Pride Ride helps LGBTQ+ people feel visible

Madison Bike Week kicked off with Pride Ride to celebrate LGBTQ+ bicyclists.
Published: Jun. 3, 2023 at 10:20 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Madison Bike Week kicked off with Pride Ride to celebrate LGBTQ+ bicyclists.

The Pride Ride means a lot to people like Deena Larsen.

”I lived in secret until I was about 50 and it’s kind of nice that I can be out on my bike, be me, still be married to an amazing woman and not have to worry about things,” Deena said. ”I’m transgender and I just think there are a lot of people making noise about LGBTQ+ products in stores and I think it’s the wrong move to just hide them and make them go away. We’ve been there, done that and it’s important that we standup and say we deserve to be here.”

The 500 participants were hard to miss during their nine mile trek starting at Breese Stevens Field Saturday afternoon.

Pride Ride helps LGBTQ+ people feel visible
Pride Ride helps LGBTQ+ people feel visible(Marcus Aarsvold)

Deena’s wife Linda said it’s a celebration of queer living and cycling out in the open.

”[I’m] Proud to show that people should be more open minded and should recognize that everybody is a human being,” she said. “That’s how we should be looked at instead of people being categorized in potentially negative ways.”

TREK Madison Bike Week and Pride Ride Organizer Rickey Chernik said the events from today through June 10th put the benefits of biking on display.

“That’s what’s really cool about this is that it brings people together and it doesn’t matter who you are,” he said. “People love it, it brings joy to a lot of people’s lives and all positive things. Let’s keep leaning into that and keep building bike trails around here. Let’s keep building the infrastructure, the bike lanes and everything like that.”

Deena said visibility is important for bicyclists on the road, but also for queer people in general.

”I think we’re certainly visible especially since we’re decorating our bikes with streamers and people have flags, shirts and just letting people know that we’re here and we belong as much as anyone does,” she said.

Madison Bike Week continues Sunday morning with events at the Monroe Street Farmers Market, Law Park BCycle Station and the Middleton Public Library.

Click here to download the NBC15 News app or our NBC15 First Alert weather app.