Imagine if your wife, sister, or daughter was prohibited from riding a bicycle. Imagine if you competed in a sport which was controlled by organizations that included virtually no representation by the athletes. Imagine if you could actually carry something besides yourself on a bicycle. Well, imagine no more, because this week’s Outspoken Cyclist features all three of these very real stories.
It would be easier to describe what Les Earnest hasn’t done than what he has done, but suffice it to say that you’re reading this on a computer because of at least one of Les’ many discoveries. He also happens to be a walking encyclopedia of the history of competitive cycling governance in the U.S., and an active participant in organizations such as the USCF and USA Cycling. His efforts have focused on improving racer representation in the sport’s governing bodies.
Shannon Galpin is a National Geographic 2013 Adventurer of the Year for her work with women in Afganistan. Specifically, Shannon runs an organization called Mountain 2 Mountain which is helping put women on bikes in a country where the culture prohibits it. And these women aren’t “just riding around” they’re training and racing with the goal of fielding an Olympic team.
Lastly, we meet Ben Sarrazin of Yuba Cargo Bikes. Ben grew up in France, and was inspired by seeing people using bikes for transportation. During summer kayaking trips to the U.S., he saw an opportunity to create and sell transportation and cargo bikes here in the ‘States. From cupcakes to kayaks, a cargo bike can help you get it (and you) where you want to go.