Missoula posts Q&A page in response to naked bike ride concerns


Missoula posts Q&A page in response to naked bike ride concerns

MISSOULA, Mont. - There's controversy over the upcoming Bare as You Dare bike ride in Missoula. The event has some Missoula residents concerned. Now the city is responding.

Naked bike rides have been done in larger cities like Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington. A similar event is coming to Missoula on Sunday.

However, the event organizer points out that in Missoula, you don't need to ride naked to participate. But make no mistake -- the city is not behind it.

"The city of Missoula did not invent the ride, it does not endorse the ride, we are not promoting the ride," said Missoula Mayor John Engen.

The mayor tells NBC Montana the city has received over 100 emails and phone calls about the Bare as You Dare event and in turn, created a question and answer page on its website.

The Q&A section details what day the event takes place, the time, the specific route and answers the question -- is it legal?

"Being nude is not necessarily being indecent exposure and there are a bunch of other things that have to happen, for better or worse, it's the law," said Engen.

Resident Becky Murdock thinks the Q&A came too late, but either way, she doesn't want the event to happen.

"We try to tell our kids that it's indecent to expose yourself in public and then it's OK to get naked and ride on your bike. It bothers me that things like that are coming to Missoula," said Murdock.

She showed NBC Montana the letter she wrote the mayor. She says the mayor responded within two days.

While the mayor reviews the latest rounds of emails, his answer is simple -- the city is there to listen to concerns, but the main contact is the event organizer.

Some people like the Murdocks want everyone to hear their concerns.

"Indecent exposure laws have been put in place for a purpose, to protect the rights of people that aren't interested in taking part in anything like that, and I think people need to be respectful of that," said Missoula resident Tiffany Murdock.

City officials created the Q&A with the hope it will help people to avoid the area if they don't want to see or participate in the event.

The mayor says the city will be contacting the police department to make sure that on Sunday, August 17, everyone's rights are protected and respected. Click here to see the Q&A.

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