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Rolling forward

Rolling forward


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 drastically.

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 coming-out group.

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.

Our annual 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.

It's 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.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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Andrea Meyerson