On Saturday June 9th at the Harley-Davidson Museum (400 W Canal St) at 10 am, Milwaukee native and organizer of Ride with Pride motorcycle ride Cormac Kehoe promises to buy coffee for anyone who shows up to the ride in a rainbow cape and a glitter wig as a thank you for keeping Milwaukee on the wild side.
Kehoe himself plans to lead the ride dressed as Evel Knievel draped in a rainbow flag cape, though costumes aren’t necessary.
“I want everyone to join the ride. Two wheels is all you need,” says Kehoe, who works at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
Cormac Kehoe gave GayCities a rundown on the ride and a few Milwaukee Pride favorites.
1. What makes Milwaukee Pride special?
PrideFest makes our Pride special. It’s a loooong weekend festival at the Summerfest grounds on the lakefront. Other cities have Pride parades and celebrations, but we get our own festival grounds.
2. Tell us about Ride with Pride
It’s a motorcycle ride that’s taking PrideFest into the streets. It’ll be loud, visible, and a hell of a lot of fun. Our motorcycle ride was inspired by pride parades. I wanted to bring in that wild energy, but turn it into a parade that hits the street at 50 mph and sets off car alarms for blocks. We’re planning to have rainbow flags flying from the bikes, rainbow capes flying from riders. If innocent people on the sidewalk see us and drop their coffee, then we got it right.
3. What place should a first-time Milwaukee LGBTQ traveler check out?
The Estabrook Park Beer Garden is a hidden gem on a warm summer day.
4. Best place in Milwaukee to grab food during Pride?
5. Anything else we should know about Ride with Pride?
You do not need a Harley. I’m on a vintage British bike, we’re all very friendly and sweet, and we’ll have every type of bike imaginable. We reached out to the motorcycle community when we planned the ride, and the Harley-Davidson Museum was the first to jump in and help.
6. Have you done a Ride with Pride before?
This is the first motorcycle ride for PrideFest, but they asked me to help because I do have a history of unique rides. I’ve run rides where all the bikers were dressed as Evel Knievel. Rides where we all geared up as a horde of apocalyptic Mad Max riders. Even a couple Nun Runs, where we had bearded chopper thugs wearing nun habits flying in the wind.
7. Best spot to watch Ride with Pride?
The Harley-Davidson Museum from 10 am to 11 am, if you want to watch us roll out. Or just look for us arriving at PrideFest about two hours later. Or just listen for the rumble, we should be waking up your neighbors when we hit your street.
8. Other than Ride with Pride, what’s your favorite Pride event?
My favorite bar, Sabbatic, sets up a kiddie pool in the middle of the street to drink in. That’s my kinda parade.
Ride with Pride begins June 9th at 10am at the Harley-Davidson Museum. Participants get a free ticket to Milwaukee PrideFest. Also, the museum is throwing a kick-off party Thursday, June 7th.
Photos courtesy of Ride with Pride