Last Thursday was one of the most fun, and smooth Milwaukee Underwear Bike Rides I think we’ve ever had.
You can view the full route here.
I wanted to send out a thanks to all my friends (and a few strangers) who helped out as ambassadors for the ride, who all enjoyed themselves while making sure we were all having a fun, safe time. You know who you are. Likewise, thanks to Carolyn and Jason from Truly Spoken Cycles and the Milwaukee Bicycle Collective for coming along and providing ride support for any flats and other mechanical issues. I know I thanked you all already, but I sincerely mean it. The ride wouldn’t have ran as smoothly as it did if it wasn’t for you.
Thanks to Z, Patrick, and all the staff at Yield for having us. You guys were great hosts, and we all had a great time. Thanks to Myles and the rest of the guys in Animals In Human Attire for hooking up with us for the afterparty, I’m glad everything worked out. Thanks to Kiran, Matt, and Scott from Fresh Cut Collective for joining us on the ride, happy you guys finally got to hook up with one of the underwear rides to play the afterparty.
Thanks to a few more friends for their support and helping make everything happen; Matt and Pabst, Val and Great Lakes Distillery, Ben with 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, Evan and Dan at Vulture Space, and Justin with Ian’s Pizza.
I felt great that night, and rode out that high all weekend. Thank you all for being a part of this.
I wanted to start with all the positive things from last Thursday, but do have a couple things I need to address..
I was rather disheartened to hear of a couple individuals’ behavior on the home-stretch of the ride, who ripped down a sign and ran from the police. How disrespecful and cowardly of you. Even moreso as your friends watched and laughed as a good friend of mine was pulled out of the afterparty and innocently accused of being responsible for said actions. Not only did you portray a negative image of the ride and it’s participants, you potentially tarnished a healthy relationship we’ve established with the police as we’ve done these rides of the last few years.
I also recieved a disappointing email from a complete stranger yesterday. She expressed a feeling of being “attacked and violated and angry and sad all at once”, due to a couple individuals actions and words last Thursday. She was crossing the street downtown legally, as she was grazed by one cyclist on the ride. She found herself visibly upset and irritated, but nothing she couldn’t get over. But then to top that off, another nearby cyclist noticed she was upset and shouted “get used to it we are not going anywhere”, followed by a few other deragatory words to her that were both offensive and machoginist. Since the beginning, this has been a ride “just for fun, and to promote positive self-body image”. You go against everything we stand for, and why so many people participate in this ride.
If you are reading this, I ask that you, and anyone who can’t balance having fun while conducting themselves in a safe and respecful manner, don’t participate in these rides. Your attitude and behavior is not tolerated. Please don’t ruin this for everyone else.
All of this is sharply contrasted by the positive impact and great memories that the ride has in many of our lives. Let’s not loose focus of that as we work towards bettering ourselves and the community.
I quoted my friend on this before, but I think it still is a perfect validation of how great of a thing all of this is, and when we all come together. This carries over well beyond these rides, and into our everyday lives and interactions with friends, family, strangers, and the community at-large.
“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.”
Again, thank you for reading this, but more importantly being a part of this.