The weather did not discourage bikers from appearing on Saturday at Milwalky’s 2nd World Naked Bike Ride.
More than 200 riders were still gathering to celebrate the summer nudist event as the clouds rushed into the city. Riding a “naked” bike with selectable outfits began at 4 pm, and the route passed through the Milwaukee Art Museum, the War Memorial Center, and two rounds of Lakeshore State Park.
“This is a rainy or brilliant event, so unless there is a tornado in the city, we will ride!” The organizer told participants before the event.
Milwaukee Naked Bike Ride participates in a global movement in over 200 cities from London to Madison. First held in Canada in 2004, the event was created by social activist, filmmaker and writer Conrad Schmidt to protest oil dependence and celebrate the human body.
After that, the message was simplified. “Love your body, love yourself” and “less gas, more ass” are popular slogans for a new generation of nude riders.
“I’m honored to be here,” said Kurt Ide, a Milwaukee resident who took part in the city’s first ride last year. “We are gathering everyone forever. There are so many negative things in this world that we will come together as a community as a (opposite) major oil company to promote equality.”
Locals aren’t the only bikers in the city. 64-year-old Florida-based Mark Hartmann participated in naked bike rides in Madison, Austin, Chicago and New Orleans.
“The best part is to see the reaction from the audience. Many of them expect us and of course this vehicle is well advertised,” Hartman said. “On other vehicles, I’m surprised to catch people. The strangest thing I’ve seen in Madison last week is the guy who covered the kid’s eyes with one hand and videotaped us with the other. did!”
Organizer John Jankowski was the first to participate in the World Naked Bike Ride in St. Louis. Event leaders place great importance on physical acceptance. After seeing their vehicle in action, he realized that it was the kind of movement that Milwaukee needed. And certainly, there was also the interest of the inhabitants.
Jankowski and his team of volunteers have worked for over a year to organize safe routes, plan event celebrations, and find a place to host bike riders. They are already preparing for next year.
“We are very transparent. There are other bike rides all over the country that start in the alley or in someone’s backyard. That’s a naughty feeling,” explained Jankowski. “We’re not about it. When I start this, you can see the name, place, and date. We include everyone. People from all walks of life who are nudists. There is! “
The pre-ride event at the Enlightened Brewing Company was attended by yoga, live bands, and especially more than 12 local vendors.
Rachel Dagan, a Milwaukee-based illustrator and owner of RAD illustrations, has decided to set up a booth at the event to provide her custom “booty” portraits. Duggan said the event seemed to be the perfect customer for her business, although she was more accustomed to receiving photo references than the actual model.
“This is my first nudist event … Usually at the events I do, people wear their favorite jeans and dresses. For nude portraits, order online,” said Duggan. .. “But people are very comfortable here and I feel comfortable when I put on and take off my clothes.”
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This article was originally published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: World Naked Bike Ride 2002 is coming to Milwaukee