Bare As You Dare, cyclists plan naked ride
MISSOULA, Mont. - NBC Montana is following up on one Missoula woman's push for a naked bike ride. It's called Bare As You Dare.
Riders participate in similar events in cities like Seattle and Portland. Missoula's organizer points out a big difference -- in Missoula, you don't need to ride naked to participate. For the organizer, the ride is about acceptance and honesty.
"See the allegory of being naked as being authentic. Missoula doesn't do gay pride; it doesn't do a lot of different things. This is sort of all of that wrapped up into one, saying, ‘Come out as you are, as exactly as you are.' I have cellulite, I don't look perfect, who cares," said event organizer Nita Maddux.
The event is scheduled for Sunday, August 17, at 10 a.m. and cyclists will start at the Riverfront Trail near the Boone and Crockett Club. The ride will start around 10:30 a.m. and will be almost 3-miles long.
It will take some work to pull it off, including a city-issued parade permit that costs $145.
NBC Montana talked with the Missoula City Attorney to see if a nude bike ride is legal.
"The sheriff and highway patrol have jurisdiction to issue citations if they feel that a crime was being committed," said Missoula City Attorney Jim Nugent.
Nugent warns folks to follow Montana laws on indecent exposure.
"I think we don't know what to expect," said Nugent.
According to Montana state law, topless appears to be OK, but showing other private areas in a way that is alarming or offensive, or could abuse or humiliate, is not. Fines are not cheap.
"Up to $500, plus the surcharges. Up to 6 months in jail is another potential penalty," said Nugent.
People had their own thoughts in Missoula about the bike ride.
"I think it's kind of a cool idea, but I'm just not that open," said Missoula resident Blakely Brambo.
"It could be funny if people are having a good time with it. Maybe dressed up in head dresses, to a certain degree," said Missoula cyclist Doug Ford.
"I think it's really kind of crazy," said Missoula resident Bri Pollock.
A mother of four doesn't think it's appropriate. "I don't do it at home in front of them and I certainly wouldn't want people to do that in front of my kids," said Missoula resident Becky Triplett.
For the organizer, it's all about acceptance.
Maddux is waiting for her insurance policy to be approved. Then she can ask police and the mayor to sign off on the permit papers. She wants the word to get out, in case people want to try to avoid the ride.
The route starts at at Boone and Crockett, down the bike and pedestrian path, through the Madison Bridge, underneath Van Buren then turn around and go back on the bike and pedestrian path to the Holiday Inn near Pattee, up Pattee, down Higgins and back to Boone and Crockett.