Victoria’s first Solidarity Ride shows support for Afghan women

="Victoria Solidarity Ride"

Members of the Afghan National Women’s Cycling Team train for the Asian Games being held in
South Korea this September.

When Capt Ingrid Walker saw how limited women’s choices were during her 2012-13 tour in Afghanistan, she started looking for a way to make a difference.

The search didn’t take long. In the course of her deployment, she stumbled across Mountain2Mountain, a charity dedicated to helping women and girls in conflicted regions around the world.

“It’s an organization that I discovered completely by chance while I was on tour, working with the NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan (NTM-A) in Kabul from November 2012 to May 2013,” says Capt Walker.

She immediately began to support the charity and has now organized Victoria’s first Global Solidarity Ride to raise awareness and funds for the grassroots organization.

On Aug. 30, she invites all women to hop on the saddle of their bicycles and ride from Mattick’s Farm to Ogden Point. The ride starts at 10 a.m.

The one-way 25.7 km ride is open to anyone who wants to join and Capt Walker is encouraging those who have served in Afghanistan, in particular, to participate.

There is no registration fee.

Riders are instead encouraged to donate to the Mountain2Mountain website,

“For me, it’s a way to continue my relationship with the Afghan people, albeit from a distance,” says Capt Walker of her involvement with the charity.

“I worked with Afghan women quite a bit in my role as a Human Resources Gender Integration Mentor and was left with an enduring admiration for their courage, tenacity and resilience.

It seemed short sighted to end my commitment to women in Afghanistan, simply because my tour was over.”

Mountain2Mountain uses the bicycle, a symbol of freedom of movement, as its vehicle for changing minds and improving women’s lives.

It’s something most Afghan women are denied access to in their daily lives, though a few of them dare to buck convention.

They include the Afghan Women’s National Cycling team, which Mountain2Mountain supports by providing gear and training assistance.

The Solidarity Ride shows support to these and other Afghan women.

Mountain2 Mountain was founded in 2006 by athletic trainer Shannon Galpin, who wanted to see all women and girls in the world have the same opportunities she and her daughter have.

For more information about the Victoria ride visit the Facebook event page , or email

To learn more about Mountain2Mountain program and events, visit

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