In November 2012, we had the pleasure of meeting several members of the Afghan Men’s National Cycling team and their coach, Coach Seddiq. Coach Seddiq told me about his work with the Women’s National Cycling Team, and introduced me to one of the riders, Maryam, who also worked with him as the team administrator. In a country that has considered women cycling taboo, now there were women not just riding bikes, but riding them publicly and competitively as part of a national team and with the blessing of the Afghan Olympic Committee.
Mountain2Mountain jumped in and started with the first step of getting equipment, bikes, and gear to the mens and women’s teams. Spring 2013 we brought over 5 brand new racing bikes for the women’s team courtesy of Liv/giant, and over 350 pounds of donated cycling clothing and gear to distribute to the cycling federation.
During this trip, we traveled with the team for nearly three weeks along with the film crew of Let Media. Let Media founder and filmmaker, Sarah Menzies, and our founder, Shannon Galpin discussed this project in January and thanks to a Kickstarter campaign, got a film crew over to document these amazing women. With Sarah firmly at the helm as director, Whitney Conner Clapper of Side of the Road Sessions came with as co-director, Shannon came on as producer for the upcoming film, Afghan Cycles. The fabulous Colombian born photographer, Claudia Lopez joined the team to document the entire project and the team.
Now the crew digs into the post production, with the plan to premiere the film spring 2014 in the US and Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, the next steps for Mountain2Mountain and the Afghan Cycling Federation include a second gear drive, focused on indoor trainers, more racing bikes in both carbon and steel, coaching and training development, and raising the funds for a minibus that can help with the security and logistics that limit the time the girls are able to spend training on roads.
You can help support this ongoing project by donating gear and money. You can donate directly to Mountain2Mountain here: If you have new or lightly used cycling gear, bikes, helmets, indoor trainers, etc. You can ship them directly to us: please email firstname.lastname@example.org for shipping information.