GLBT awareness bicycle trek takes woman through Oklahoma City 

In order to bring awareness to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (GLBT) rights issues, one woman has embarked on a journey that only two others have completed, and it's taking her through the Sooner State.

Ride the Arc resulted from a dream Danielle Girdano had after being laid off from her job. When she woke up one day, she knew what she wanted to do: Bike across the nation's heartland, traveling north to south.

"They told me I was too old, too fat, and I wasn't even a professional," Girdano said. "But I wanted something that was genuinely difficult that mirrored our struggle as a community."

The purpose of the ride is to inform people of the high suicide rates present among the GLBT community, as well as publicize safe houses and places of refuge for those seeking help.

She started the trek on Aug. 9 in Minneapolis, and has since gone through Iowa, Kansas and for a quick stop in Oklahoma City. Ride the Arc is scheduled to conclude Sept. 18 in Dallas. The last 10 miles of the ride will be a group ride for participants to show their support. Although she is on track to become the first woman " and fastest rider " to complete the course, Girdano says that is not why she is doing any of this.

"I don't want people to get caught up in the single rider, because it's not about me," she said. "It's about all of us metaphorically and physically crossing that proverbial finish line together."

For more information, visit "Ta'Chelle Jones

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