Monthly Archives: January 2016

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.

banner

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

#pedalarevolution

photo by Deni Bechard