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Middlebury College grad to bike up the Appalachian Gap 21 times

Published: Jul. 25, 2021 at 6:29 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 25, 2021 at 7:16 PM EDT
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WAITSFIELD, Vt. (WCAX) - A local athlete is preparing for the bike ride of his life, for a cause close to his heart. This week, Farid Noori will be climbing the highest peak in Afghanistan right here in Vermont.

Farid Noori wears many hats, or should we say helmets? He’s a competitive cyclist and a Middlebury College graduate, but first and foremost, he is a proud Afghan doing everything he can to support his home country.

“I’m climbing a hill until I reach the elevation of Mount Naw Shakh, which is what brings us to the Appalachian Gap here in Vermont,” said Noori, standing on Route 17.

Mount Naw Shakh is Afghanistan’s highest peak, towering at an elevation of 24,580 feet. Noori is going to ride up and down the Appalachian Gap 21 times on Tuesday to simulate the altitude of Mount Naw Shakh. He anticipates it will take him from dawn until dusk to complete the climb.

On May 8, a terrorist bombed a girls’ school in Noori’s hometown of Kabul, killing 100 and injuring twice as many.

Noori is completing this challenge with the goal of raising $24,580 to donate to the school.

“I had a student that I mentored online who was injured in the attack. When the attack happened, I knew I wanted to dedicate this challenging ride, the most difficult ride I will ever do, to the school and the students,” said Noori.

While this ride will be grueling, Noori is no stranger to overcoming adversity. Ironically, he wasn’t allowed to bike while growing up in Afghanistan.

“We were either always moving to escape the war in Afghanistan, and my parents were afraid of cycling, so they never let me do it, but I learned in secret,” said Noori.

Noori’s close friends will join him in solidarity on Tuesday. Warren Galloway, an old teammate of Noori’s, is participating by cycling the distance equivalent of a 15,000-foot summit.

“I can not only try to get good at a sport and enjoy it and make it a part of my life but also use it to help other people as well,” said Galloway.

Noori says he will keep the victims and the student survivors in his thoughts the entire day. They’ve vowed to continue going to school, instead of living in fear. So, he hopes by sharing their story, he’ll encourage others to donate to the cause.

“It is important that we don’t forget about this one because it was an assault on our future generation and female education,” said Noori.

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