recognize and identify these issues when faced with them as individuals, while knowing they have a tribe of other girls to lean into if needed.

This holiday season your donations to Mountain2Mountain will help build the foundation of Tr♀be and you can watch the first generation of surfer yogis flourish as young activists and strong voices in their communities.  Believe in the power of voice and in the power of girls.


Bypassing Corruption at the Source

The past year has been incredibly difficult to navigate with the Afghan National Women’s Team.  The corruption, illegal actions, and dysfunction of Coach Seddiqe the women’s coach, founder and former President of the Afghan Cycling Federation as well as the corruption within the ACF and the Afghan Olympic Committee itself have present roadblocks to supporting the team that go way beyond the cultural barriers that have kept girls off bikes.  We removed formal support to the ACF earlier this year after they refused to admit corruption and mismanagement on a massive scale.  The irony of the man who started the team and the ACF also being their biggest barrier is not lost on me, even after working in Afghanistan for almost a decade.  The biggest lesson I’ve learned in Afghanistan is that there is no black and white.  There is no hero and villain.  Everything there are shades of grey.


photo by Deni Bechard

While figuring out solutions to supporting the girls that ride on the disintegrating national team in Kabul, the men’s national team fired Coach Seddiqe, and are rebuilding along with a team of young girls, under the official Afghan Cycling Federation which voted Coach Seddiqe out.  I visited Kabul in May, the girls under Coach do not have the agency or the opportunity to leave him.  He controls everything, including their access to bikes and real training and they are scared to leave him and lose what they perceive is their only opportunity to train and race.   Five girls were preparing for a trip to France to take part in training camp and Gran Fondo race in Albi which was sponsored by the French Embassy.  Two girls took the podium in their age group, sisters Massouma and Zahra.  A major step forward for these two women I first met three years ago when they could barely ride their bike in a straight line.


Unfortunately two other girls ran away at the Paris airport, scuttling plans we were making to bring the team to the US for training.  Visas are already difficult for Afghans, but now for these girls its virtually impossible until we build a track record of travel that proves they aren’t a flight risk.  This will take a couple of years according to the State Department and the US Embassy in Kabul.

Upon returning, we discussed leaving Coach, but they need their own bikes and an interim coach.  After much thought, we agreed to this: If we can get them new road bikes, integrate them with the official ACF, and they leave Coach Seddiqe once and for all, I will act as an interim coach in coordinated with the men’s team.  That means training camps outside of Afghanistan, but due to the lack of visa access for US and Europe, these camps will be kept in the region.  This will allow us access for coaches and trainers to work with the girls in ways that’s not possible in Afghanistan, due to decreased security and lack of training resources.

Massouma has expressed a real desire to take part in the 2020 Olympics.  She always wants to be trained as a Coach herself.  Our goal is to get her professional coaching training with the UCI and IOC, while training her for the next four years to take part in the Asia Games and the next Olympics.  She recognizes this isn’t possible under Coach Seddiqe and that he is a ‘bad man’ and that they have been used as pawns for him to control for his own personal gain.


photo by Deni Bechard

This is a major evolution forward.  In three years, the national team has strengthened despite the corruption with five strong and dedicated riders.  A second team of girls has formed under Zahra Hosseini in Bamiyan, they have also produced the first women’s races and ‘right to ride’ events in the country without the help or support of the AFC or the AOC.  We have donated Liv mountain bikes and locally built commuter bikes to these girls to further the development and access.  Three girls bike clubs have formed organically in Kabul, we have given bikes to each of these clubs.  There are girls riding and training in Mazar i Sharif.   This is real progress, and a real revolution in a country that has never seen its women and girls be allowed to ride bikes.  They are riding now and with the accolades of National Geographic Adventurer, and the Nobel Peace Prize nomination – the world is watching.  Now they need us to help through the next hurdle with tangible actions and support. 


What we need now: 

5 new high end road bikes for the girls to keep themselves for training.

10 new entry level/mid level road bikes for the second women’s team in Bamiyan that is training currently on donated Liv mountain bikes.  They have expressed a desire to race and two of the girls will be part of the training camps we create outside of Afghanistan.

Financial support for training camps and racing outside of Afghanistan for these young women.

Stipends for the 5 girls that are training and racing to help balance the time spent away with their responsibility to the family.

You can donate directly at

You can help us find partners and sponsors to support these girls for the 2020 Olympics, we have a four year journey ahead.


The TwoWheeled Revolution Continues

Today in Bamiyan, Afghanistan girls were given bikes for the first time as part of a bike distribution program.  This is the first of its kind we’ve seen apart from our own work to get girls on bikes.  Our hearts are exploding with happiness to see an Afghan led organization using bikes for social change to empower young girls. This is what we have hoped to see for years, that normalizing bikes for girls could lead to acceptance and eventual use for the bike as a tool for social justice.

According to the post today on Facebook by friends in Bamiyan, “The Afghan Family Guidance Association (AFGA), a local non-governmental organization, distributed bicycles to girl students in Bamyan province of Afghanistan with the aim of prevention of child marriage and to boost awareness on women and children rights.”

It is important to note, that this would not be possible if not for the continued work of one Afghan woman, Zahra Hosseini, who started riding bikes in Bamiyan several years ago, and began teaching other girls to ride.  She planted the seeds that we see beginning to flower today.  She and other girls in Bamiyan normalized the idea of girls riding bikes, and worked to communicate with local mullahs and conservative families that tried to shame them into stopping.

Change like this starts slowly, but in a generation, we hope this will be the norm.  Ride on ladies, ride on!

All photos by Latif Azimi

Heroes and Heartbreak in France

This past weekend, sisters and Afghan cyclists, Massouma and Zahra Alizada, raced together France.  They were part of a program sponsored by the French Embassy to bring the Afghan National Cycling Team to Albi, France to take part in a qualifier race for a world championship in Australia.  I met with five girls invited in Kabul a few days before they left.  Massouma, Zahra, Zhala, Malika, and Frozan and I discussed the opportunity at a cafe in Kabul and their frustration with the corruption and lies of Coach Seddiqi.  That will discussed more at length in a separate post that I have been steeling myself to write in the wake of a frustration and disturbing Afghan visit to get to the bottom of the corruption once and for all.

I met with the French Embassy to speak to their representative Valerie Blachier about the plan to bring the girls to France and the corruption that surrounded the cycling federation and Coach in particular.  She didn’t want to hear about Coach, in fear that it would put and end to the trip.  I insisted that she understand the realities of what was happening, and she assured me that they would watch him carefully, escort the team everywhere, and that he would be blacklisted when they returned from France.  She was also interested in our desire build upon this project with future training camps in France so that we could build a partnership with France Embassy and the team as I had discovered how difficult it would be to get visas for the girls to come to the US.

A few days later, the girls and Coach boarded the plane in Kabul to Paris.  Via Facebook I discovered that two girls, Malika and Frozan had run away.  Escaped into Europe.  Three girls remained, and headed to Toulouse and onwards to Albi for two weeks training culminating with the race.  Malika and Frozan are okay, and we plan to stay in contact with them,  although it comes as a great embarrassment to the French Embassy and put future visas for the team at risk.  Ironically within 24 hours I found out that two Afghan athletes visiting the US on a State Department sponsored trip ran away in California.

The remaining three girls trained daily, and were the darlings of the French press and media during their stay.  Zhala was unfortunately too young to race, so that left Massouma and Zahra to compete.  They rocked our Afghanistan Strength in Numbers jerseys produced by Primalwear and then they rocked the racecourse.  We got the news that they took the podium after a 100km race at 2nd and 3rd position and qualified for a world championship race in Australia.  I am still awaiting details on the race itself and if the French are planning to support the girls and the expenses to Australia.

Most importantly, I am waiting to see what the girls, the French Embassy, and the UCI have to say about Coach and his future as the head of the girls cycling team in the wake of continued corruption and mismanagement.

In the meantime, a huge thanks to the partners and individuals that have supported these girls for the past three years that allowed them to get to this point in particular; Liv Cycling and Hogan Lovells.  We couldn’t be more grateful to you, nor prouder of the girls themselves.

photos by Patrick Oumunal in Albi, France via Facebook

Fighting Corruption, One Bike at a Time

27AFGHANWOMEN-WEB1-master768Photo Credit: Adam Ferguson for The New York Times

Yesterday the story of the ongoing corruption and mismanagement and possible abuse in Afghan women’s sports federations finally was published by Rod Nordland of the New York Times, titled Corruption in Afghanistan All but Cripples Women’s Team Sports.  Our founder spoke with Rod several weeks ago when he contacted her about our withdrawl of support for the Afghan Cycling Federation.  She shared with him our experiences and frustrations and discovered he had found proof of some my accusations against Coach Seddiqi and against the cycling federation that had fallen on deaf ears when we had voiced our concerns.

Shannon had confronted Coach Seddiqi last July in Kabul about the corruption and mismanagement, and as we and she have written about in previous blogposts, not only did he deny any mismanagement to her face, he made it worse with the South Asian Championships debacle in India that he didn’t take the girls to (see previous posts), which denied them the chance to race outside of Afghanistan and represent their country.  The Afghan Cycling Federation’s new Secretary General, Fazli Ahmad Fazli, denied any mismanagement and was insulted that I would even mention the word corruption.  He made it clear that our help wasn’t needed, that the accusations were an insult and unfounded, and thus we made it clear that Mountain2Mountain would remove all formal support from the cycling federation effective immediately.

While the NYT article saddens many people that have reached out, it makes me happy to see the systemic abuse of power be exposed so that those in power cannot hide behind each other anymore.  Change doesn’t happen in silence, voices, many voices, must be willing to speak up to challenge corruption.  Even as I write this, I hear news that there may be a new Afghan Olympic Committee President, this despite the continued disputes since the election last year.  Its just another sign of the lack of leadership, stability, and the corruption that has plagued the sporting institutions in Afghanistan from the very top of the food chain, all the way down.  This affects not just the women, but the men’s teams as well….corruption is genderless in Afghanistan.”  – Shannon Galpin

But as in all things in Afghanistan, its usually worse for the women.  When women are forced to remain in structures were the men are in the positions of power, even something as empowering as cycling, or soccer, or cricket, it becomes another source of oppression and entrapment.  The women in Afghanistan may be breaking barriers, but the biggest barrier to women’s sports in that country is ironically the same institutions that are in place to allow women to compete.

Coach Seddiqi was finally removed in an election last month as the President of the Cycling Federation. He was replaced by a man we met in Bamiyan in 2014 during a training camp for the national team we put together, he was the head of the local Provincial Olympic Committee at the time.  Coach Seddiqi has also been fired by the men’s team, but he remains as coach of the women’s team because they are afraid.  Afraid that if they stand up to him, they will lose their only chance to ride, their only chance to compete.  He holds all the control.  And they know it.  Perhaps this NYT’s article gives enough weight for the allegations of mismanagement and corruption that they can feel confident to speak up.

Just last week, we received information that the Coach was intending to sell the remaining donated bikes, we immediately contacted him through a third party and informed him that we were coming to Kabul to meet with him and fully expected that all bikes donated to the federation would be accounted for when we visit.  He cannot operate in the shadows pretending he is a good man, that he is working on behalf of the girls, he is not.  He is working for himself and himself alone.

Looking ahead, we have been working on plans to bypass the corruption and directly support the girls in several ways.  The tentative plan, determined by visas issued by the US government,  is to bring the girls to the US this fall for a training workshop with the hope of creating a future all-Afghan cycling team here in Colorado in 2017 that could support and train these women to become the next generation of leadership for the team in Afghanistan.  This allows us to bypass the majority of the corruption and empower women to be in charge of developing the women’s cycling program.  This has been being planned for many months with an incredible team of cycling professionals who believe in these girls and in their ability to create a two wheeled revolution that puts women in the leadership positions and provide real coaching and training for those that want the opportunity to race.

Beyond that we plan to meet with the Afghan Olympic Committee leadership and the new leadership of the Afghan Cycling Federation, alongside the men’s and women’s team to discuss the future of this sport in Afghanistan.  We will also be speaking with government officials about the state of women’s sports and the Olympic federations in general.  These talks will determine how we continue to support this program and these girls that have had to endure yet another barrier.

In the meantime, a huge thanks to our sponsors, Liv Cycling, Skratch Labs, Osprey Packs, and Hogan Lovells and the individual donors and sponsors that have supported us over the past three years.   In the past three years, three new bike teams and clubs for women have started, Afghanistan saw its first women’s bike races and ‘right to ride’ pubic events, the girls raced in Kazakhstan, and they were recognized by National Geographic Adventurer for their bravery and courage.  This article doesn’t take any of that away – it gives us the ammunition needed to bring change and the fight corruption that impedes the opportunities and dreams of these young women, and all the female athletes in Afghanistan.

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Corruption in Afghan Sports Federations

As we continue to look at ways to support the Afghan Women’s National Cycling Team, we delve a bit deeper into the issue of corruption and how it affects all the sports federations, not just cycling.

In an Al Jazeera report last year, a journalist looked at how Afghanistan’s endemic corruption, warlordism, and power politics were beginning to erode Afghanistan’s athletic establishments too.  Corruption weaves its way through every facet of life in Afghanistan, and lies at the heart of the ability or inability for Afghanistan to move forward.

This isn’t just an issue in Afghanistan, “In 2012, the IOC suspended India Olympics Association for failing to comply with the world sports body’s regulations for holding independent elections without the government’s interference. Indian athletes thereby lost the right to compete in any Olympics event under Indian national flag.

Beyond the region all we have to do is look at the recent scandal rocking the international governing bodies of FIFA for soccer, or the UCI with cycling, even the International Olympic Committee itself has been plagued with scandals of corruption in the past. Sports is not immune to corruption, especially not when we are operating in a country where corruption is a daily part of life.

According to research done by Women’s Regional Network, women in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India agreed that they find corruption unremarkable because it is so pervasive that they did not think it could change.

We have navigated corruption throughout our eights years of working in Afghanistan, whether it was in the women’s prisons, trying to secure a land donation for a school for the deaf in Kabul, even remote mountain school supplies deliveries were subject to corruption.  It should be no surprise then that our work with Afghan Cycling Federation is not exempt from corruption or mismanagement.  Going further, the majority of the women’s sports federations are controlled by men – perverting opportunities for empowerment through sport subject to the same structures of oppression and misogyny as any other program in the country.  When men control women’s sports federations, the women and girls that participate at the highest levels of Afghan sports find themselves in another form of dependence and potential oppression.  It also creates opportunities for sexual harassment and potential assault to occur without a system to protect the girls.

A recent report about the sex scandals of the USA swimming program in Outside Magazine highlighted that again, this is not endemic to Afghanistan.  If female swimmers in the US are sexually assaulted by their coaches, why would be shocked to see misogyny and corruption play out anywhere else?

The question becomes for us, as an organization that believes in the power of sport to empower young women, and the sport of cycling in particular to catalyze a change in the taboo of women riding bikes, how do we support the athletes affected by this corruption? How do we say ‘NO’ to a corrupt system but still support the girls that risk their lives and their honor to ride a bike?

When we contacted the Afghan Cycling Federation to report recent instances of deliberate corruption and mismanagement with the Coach and the federation, I was rebuked.  When I removed our support of the federation they shrugged it off.  Meanwhile, I looked at how a change of leadership could potentially change support for the girls.  This is slowly happening, after years of control by Coach Seddiqe of both the mens and women’s cycling teams, the Coach has been removed from control of the men’s team.  There are calls for an election to replace him as the President of the Cycling Federation – something he has refused to step down from amid ongoing calls of corruption.  Time will tell if he can also be replaced as the coach of the women’s team.

In the meantime, we have found some solutions and working towards getting the girls serious coaching and training here in the US are putting them into action.  We will return to Afghanistan to meet with the families of the team, the new President of the Afghan Olympic Committee, and the new President of the Cycling Federation in hopes that we can navigate the pervasive corruption that has hamstrung this team, preventing them from racing while parading them around like a dog and pony show to embassies and Kabul organizations that want to congratulate them on their Nobel Peace Prize nomination. They are cyclists that deserve to be coached and to race at every possible opportunity, they deserve to be treated as athletes, not shown off around town like the Coach’s private harem.

For those that have asked, are we giving up?  Absolutely not, in fact the last year has helped develop some very real solutions outside of Afghanistan that can address many of the issues they are faced with.  We will need the support of our community more than ever as we prepare to announce our next steps with the team, and we know that you will love what we have planned.  In the meantime, these girls, and others like them, need to know none of us are giving up on them.




Necessary Changes

It is with a heavy heart that we officially removed our support of the Afghan Cycling Federation.  After 3 years of working to support the women’s national cycling team I have determined that the mismanagement and corruption of many involved at the Afghan cycling federation cannot be fixed.  Its difficult to come to this conclusion on the heels of the team being recognized as National Geographic Adventurers of the Year and their nomination as part of Bike the Nobel for the Nobel Peace Prize.  It’s a dream come true that these girls are being recognized for their bravery and courage on two wheels.  Yet supporting the infrastructure doesn’t support the girls.  Time and time again, I’ve seen mismanagement and corruption, yet I have tried to work directly to find solutions, discuss future plans, and advocate for the girls.  Mountain2Mountain, myself, and the Afghan Cycles film crew have created a powerful PR machine that has elevated this group of girls into worldwide acclaim.  Press and media have been covering these girls and my work in Afghanistan steadily for the past 3 years and that is ramping up again on the heels of the Nobel Peace Prize nomination.  They are the darlings of the media right now, doing interviews, and sharing their story.

photos by Deni Bechard

Yet in parallel to the success of the team at breaking barriers and inspiring other girls to ride, there is a system of corruption that I can no longer deal with in good conscious.  During the formal announcement of the Peace Prize nominations, the team was supposed to be racing in India at the South Asian Championships.  We sent over racing kits and the funding to get 5 girls there plus the Coach.  Instead, the team got to Dehli and stayed there instead of traveling on to Guhwati.  There they visited Coach’s extended family, he took his new wife to the doctor, and they had one group ride through town.  The girls were denied their chance to race and represent their country because of mismanagement at best, corruption at worst.  This is just the most recent example, there have been many throughout the past three years, this one was simple the most blatant.

There is no effort by the cycling federation in Kabul to support and encourage the other groups of girls that are starting clubs and teams.  Instead these young women that are riding without the safety or direction of anyone but themselves are mocked and ignored.  Girls like Zhara who started teaching girls to ride as a social movement, registered a team with the sports federation and yet is excluded from the federation, and insulted by the Coach.  Instead of understanding that bike clubs only give the federation more strength, that more girls riding strengthens the national team in the long run, the Coach sees them as a threat to his power and control of his fiefdom.

Fiefdoms and power struggles exist throughout Afghanistan, even in the most benign areas like a federation of a sport deemed not worth supporting by the Afghan Olympic Committee.  The previous President of the Afghan Olympic Committee told me directly that it was difficult to get the AOC to even do the paperwork to send the girls to the Asian Games last year in South Korea, even if they were funded, because they are considered a C level sport, and the AOC only wants to support A level sports like football and cricket because they don’t want to look like amateurs.  We fought hard together to get one girl allowed a spot to go.

There is much more to be said about the past 3 years, I intend to focus on the gains.  Since I started working with the team in 2013, they have raced out of their country, been part of training camps where I taught them and the Coach, how to shift, how to draft, and how to ride in a pack.  We discussed nutrition and hydration because the girls and the boys weren’t eating or drinking anything on their rides, and then bonking. Hard.  We discussed a longterm plan, barriers to involvement, and how to expand.  The girls improved, we donated new bikes and helmets with Liv Cycling.  Their story is in two museums as examples of sports diplomacy.  They have been in over a hundred press articles in over 30 countries. They were recognized by National Geographic and the Nobel Peace Prize committee this year.

That said, I am not giving up on the girls.  These girls deserve to be supported and I have determined that the best way to do this is to support them directly.  We will be making an announcement soon about this, and until then we are grateful for everyone who believed in these girls and helped support them over the past three years.  We have to get creative and recognize that there is more than one way to skin a cat.

As this year unfolds, we see their story only spreading more, and with the post production of Afghan Cycles finishing up, their story will soon be told on the big screen.  The future sees a new chapter in this story as we continue to work to support the girls in Kabul, in Bamiyan, and elsewhere to continue to ride, to break barriers, and to believe in their own future for years to come.  Stay tuned, this is going to be good.  #pedalarevolution


Border Free Cycling

There is a new bike club in town.  Border Free Cycling Club is the latest bike club to form in Kabul, and its founders hope to focus attention on gender equity by forming a mixed gender bike club.  Its co-founders are Halima and Hoor, a young woman and young man that believe everyone has the right to ride, and bikes can be a tool for gender equality.

The ripples of each action taken in Afghanistan continue to intersect.  Halima helped found the Girl Up bike club that formed in 2014 with Fatima Hadairi who worked with us last summer.  While that club was unable to continue past its initial summer due to leadership when Fatima went back to the United States to go to university.  Two members in particular have created ripples. The first is Nahid, who is now part of the Afghan National Team.  The second, an American university student, Halima has joined forces with fellow peace activist, and a male supporter of gender equity, Hoor Arifi.

They posted an inspiring photo from their first ride.  This is a first step, and we are excited to introduce them to Zahra in Bamiyan and the national team in Kabul as they aim to coordinate efforts beyond racing for gender equity and activism on bikes.

The symbol of Border Free and of the Cycling Club by the same name is a blue scarf that is made by Afghan seamstresses.  Keep an eye out, you’ll be seeing more of these blue scarves.

12541153_515635148616439_681677627797796053_nphoto provided by Border Free Cycling Club

Bike the Nobel

On Friday, the Italian radio station, RAI2 hosted a press conference in Milan, announcing  the formal nomination of the bike for the Nobel Peace Prize.  They launched a campaign months ago to get enough signatures for a nomination.  The really beautiful part?  They chose the Afghan National Women’s Cycling Team as the human representation of the bike’s power of social justice and activism.


The bike has been a vehicle for human rights for over a century, since American women first started riding and soon the bike became the symbol for the suffragette movement.  The Afghan women that dare to ride as part of the national team have shown that the bike equals freedom.

The Nobel Peace Prize nomination recognizes the bravery, the courage, and the ability of these women to take back the streets and their rights on bikes.  These young women, and the women like them now riding in other parts of Afghanistan, are on the front lines of a gender revolution on two wheels.


A bike relay set off from Milan to carry the nomination to Oslo, Norway to present the nomination to the Nobel Peace Prize committee by bike.  We believe that bikes are a vehicle for social justice, and that they can be tools for gender equity and social activism.  We couldn’t be prouder to see the bike’s recognition and the recognition of the Afghan women that ride.


photo by Deni Bechard

Afghan Cycling US Tour


We are in the initial stages of bringing several Afghan cyclists to the United States next summer for a cultural exchange and training camp.  We are excited to work with the law firm Hogan Lovells who is helping us with the logistics and has officially come on as a sponsor of the team to assist in the expenses of getting the team to the US for training camps, coaching clinics, and community rides.

The idea?  Expose these young women to cycling at its highest level with trips to Philadelphia to watch a World Championship women’s race, introduce them to top coaches, professional racers, and visit the US Olympic Training Center.  We also plan to have their participation at several Afghan Cycles screenings after it premieres so that they can take the stage and own their own story.

At the same time, we aim to build long term support of these young women in the communities that support cycling and have supported our work in Afghanistan.  This is an opportunity to engage with these young women directly in community rides and some private events.  We will be organizing fundraisers and rides primarily in Colorado and California, but there may be some east coast venues as well.

We are raising the funds necessary to bring 6-8 girls here for one month and during that time we will also be discussing opportunities and next steps with the team. One goal is to coordinate further education with two of the members that would like to be trained as coaches.  They are studying to be sports trainers at Kabul University, but getting them trained as cycling coaches could provide a job source and longevity with the women’s team looking ahead.

We are excited to engage the Mountain2Mountain audience and community to welcome these young women to the US next summer.  If you want to contribute to support getting the girls here you can donate at

If you want to volunteer your time, open your home, or ride with the girls while they are here, we will be coordinating that effort once we know dates and logistics.  Stay tuned and thank you for believing in this program and these young women.