A huge thank you to everyone who contributed to my online crowdfunding page! Even though I only raised a fraction of what I was going for, your help is still huge, and without it, my training plans would've been very difficult. I am super excited to take part in plenty of races over the summer, and work under a long-term training regimen. On that note, I have a few exciting updates to share.
First, a slightly unpleasant change of plans: I can't go to Colorado anymore because it costs a lot more than I have managed to raise. Instead, I will be staying in Vermont this summer. But I am I am equally pumped and grateful for this opportunity because I will be living, and training near the infamous Kingdom Trails in the North East Kingdom, a very beautiful and mountainous part of Vermont. I was there last summer for about ten days, and I had a blast. Such friendly people, and the trails are amazing. There is everything from easy and flowy single-track to very steep and technical trails. What makes the KT so special is the strong community it has grown over the couple of decades since its existence. Most of the trails are built on people's private lands, which has resulted to this great relationship between the local community, and people who use and maintain the trails. I can't wait to ride there more, make friends in the community, and share with them my passion to grow mountain biking in Afghanistan.
I still want to go to Colorado, but I will leave that for the future, perhaps next year. The Rocky Mountains have so many more and technically different trails, the high altitude results to better fitness, and the biking community is very strong. It also reminds me of Afghanistan because of its tall mountains and drier sunny weather. I haven't been home for two years now, and Colorado strangely gives me the feeling of home. Riding in New England's frequent rains is what I have to get used to this summer, but other than that, I am pumped to spend nearly 4 months in the North East Kingdom.
During these months, I will be participating in plenty of mountain bike races all over New England. These are mostly USA Cycling sanctioned events, so that I can hopefully use race points to upgrade to higher competitive categories.. These races will be a good preparation ahead of the collegiate season beginning in September, which are the races I prioritize the most in terms of results.
I am only hoping my car which has close to 250K of mileage will keep running as smoothly as it has so far. Without it, I will have a hard time getting myself to the races. If you happen to pray, please send a few good vibes its way too!
If you will be in the area, and wanna ride together, talk about bikes, and their potential to create change in disadvantaged and unequal communities (think girls not allowed to ride in Afghanistan), definitely hit me up!
Here is a video by Bike Magazine about the Kingdom Trails. It's becoming a must stop place for those who love mountain biking.
I am thrilled to race more, explore New England through cycling, and meet more folks in the greater cycling community. I will post frequent updates on my races here on the blog, and on my Instagram account. (Find Instagram icon to the right of the page to track my progress).