Founder Bio

National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, Shannon Galpin, and founder of the non profit organization Mountain2Mountain has created a unique space as a ‘disturber’.  She founded Mountain2Mountain ( in 2007 and focused her efforts on women’s rights in conflict zones.  After years of working in women’s prisons and with girls education, she realized that her strength and passion was in activism and changing perceptions.  She created the groundbreaking Streets of Afghanistan exhibition as a life-size photography exhibition that was eventually set up in the streets and public spaces in Afghanistan as a pop up street art installation.  Currently living in Colorado and a passionate single speed mountain biker, Shannon became the first person to mountain bike in Afghanistan in 2009, and the first person to cross the Panjshir Valley by bike in 2010.  She has continued to challenge the gender barriers that have prevented Afghan women from riding in various parts of the country until finally she found the first women attempting to ride, and doing it as part of the national cycling team.  She supports the team and this spring will be creating two new women’s teams in Bamiyan province to help expand the cycling movement.  Shannon is the producer on the upcoming documentary, Afghan Cycles, about the women’s national cycling team.  Her memoir, Mountain to Mountain:  A journey of Adventure and Activism for the Women of Afghanistan, comes out September 16, 2014 with St. Martin’s Press.  She has spoken globally about the power of voice and upon the TEDx stage including her first talk at TEDxMileHigh about the Perception of Victimhood and the Power of Voice which illustrates the backbone of all the work she does:

Shannon is currently working on her first book, Mountain to Mountain:  A Journey of Activism and Adventure for the Women of Afghanistan to release September 16, 2014 with St. Martin’s Press.

You can contact Shannon at:

14 thoughts on “Founder Bio

  1. hugh snyder says:

    Well Shannon, I am truly humbled by your efforts.I just noticed a small post from Niner bikes about your ride in Afghanistan .Obviously you are much more than a mtn biker.
    It may interest you to look up it is a small humanitarian organization that helps provide emergency aid around the world but has created food for people programs where they provide self sustaining structures to prepare cook and feed children and adults of need in India ,Nepal and most recently I believe in Ghana Africa.
    The contact person would be Linda Piscato.Perhaps you could find ways to partner with each other.I do not represent them in any way I am just a supporter and student of the founder a man named Prem Rawat
    I hope to share your efforts with friends of mine ,especially women friends who no doubt will be inspired by your efforts.
    Lastly how would one help contribute to your efforts .I see no provision to make a donation on this page.May Peace be with You.Hugh

  2. Shannon Galpin says:

    Hugh, thank you, I’m touched you took the time to reach out. Our website is and if you felt so inclined, yes, support for our projects would be an amazing help. Thank you as well for sharing TPRF – I’ll check them out! Many many thanks.

  3. robert porte says:

    Fantastic! My name is Robert Porte and I live in Portland , Oregon. I met Anna Brones at Powell’s books where I currently work. I am an artist and have returned recently from Vietnam where I began a photo project similar in intent and nature as yours. In a quick exchange she described what and where she was going and I will be following yours and her project with great enthusiasm. For 25yrs I have been exhibiting in the us and Europe. the commercial/gallery art world has left me feeling pretty vacant. Ai Wei Wei said that (I paraphrase) “theater is where the highest art is…” and having also been involved in the theater and performance art I agree. But the stage is on the streets of the world. Photography and other digital media is one way to bring communion through art and it’s theater to the people. To make the world a smaller place, because really as you must feel, perched on your bike high above some desert, it is.
    All the best Shannon and I will spread your word.

  4. Wow…You are truly an amazing person. I have so much respect for the work you undertake in providing a voice for the voiceless. Good luck with your work, and I hope to read more entries 🙂

  5. […] BOULDER, CO (BRAIN) — Bike shops in Colorado and Pennsylvania are gathering donated gear for the Afghanistan cycling team. Mountain biker activist Shannon Galpin, the founder of… […]

  6. […] Pennsylvania are gathering donated gear for the Afghanistan cycling team. Mountain biker activist Shannon Galpin, the founder of Mountain2Mountain, will bring the gear back to the country this […]

  7. Cassandra Coghill says:

    Thank you for coming to speak to us at NDSU. You are a truly inspiring person. It’s nice to be confronted with the reality that it really is possible to make a difference and to be reminded that change always starts with something small! Keep up the good work, beautiful woman!! 🙂

  8. CannondaleLover says:

    Shannon. Simply put, well done. Keep up the amazing work you are doing, it makes a difference to those that really matter. Being a part of both a local road bike club and mountain bike club I would like to assist in any way I can. A close personal firend of mine owns the local shop and I am confident that if I approached him we could set up a donation center at the shop and see what we can collect for the cause. It is the least any cyclist can do, help others enjoy the sport. Hope to hear from you and again, well done.

    Best regards,


  9. pulpfictionme says:

    This is the most AMAZING blog I have stumbled upon yet. I look forward to following you guys, supporting where I can and spreading the word. Keep being awesome.

  10. Karl Drobnic says:

    I look forward to your book. I was in Afghanistan in the late Sixties and again in the early Seventies, and have many exceptional memories of that place in those times. I wonder if you met the late Carla Grissmann, my good friend who spent about 50 years in Kabul, and played a key role in saving the Baktrian gold from being looted during the Taliban years. Like you, Afghanistan lodged deep in her soul from her first visit, and much good flowed from that well-spring over the ensuing decades.

  11. Shannon Galpin says:

    Thanks so much Karl, I appreciate the support! I never had the pleasure of meeting Carla, but I have heard the story of the Bactrian gold and I wish I had had the opportunity to know her.

  12. Aryadeep says:

    Thank you, Shannon, for carving out a different path for yourself and for the young Afghan women. This is great – to uplift the spirit of people because then one has the strength to meet the harsh realities of life.

    I reside in an international community of Auroville in south India where some 2200 people from more than 40 countries live and work. Naturally, we do have people who love cycling and occasionally go out in a team for a long ride. I shall be glad if you could make it to Auroville someday. Community’s stated ideals include “youth that never ages” and “unending education”. You live in the spirit of those ideals. Hence people here will be glad to hear you, to meet you and even perhaps to join your efforts one way or another.

    Look forward to your book.

  13. Parvin says:

    Thank you so much for your efforts on women’s rights, and especially for Afghan women. I appreciate your work and courage. Looking forward to read your book.

    And could you please let us know if we can join the Afghan cycling team and how? I am Parvin from Kabul, Afghanistan with the past cycling experience who is eagerly following all updates regarding the Afghan female cycling.

    Hope to hear from you,

    Many thanks,

  14. keri says:

    Hey Shannon. It’s great to read about the work you’re doing in Afghanistan. I also have a passion for that nation. I’ve read several articles about the way that Western women are perceived in Afghanistan and have seen the two ends of the spectrum being that..women are seen as an “honorary man” and so the rules that women are generally required to fall under are suspended because of the woman being foreign…and then some people are also falling under every rule that the local women are under and are in essence, just as restricted.

    Do you believe you have the respect of men in Afghanistan? What are your experiences with this? Do you have more of a voice as a woman because you are foreign?

    I have a visible tattoo, and I was wondering if something like that falls under the same kind of category in that culture as riding a bike would. Do you see these cultural things changing along with women progressively riding bikes? Would you feel respected if you had a visible tattoo just as you ride bikes freely?

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