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 Mountain2Mountain, will bring the gear back to the country this spring.
Galpin has mountain biked in Afghanistan for several years. She said she learned about the country's men's cycling team last fall.
"They have been racing in Kabul on road and dirt, with a motley arrangement of gear and various road and sport bikes," she wrote on her blog. "They have one sponsor which helps with jerseys, but otherwise, no other support. They have a real love of the sport, racing in Kabul and in Pakistan. Several mentioned their hope to compete one day in the Olympics."
Galpin said she has never seen a woman riding in Afghanistan, but she has learned of the existence of a women's team with 10 to 12 members. She said there are perhaps 70 women riders in the country.
Participating shops in Colorado are Salvagetti Bicycle Workshop (Denver); Boulder Cycle Sport (Boulder); Rise Above Cycles (Golden); Podium Sports (Frisco) and the Osprey Packs headquarters in Cortez. In Aspen, the new clothing brand Shredly is donating clothing.
Abington Wheel Works, in Abington, Pennsylvania, also is participating and several shops in Texas are planning to join in.
The gear drive is from February 15 through March 15. Organizers said they are hoping to gather helmets, pedals, shoes, cleats, saddles, chamois, long pants, jerseys, gloves, jackets, windbreakers, sunglasses, socks, tools, tubes, tires, lube, and pumps. Lightly used old gear and new gear is welcomed. The equipment can be for mountain bikes or road bikes.
Framebuilder Alchemy Bicycles will have a donation box at its display at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Denver next week.