閃亮勇敢的新合作(原刊載於二輪寫手)

 

兩輪寫手的網站首頁

如同「絲路、茶路、摩托路」所云,原本為這次摩旅架的網站,即將走入歷史,於是把一些我寫的文章轉到這裡來。在已經完成摩旅之後,看看當時準備階段時所寫的文章,還頗有意趣。

題目「閃亮勇敢的新合作」,原載日期2011年3月1日。

七千多公里路,騎著摩托車,穿過高山和沙漠,這是勇敢了吧。可是我說啊,整個計畫中最勇敢的一環,還不在這兒。

美絲和我在決定合作之前,對彼此的了解其實不多。算算,在「二輪寫手」誕生之前,我們之間的聯繫也不過就是,幾封郵件、兩三通電話、一頓晚飯罷了,那餐飯還是和其他四個朋友一起吃的。

今年一月初,美絲說想要騎摩托車,在中國來個長程旅遊,閒閒對我提起「要不要一起來啊?」我想,「她還真膽大,她知道我這個人多少?」

又是幾封郵件,一通Skype,我居然決定參加了,我想,「我也膽大,上次騎摩托車,已經不知道是幾百年前的事了,人也一窮二白的,哪來的錢?再說,我們兩個真的對彼此有相知嗎?」

身為戶外嚮導和教育工作者,也參與過好多次,長達四個禮拜以上的野外登山隊,而這些隊伍的組成份子,通常在集合的那一天才互相認識。雖然說登山隊的組織嚴謹,目標明確,和一群人長時間親密相處,衝突總是難免。身為領隊的責任,就是常對團員提醒,問題要在小的時候就要反映,要不然啊,馬上就會像雪球一樣,在你不注意的時候,滾成大災難。

我認為,美絲和我的夥伴關係更具有挑戰性。萬里長馳本身,大概是四到六個星期,可是,加上前置和後置,幾個月是跑不掉的。我注意到美絲早期寫給我的幾封郵件中,也隱隱露出對於兩個人合作的猶豫心情。這樣也好,至少我們兩個,對於什麼是夥伴關係,有真實的認知。

我和美絲是在臉書上認識的,她是我朋友的朋友,我們三人都喜歡攀岩。我注意到她有個叫做 RockRipRoll Girl 的網站,在上頭,她發表對女性的訪談,而這些女性的共同點,是她們都對一些傳統上被男性主導的運動的熱愛,例如說攀岩、衝浪、滑板等等。我當時很興奮地寫信給她,稱讚她的熱忱。幾年前,我嘗試過建立一個戶外女性的社交網站,不過計畫是流產了。這封信,為她對我的訪談牽了線,而這個訪談,造就了我們今日的合作。

這麼說來,在決定合作之前,我還是對美絲有些許認識。她對於新事物有高度的好奇,愛好朋友,也像我一樣對於女性在所有領域都能擁有一片天,有絕對的信心。對我來說,找個夥伴,她已經符合最核心的條件。當然我們有很多不同的地方,我也知道在往後的日子裡,衝突歧異一定是難免。不過,那又怎麼樣?有爭執,解決就是了。而這樣的互動不也是有個夥伴珍貴的地方?事實上,前一陣子,我們倆才剛度過一個合作路上的小路障,而該個過程讓我們的關係又更深厚了一層。

現在,讓我舉起手邊的熱茶,向遠在數千里外的美絲致意,「我有信心,我們行的。」

Christine的網站,裡頭有很多相當不錯的訪談,訪談對象都是女性戶外運動從事者

英文版如下:

Riding through China. What a bold plan. However, the boldest part of this project lies beyond the ride itself.

Christine and I hardly knew each other before we decided to work as a team. Let’s see. Perhaps a few emails, a couple phone calls, and a brief dinner meeting with four other people. That was all the communication we had before the creation of the 2 Wheel Writers.

Early this January, she told me that she wanted to plan a long-distance ride in China and casually invited me along. “That was bold,” I thought, “she hardly knew me.”

I eventually made the commitment after exchanging a few more emails and a Skype call. “I am also brave,” I thought, “I’m pressed on funding, I haven’t ridden for years, and do we really know each other?”

Being an outdoor educator and a guide, I have done many month-long backcountry expeditions with a group of newly-mets. Even though a backcountry expedition usually has a very defined objective and leadership hierarchy and clear guidelines, living 24/7 with other people in a close proximity is still challenging. Group leaders would always remind the team members to speak up when an issue is small, otherwise, before one can notice, the issue has snowballed into a catastrophe.

I could only imagine the collaboration between Christine and me would be even more challenging. The ride itself takes 4-6 weeks; however, the scope of the ride, including the preparation and post-production, can be more than a few months. I noticed that Christine seemed to have similar concerns in her early emails. It was in fact a good sign that both of us are aware of what we have gotten ourselves into.

I met Christine on facebook. She was my friend’s friend. All three of us share one thing in common: we all are female rock climbers. I noticed that Christine hosts a website called RockRipRoll Girl where she publishes interviews with female athletes on sports traditionally dominated by men. I excitedly dropped her a message to praise her efforts on building such a website. A few years ago I wanted to build a social network for outdoor women but the project died prematurely. The contact with Christine led to an interview featured on her website on my love of climbing and my development of LittlePo Adventures, ultimately inspiring the Great Ride.

So I did have a little understanding about Christine – She likes to explore, make new friends, and is an advocate of recognizing women in male-dominated activities like I am. Those qualities provide the essential ingredients of a good partner I want to work with. We, of course, have many differences and I expect disagreements and arguments along the way. So what? We will deal. It is the beauty of a partnership anyway. In fact, we just went through a bump together and I felt that our relationship has grown stronger.

Right now, I am raising a cup of tea, making a toast to Christine who is a few thousand of miles away, “I am confident that we will do just fine.”

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