The Redbeard Blog / afghan cycles

  • Afghan Cycles: Breaking Barriers on Two Wheels


    Our friend Shannon Galpin shares the trailer of Afghan Cycles, a fantastic feature length documentary about a new generation of young Afghan women pushing gender and cultural barriers by riding bicycles.

    These women are using the bicycle as a vehicle for freedom and social change. The 
    Women’s National Cycling Team of Afghanistan has taken shape over the last few years, but women cycling remains a taboo in the country. Although cycling is not technically illegal for women in Afghanistan, it is viewed in the same light as morality crimes for which Afghan women can be incarcerated.

    Despite these great challenges, women's club teams are forming in Kabul and the countryside. Afghan Cycles captures the stories of these dynamic Afghan women, ages sixteen to twenty-two. They need your help to spread word of their incredible journeys.

    Watch the Kickstarter video and the trailer, donate if you can, and share with your people! 

  • Loss of funding for Afghan Women's Cycling Team

    We are DEVASTATED to learn that 2 major sponsors of the Afghan Women's National Cycling Team pulled funding, citing the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

    As Shannon writes in an essay on Adventure Journal:

    "[They] censored themselves and abandoned their social responsibility. Their company could have driven social change in a positive way, with a unique opportunity, as it once promised, but it didn’t. Rather, it let down a team of young women who are all too well-versed in disappointment and threats, and gave in to fear. The girls will get by, of course; a loss of funding hurts, but it pales compared to the threats they face every day."

    Shannon, whose nonprofit, Mountain 2 Mountain​, has been working to grow the team, spoke at Redbeard Bikes in the fall.

    We are proud that Liv Cycling USA remains a sponsor.

    If you believe, as we do, in the power of bicycles to change the world for the better, please share this post. And please reach out to Mountain 2 Mountain, if you are able to offer financial support.

    Photo credit: Deni Bechard via Adventure Journal

     --Kasia Nikhamina

  • What You Missed This Weekend!

    The Redbeard Bikes crew had so much fun on the road this weekend. We were lucky to have empty-ish roads due to the Labor Day weekend and mostly respectful drivers.

    On Saturday morning we rode to the sea to show our solidarity with the Afghan Women's Cycling Team! We were one of many solidarity rides held around the world on this day.

    We rode from DUMBO to the end of the Coney Island Boardwalk and back again -- 25 miles all told. Eva, Claudia, Anna, Guy, Diego, Andrei -- loved riding with you! So happy we made it before 10 AM so we could ride on the Boardwalk. 

    On Friday, 9/19, Redbeard Bikes will host a book launch for Shannon Galpin, author of Mountain2Mountain, producer of Afghan Cycles, and National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. Shannon was key in creating the Afghan Women's Cycling Team and securing sponsorship from Liv/Giant!

    Stay tuned for the invite...meantime, watch the Afghan Cycles trailer and this great interview with Shannon.

    On Sunday morning, we rode over the George Washington Bridge and up River Road to the Ranger Station. We returned via 9W. We were lucky to have an overcast sky most of the way. No rain. We just kept our eyes on the hills! Thanks to Brendan, Rich, Charly, and Adam for the good spirits all 50 miles.

    Meanwhile in Queens...the NYS Track Championships happened at the Kissena Velodrome. We were sad to miss the day of races, but p
    hotographer Jesse Lash makes us feel like we were there -- check out the full album. Congratulations to our friend and designer, Ros Knopov, of Kissena, and his teammate Michael Perlberg, who took second and first.

  • Redbeard Ride to the Sea 8/30 - in solidarity with the Afghan Women's Cycling Team

    Ride with us on Saturday, August 30th, to show our support of the Afghan Women's Cycling Team, and to celebrate the human right to ride a bike!

    Watch the trailer for "Afghan Cycles" to hear the team's inspiring story.

    Meet at Redbeard Bikes in DUMBO, Brooklyn, at 7:30 AM to fill our tires & water bottles & get to know each other a bit. The ride gets rolling at 8 AM and returns to the shop by 11 AM.

    Why the sea? Because the sea is freedom.

    Our route will take us along the Brooklyn Navy Yard, down Vanderbilt, through Prospect Park, through the quiet streets of Victorian Ditmas Park, Midwood and south Brooklyn, until we reach the sea. Why the sea? Because the sea is freedom.

    We'll return by a slightly different way, north on Ocean Parkway.

    Riders of all levels are welcome. This is a no-drop ride; we will rest at reds. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

    Don't live in New York? Folks all over the world are organizing Global Solidarity Rides, too. Check out the list here. If there's no ride in your city -- make one!

    Liv/giant and Mountain2Mountain are sponsors of the Afghan Women's Cycling Team and their bid for the 2020 Olympics.

    Ride details can also be found on BikeNYC.org.


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