MTB Ayiti Stage One: Mosaics!
It’s hard to overstate how dynamic and ambitious the MTB Ayiti project is. It’s a bike race, sure, but the overall vision reaches far beyond competition or shredding gnarly trails. At the end of the day, founder Philip Kiracofe’s dream is to create an entire system of trails that spans the vast mountainous regions of Haiti, enabling locals to offer an enticing adventure tourist experience that allows them to see the natural beauty and spirit of this incredible place (driving tourism dollars and creating economic opportunities for many Haitians for whom few currently exist).
We spent the day at with artist Laurel True learning the art of mosaic and creating artwork and signage. A large 6′ square piece will be installed in the coastal town of Jacmel (where the race will end on Saturday) while smaller mosaics about 18″ square will be embedded in large concrete markers that will be dotted along the trail system that Kiracofe envisions. It’s a big dream with plenty of obstacles to overcome (but doesn’t every big dream worth dreaming come with an equally large set of obstacles?) and Kiracofe is intent of bringing it to fruition.
I’m surrounded by a pack of kind, talented impressive people, from Hans Rey to Amy King. Amy is the kind of person who lights up every room she walks into and Hans? Well, Hans is flat out legendary. Jenny Fletcher, a pro triathlete who got her first mountain bike lesson last week, is also here to take on the Haitian mountains alongside pro endurance mountain biker Sonya Looney (my roommate!!)
More on this amazing group later, for now some photos from today’s marathon mosaic session at El Saieh Gallery.