Rolling in for Pride

Girdano’s bike trek ends with reception, parade

PEDAL TO THE METTLE | Girdano will arrive back in Dallas just in time to roll in for the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade. (Photo courtesy Michael Jackson)

Not every journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step — sometimes, there’s pedaling involved.

That’s how Danielle Girdano is finding her way to Dallas Pride: Atop two wheels and a lot of guts.

Girdano set out with her Ride the Arc tour earlier this summer to raise awareness about (and money for) teen suicide, especially among gay youth. Her mission: A 1,200-mile bicycle ride from the Midwest, ending in Dallas just in time for the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade.

Her mammoth trek ends Saturday, as she rides down Cedar Springs Road, alighting at the finish line between the Round-Up Saloon and TMC at 5 p.m.

“We are planning a huge street reception,” says Alan Pierce, co-owner of the Round-Up. “Gay Bingo is that same night, so we are going to divert the waiting line to get into bingo to keep them on the street a few minutes longer. [We want] a show of unity of the [gay] community for what Danielle has accomplished.”

Squeezing the brakes won’t be the end of Girdano’s feat by any means. On Saturday night, she’ll be welcomed at two after-parties (one for 21-and-under at Buli, one for 21-and-up at the Round-Up); then on Saturday, she will help inaugurate the parade by re-crossing the finish line in front of the judges’ stand.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 17, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens