‘Naked Bike Ride’ bicyclists spotted in downtown Madison

‘Naked Bike Ride’ bicyclists spotted in downtown Madison
Bikers in the buff spotted on University Avenue June 18, 2016.

People riding bikes in various states of (un)dress were spotted in Madison Saturday.

In a news release Friday, Madison police said officers expected the seventh annual World Naked Bike Ride to take place somewhere on the streets of Madison on Saturday.

Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain said that historically, the group doesn’t announce its route until 24 hours beforehand, and then only to those who are a part of the group.

DeSpain said police posted the release Friday to get ahead of the anticipated phone calls the department receives when the group is spotted biking in the buff. Police said the city has a public indecency ordinance, but public nudity is not necessarily a violation of that ordinance.

“Long story short, unless the behavior is the functional equivalent of ‘lewd and lascivious’ behavior, the ordinance cannot be enforced as ‘disorderly conduct’ for just being naked,” DeSpain said. “Thus, these incidents can only be addressed on a case-by-case basis.”

Given there are no laws currently in place that prohibit the activity, The police department’s role will be to make the event safe for all participants and to allow them to exercise their First Amendment rights.

Police also said the department encouraged naked bike riders to obey all traffic laws pertaining to bicycles and to respect the rights of nonparticipants.