taking Polartec down the Silk Road

When I’m riding my bike along the Silk Road this coming fall, you can bet I won't be stashing cash in my bike handlebars again. Instead, thanks to the Polartec® Challenge Grant, I'll store money in the cozy pockets of Polartec®-equipped gear. My expedition partner Mel and I just recently found out that our upcoming expedition, Cycling Silk, won one of Polartec's 2010 expedition grants.

For years now I've religiously checked up on the winners of these grants, tracked their expeditions from afar, longed to follow in their footsteps or, better yet, pick up where they left off and push on further. Past winners have included Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, Steve House, and many more – heroes and pioneers, forces of awe and inspiration. And now we get to join their ranks. Or at least wear the same sweet Polartec clothing.

The only thing I have unwaveringly aspired to be in my life is an explorer. Drawn to distant poles and other planets, adventure and romance, hardship and regions of difficult beauty, I am marked by what writer Ellen Meloy identified in herself as "a rage for wandering." While the great generalists of the Age of Exploration had patrons and kings to fund their expeditions, us modern-day wannabe explorers rely on the generosity and vision of folks like those at Polartec. I can’t thank them enough for supporting us through the Polartec Challenge Grant, and I can’t wait to take Polartec on this harsh and beautiful sojourn down the Silk Road.

You can read the Polartec press release here. We also got some love from Outside magazine here.

Descent on our previous cycling trip in China.

Kate HarrisComment