First Annual ‘Bare as You Dare’ Bike Ride Draws Over 100 Participants [YouTube]
CAUTION: Video may be offensive to some viewers.
Missoula's first ever 'Bare as You Dare' bicycle ride took place on Sunday morning without incident, and an hour earlier than was publicized.
The event, organized by Anita Maddux, who asked not to be interviewed Sunday morning at Kiwanis Park, was attended by mostly riders in their teens, 20's and 30's, although there was a mixture of older riders that took part, as well.
The reasons riders gave for participating in the event ran the gamut. One woman had a sign on the back of her bike stating "Thank You For Respecting My First Amendment Rights." She was dressed in a tutu for the ride. Another man, Robert, said he was protesting his strict religious upbringing.
"I was raised in a fundamentalist Christian environment, where I was taught that the human body was dirty and something to be ashamed of," he said. "That's a total lie, it's completely wrong, and it took me a long time to deprogram myself from being in that state of mind where I was ashamed of my body."
The riders who spoke to KGVO News had various messages for those who were against the ride being allowed to take place.
"Lighten up, it's just a naked bicycle ride," Robert said. "It's not like we're going around flashing people with bad intent."
Another man in his 20's, Kellen, said the bike ride promoted good health and bicycle safety.
"I think people object for different reasons, but I think the ride just promotes many good things, such as community, bike safety awareness, and just accepting the human body," he said.
Another woman in her 20's, Christine, said she was there for just one reason.
"One of my friends found it on Facebook and sent it to me, and I thought why not?" she said. "I understand they're protesting for cleaner air in Missoula, but I'm pretty much doing it just for fun."
The Q&A that was published on the City of Missoula's website stated that the ride would start at 11:30 a.m. and conclude at 12:30 p.m. however, the riders started an hour early at 10:30 a.m. and crossed over the Higgins Avenue Bridge not long after.
Missoula Police Sergeant Rick Stevenson said the bike ride was basically a non-event as far as law enforcement was concerned, and that no one was injured during the ride.