Consider this your reminder that on Saturday, September 11, Milwaukee will join cities worldwide in hosting its first World Naked Bike Ride. Participants in the clothing-optional, “bare as you dare” ride will meet at Boone & Crockett (818 S. Water St.) at 11 a.m. for yoga and body painting. The ride itself will get underway at 1 p.m., and will follow a pre-planned route between 12 and 15 miles long.
There’s no fee or registration. Just show up with a bike. Or any non-gas-powered transportation. Like, literally, that’s all you need. (And yes, it’s legal—as long as everyone sticks together.)
The international ride—which dates back to 2004—bills itself as promoting “body positivity, cyclist awareness, and energy independence.” And yes, according to OnMilwaukee, local organizers “will also acknowledge the 20-year anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy before the ride.” Phew.
Actually, sorry for that last bit of snark. This event sounds fun. It sounds positive. In a world of never-ending hate and fear, it sounds nice. Personally speaking, I (Matt) have been lost in a cloud of sorrow and anger for the past six days. (Jesus, this summer has been cruel to the people I love.) Maybe something like this will help me out of it. For real. Halfway into typing the first paragraph I suddenly thought: “Huh. Maybe I should do this.” I’ve never done anything like this before. Not even the underwear bike rides that have been going on for years. I have a bike. I have a body. Why not tool around town in the buff? And seriously, who gives a shit about being naked? There’s nothing sexual about this event, nothing titillating. It sounds sweet. It sounds good. And goddamnit, I would do anything to feel good again. Or better, at least.
So I dunno, maybe I’ll see you there. Be well, Milwaukee. Tell the people you love how much you love them. Hold nothing back. Bare as you dare.