Afghan Cycles

I complain that the roads are wet, that the trails are muddy, that my fingers are frozen.  I get frustrated that bikes don't fit me or that I can only get dumb girly colors.  When the weekend rolls around I am torn between a beautiful ride out west, a beautiful ride out east or a beautiful ride down south.  Riding on the roads, I worry about speeding Prius's and getting cat called.  On the trails I worry about keeping up with the boys and pushing my limits without breaking my face or my bike.  And of course, sometimes something comes along and reminds me that all of this is trivial.Afghan Cycles started out as a kickstarter project earlier this year, and they have just released a trailer on vimeo.  The film follows members of the Afghan Women's National Cycling Team and promises to provide an insight into the women's lives, on and off the bike.  According to the film's website, it "is a first hand account of history in the making, where the stronger these teammates become on the bike, the more powerful they will be to lead their country out of depression, poverty and terrorism".  That seems like a pretty ambitious claim, and while these women are indeed facing incredible obstacles (certainly much worse than cold fingers or not being able to afford carbon),  I'm skeptical about cyclings ability to cause a cultural revolution.  What I do see from the preview is women using bikes to feel empowered and confident, to build friendships and camaraderie, be fit and have a good time.  And its humbling to be reminded that really, isn't that why we all ride bikes in the first place?



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