Naked bike ride in Missoula draws crowd, no protestors


Missoula, MONT - After weeks of discussion and controversy, a nude bike ride through Missoula came and went on Sunday without any problems.

More than 200 people joined the ride along the river trail and through downtown Missoula.

The stated goal was to protest oil consumption.

The heated discussion online and at a city council meeting was enough for police to increase their presence this morning around the ride course.

Police and ride organizers say the ride concluded without incident, but Jason Schaefer, a nude cyclist, says he wouldn't have been surprised if something had happened.

He says his intention isn't to offend people, but doesn't think being un-offensive should be his goal.

"As we go through our lives, we will do things that others will be offended by, and you can't completely live your life with the goal of not offending anyone, that's a formula for insanity."

Willy Thomas, Bishop at a local Latter Day Saints Church, says he believes he's part of a majority of people in Missoula who were opposed to the nude ride.

"Having an activity that involves full nudity didn't seem to match those values that they believe are important," said Thomas. "Not that it has anything to do with what the message was being shared, other than that it was being shared."

Before the ride, the City of Missoula set up a special question and answer section on its web site, explaining why the ride was legal

According to the site, public nudity alone is not outlawed, but if a person engages in lewd behavior that sparks a complaint, police will investigate the complaint, and can then decide whether to recommend charges.

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