'Booty bikers' provoke admiration, disgust at Madison's Naked Bike RideSome wore cowboy hats or bathing suits, others were decked out in body paint, and some wore only smiles Saturday as Madison's third annual Naked Bike Ride snaked through the city.
By: By Judy Newman, The Wisconsin State Journal, Superior Telegram
Some wore cowboy hats or bathing suits, others were decked out in body paint, and some wore only smiles Saturday as Madison's third annual Naked Bike Ride snaked through the city.
About 60 riders waved and honked horns as they traveled on a route unannounced to the public "for security reasons," spokesman Peter Keating said.
The purpose of the Naked Bike Ride -- which has been held in numerous cities around the world -- is twofold, Keating said: a protest against the pervasive use of petroleum products and an affirmation of the beauty of the human body.
The riders took a two-hour trek through Brittingham Park, to the Union Terrace, up State Street, around Capitol Square, down East Washington Avenue and back along Williamson Street.
Linda Martin, of Milwaukee, arrived at Brittingham Park with her granddaughter, Lameria, 5, just as the mostly-unclad bikers breezed by. "I was shocked. I thought it was disgusting," Martin said.
"Booty bikers," Lameria said with a scowl, raising her hands to cover her eyes.
Shoppers at the Dane County Farmers' Market and strollers on State Street paused briefly from perusing produce and sipping cool beverages to watch the parade.
"It's hilarious," said Sherie McGowan, of St. Charles, Ill. "This is what Madison's all about."
Others were not so pleased by the display. "I didn't like it," said Greg Barta, of Fort Atkinson, Iowa. "It's kind of funny, but ehhh."
"I'm shy, (and) there's kids everywhere," added his wife, Rachel Barta, with the couple's 8-year-old son, Brady, in tow. "It was OK for me as an adult, but not for my child."
Sharon Glasrud, Madison, staked out a spot along State Street to watch for the bikers.
"I think it's just a hoot. I think these people are quite courageous," Glasrud said. "They are protesting for something they believe in, in a way that makes sense to them. If people are offended, they can look away."
Keating said he was "a little disappointed" with the low turnout, but participants came from as far as the Twin Cities and the Cleveland area. "It was a small but spirited crowd," Keating said.
Police said there were no arrests.
(c)2012 The Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wis.)
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