Motorcycle Mama

By Hannah Wallace March 31, 2008

Real estate broker Marsha Wolak is an unabashed biker chick—so enamored of the sport of motorcycling that she founded the nonprofit charitable organization, Diva Angels, three years ago and has turned it into a national organization with seven chapters.

Some 50 women from all walks of life—business owners, teachers, even a children’s book author—belong to the Gulf Coast chapter, which encompasses Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties. They host charity poker runs and breakfast rides, and travel together to bike festivals around Florida. And they host an annual baby shower that supports new mothers at First Step.

A member of the Sarasota Board of Realtors for 18 years who started her eponymous real estate auction company in 2007 (she often encourages prospective home buyers to ride on the back of her motorcycle to see properties), Wolak says Diva Angels belie the stereotypical motorcycle mama image. “I can’t even fix a nail when it breaks,” she says with a laugh. “I have some good stories I wouldn’t want in the paper about my lack of mechanical skills. It’s more about the sisterhood. We’re just like family. Enjoying the sport of biking is just one thing we have in common.”

Wolak vividly remembers the day in late 2003 when she fell in love with motorcycling. “I had never entertained the thought of riding,” she says, “My brother always had the biggest, baddest bikes; he put me on the back and scared me to death. But I had a rental property, and one day the tenant drove up to sign the papers on a Harley-Davidson 883 Sportster, the smallest one they make. She was a tiny blonde who weighed maybe a hundred pounds. I thought to myself, ‘if she can do this, I can do this.’ In fact, I ended up buying that exact bike from her.”

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