Hello, my name is Aishola, I am a 25-year-old sport enthusiast from Kyrgyzstan. This August I am about to cycle a gruelling 1880km bikepacking race through the Tian Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan — the Silk Road Mountain Race. Together with another female rider Aiperi, we will become the first ever female riders from Kyrgyzstan. This is an unsupported ultra-distance bikepacking race through the passes reaching 4000m in altitude, with 15 days to complete it. It is a tough race and my ultimate goal is to come to the finish line and celebrate the journey with you.
Why is it important for me to compete in the race?
Women in Kyrgyzstan face significant challenges in pursuing their athletic dreams due to ‘societal and cultural norms’ that often limit the opportunities for women to participate in sports, especially in remote areas, and many of us are forced to give up the ambitions due to lack of resources and support. This situation is unfortunate, as I believe that sports is a powerful tool for empowerment and can provide opportunities for personal growth and development. I want to shed light on the lack of support for women in sports in Kyrgyzstan and aim to inspire a change in cultural attitudes towards women’s freedom of movement.
I have been purchasing necessary items, paying the entry fee and my training from the humble salary and savings I own. However, the race is expensive and I need your support. Your donations will help me to lessen the financial and material barrier, and will let me purchase durable camping gear – a tent, a sleeping bag to keep me warm in -8C (-17F) environment, ultralight cookware, technical equipment, tools and repair kit, and a GPS device. It will also help me to cover shipping of the parcel to Kyrgyzstan and have a warm meal and a night in a guest house during the race. Your donations will help me to get to the start line and be fully equipped for the 15-day-bikepacking race in August 2023.
After the event all this gear and the money left will serve as a bank to support all the future female riders from Kyrgyzstan at the Silk Road Mountain Race to help them to pursue their athletic dreams and stand for the freedom of women's rights of physical movement.
List of gear:
Spark Ultralight Sleeping Bag (880 g) – 549USD
Ultralight Air Sleeping Mat (360 g) – 119USD
FreeLite 1-Person Ultralight Backpacking Tent (740 g) – 419USD
OmniLite Ti Multifuel Stove Kit (340 g) – 210USD
Sea to Summit Alpha Pot + titanium spoon (210 g) – 95USD
Tools & Repair kit (multitool, tubes, pocket knife, etc.) – apx 100USD
Technical equipment (lights, power banks, batteries, etc.) – apx 100USD
GPS device (2) – 160USD
International shipping to Kyrgyzstan – apx 250USD
GoFundMe fees - 70USD
My plan is to make a documentary film that will take you on a journey through the rugged terrain of the Silk Road Mountain Race in Kyrgyzstan. It will be a story of the two first ever female riders from Kyrgyzstan, pedalling through passes reaching 4000m in altitude, while enduring many challenges including harsh weather, flat tires, sleep deprivation.
The film will be a celebration of adventure, exploration and the beauty of nature. Through our eyes, we will show how cycling brings people together, inspires them to push beyond their limits, and creates a sense of community and shared purpose. I hope that our story will serve as an inspiration for aspiring athletes in Kyrgyzstan and around the world as it shows the transformative power of sport and the human spirit. And with YOUR immense support, I know, it will be possible!
What's in it for you?
- As well as the noble act of supporting the first ever female riders, and spreading awareness on women's freedom of physical movement in Kyrgyzstan, all who support this initiative will be part of the journey of the production of this film, and receive regular updates on social media as the project starts.
- I will also provide all contributors with a link to be the first to watch the film online once it is eventually completed and launched.
- You will also have your name mentioned in the credits at the end of the film. (If you do not wish to have your name mentioned in the credits, please just let me know via the comment).
Thank you so much for taking the time to read and showing your interest in supporting my initiative for the race and the documentary. Check out the website and route details for The Silk Road Mountain Race here https://www.silkroadmountainrace.com/.
Aishola from Kyrgyzstan
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