Update: So we told a white lie and announced it a day early.. the Milwaukee Underwear Bike Ride on June 11th is meeting at Reservoir Hill at 7pm, and will be leaving at 8pm sharp.
(continue reading below..)
So, you want to know where the Milwaukee Underwear Bike Ride meets next Thursday, June 11th?
Last year’s underwear bike rides were ridiculously fun, and also grew tremendously in size. At a peak, I’d estimate we had 600+ people along for their ride. Add that to our fun afterparties with great bands and DJs, a surprise pool party, and a 200-person boat party out on Lake Michigan (sorry to those who couldn’t get on!), and you have yourselves one hell of a summer.
Rumor seems to have spread this year, as we already have 1300+ people RSVPed on the facebook event (whatever that will translate to on that actual rides). Organizing and running these rides can always be a little stressful day of due to a few black sheep not listening to instructions that are intended to make sure the ride is fun and safe for everyone involved. I’ve personally had to ask people to leave the ride who are endangering themselves and others, and I encourage you to do the same.
As an added deterrent to hopefully make the ride a little more under control, I decided to not openly tell everyone in advance where this first ride is going to meet. If you want to join us for the first underwear bike ride this year, you’ll have to go to this (free) fun-as-fuck dance party this Friday, June 5th at the Riverwest Public House, Pants Off Dance Off. This night also doubles as an unofficial Pridefest afterparty. Stop on by anytime after 9pm, stay and dance a little, then grab a flyer at the door on your way out with details for the June 11th underwear ride.
Speaking of the Riverwest Public House, I will give you some details on this first ride.. they’re nice enough to be hosting us again for our afterparty this month. A friend is setting up a FREE SHOW with Teen Mom (DC) and BRNDA from DC, as well Milwaukee’s Blonder and Teenage Woman. We’ll have Pabst tallboys and a shot on special for $5. Respect each other, respect the venue, respect the neighbors.
Please don’t be upset if you can’t make it to Pants Off Dance Off on Friday. I’m sure you’ll catch wind of details through the grapevine, but we’ll also be announcing the ride’s meet-up location just shy of midnight on Wednesday, June 10th.
The ride will meet at 7pm per usual, and leave at 8pm sharp. Please remember to bring your bike lights, a few dollars to donate towards patches and stickers, and we strongly recommend wearing a helmet.
We will also have Bicycle Benefits helmet stickers available that offer you discounts for bicycling all around Milwaukee, and this underwear ride may be the last box some of you need stamped on your Bike! Bingo card.
Back to the basics..
About the Milwaukee Underwear Bike Ride
“Started as a one-time underwear ride to celebrate a birthday years ago, the Milwaukee Underwear Bike Ride turned into a monthly summertime event that grew into something much larger. Since day one, they’ve been promoted as “a group ride just for fun, and to promote positive self-body image. Anyone and everyone is welcome!”.
This upcoming June marks our Six-Year Anniversary of hosting these rides during the summer months.
They have grown into somewhat of a mobile festival that explores the city via bicycle. It gives people a reason to get excited to tune up their bicycles, many buying a bicycle just to participate, and to simply get out and ride!
The rides always meet in public, outdoor spaces. We congregate, collect clothing donations, paint faces/bodies, distribute patches, stickers, and/or spoke cards for donations, and socialize with friends and strangers alike for an hour before taking off.
We typically ride 10-15 miles, with a mid-ride stop to break up the distance and socialize. The route is planned out ahead of time, then rode in advance by the main ride leader and a bunch of friends/volunteers, who then lead the ride night of. We go through some great neighborhoods and visit great spots around the city, so show respect to your environments. Make sure to clean up after yourselves, and throw out any trash (we bring bags) you may have.
As the ride has grown in size and new participants, we want to stress the importance of safety. Please ride safely and be respectful of others around you. We will be riding at a group pace, and following the rules of the road (i.e. staying in our lane, stopping at red lights, etc.). Remember to bring your bike lights!
If this is your first ride, or even if you’ve been to almost every one, please read this. This is a safe and fun ride for everyone involved, so let’s keep it that way.
We’re always looking for some ride “ambassadors” to help throughout the ride. You’ll be able to enjoy yourselves just like everyone else, but will be familiar with the route and help communicate different things to keep everyone safe. Flats and mechanical problems are bound to happen to a few, so we’ll also have ride support along to help anyone that might run into such problems and get you caught back up with the rest of the group. If you’re interested in helping, simply get in touch.
We organize and end the ride at a fun afterparty for every ride with a bunch of great bands and DJs. Half the fun of the event is the party, so stick around after the ride!
Past friends that have played; Albydammned, Animals In Human Attire, Asher Diamonds, Bellse Soneek, Crosss (Nova Scotia), Fresh Cut Collective, Ghastly City Sleep, Hewn, Kane Place Record Club, Jaill, Max Holiday, Real Numbers (MN), Riley Lake, Rio Turbo, Sat. Nite Duets, Sirius Booty, Soul Low, Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt!, Video Villains, WebsterX, and more. We’ve also had some great hosts at Bad Genie, The Best Place, Bruno’s, Cocoon Room, The Compound, Hi-Hat / The Garage, Hotel Foster, The Irish Pub, Milwaukee Beer Bistro, Redroom, Riverwest Public House, Tonic Tavern, Trocadero, Vista King (Boat Cruise), and Yield.
My friend Seth, who now lives out in Portand, said something a few years back that really stuck with me.
“Thursday was my first underwear ride, and I had a freaking amazing time. [..] Seeing the whole street packed with bikes both ahead of and behind me was exhilarating and made me immediately realize that we’re a pretty powerful force when we all get together.. I think we have a real chance of making a difference in this city, both in the present and for the future, and I want to be a part of that.”