BY Andrea Meyerson
November 21 2005 1:00 AM ET
The first Women
on a Roll bike ride began with about 40 women on August
5, 1995. I never imagined that ride would change my life so
After ending a
marriage, I was for the first time in my life ready to
fully accept and embrace my lesbian identity. I attended
every support group I could find: a bisexual support
group (which often included strippers and a
professional dominatrix); a somewhat militant
“lesbians only” support group (because I
had been married to a man, I had to do some smooth
talking to get into this one); and my favorite—a
I went to every
lesbian bar within a 50-mile radius. Although it was very
exciting to see women loving women in public and scantily
dressed women dancing for the pleasure of other women,
I didn’t have much success fulfilling my social
needs. So I did what any good lesbian would do—I
joined a softball team! Strutting onto the field for tryouts
in my brand-new cleats and glove, I was ready to play
ball. There was one problem—I sucked. I
didn’t get chosen to play. At that very minute I
started my own team, recruiting everyone who didn’t
get picked. I managed an all-lesbian softball team and
got us enrolled in an all-women league. I even got us
a sponsor. We may not have won many games (OK, any games),
but I got my lesbian social life off to a start.
I retired from
softball after two years and found myself still hungry for
the quality of life I knew as a
“heterosexual.” I had always loved
bicycling, and it was far less competitive than softball. So
I took out a classified ad in a local lesbian
publication: “New Bike Club Forming for
Women.” Within two months over 200 women responded.
All of our rides included some social aspect:
breakfast or lunch with time for conversation. Every
time I talked about going to see a concert or eating
at a new restaurant, everyone would say how fun it sounded.
I then realized that most women are just too busy to
plan their own social life—so I decided to do
it for them.
One of our first
noncycling events was a holiday party. It was a
celebration for everyone regardless of their religion or
background. I remember looking around the room,
watching 150 women engage in conversation, partners
feeling comfortable holding hands, new friends being
made, and romance developing. It gave everyone, myself
included, a true sense of belonging—a place to
celebrate without any compromises or conditions.
As time passed
and the popularity of the club grew, I decided to follow
my heart and leave my 15-year corporate career to run the
group full-time. Now in its 10th year, Women on a Roll
has reached more than 8,000 women and has served them
during all stages of their lives. No one is ever
alone—we are all part of this wonderful community.
holiday party continues to be one of our most popular
events, with approximately 400 guests attending every
year. It has become a “family reunion.”
More than 30 couples have met at the party and now call
it their anniversary.
interesting how my life’s path has offered so many
new paths for lesbian, bisexual, and transgender
women, and it all started on a bike path on a sunny
day in August 10 years ago.
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