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Bike ride protest: Annual World Naked Bike Ride in Oregon attracts 8,000

Participants ride along King street in Newtown during the World Naked Bike Ride Australia Sydney leg on March 15, 2009 in Sydney, Australia.
Participants ride along King street in Newtown during the World Naked Bike Ride Australia Sydney leg on March 15, 2009 in Sydney, Australia.Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

The World Annual Naked Bike Ride in Portland was less about any particular protest than it was about just living life, at least on the surface. The yearly so-called nudist-like event in Oregon began years ago when protesters stripped nude and rode bicycles to speak out against harmful emissions and the dangers motorized vehicles pose to cyclists. Saturday, the nude bike ride protest attracted 8,000 and went off without a hitch, according to a June 8 Huffington Post report.

The yearly naked bike ride protest celebrated its 11th year in which throngs of bike enthusiasts ban together on the streets of Portland to send a strong message of solidarity against the dangers of vehicles to people and the environment.

The World Naked Bike Ride is an annual, worldwide bike ride that highlights the vulnerability of cyclists everywhere and decries society’s dependence on pollution-based transport. It’s also a lot of fun and it’s free for all!" ~ Via the group's website.

The bicycle ride protest at Normandale Park was the staging site for people, many of them naked, to congregate at the beginning and ending of the event.

Riders showed up in strategically-placed body paint, themed costumes, undies, and very little else for some participants (clothing optional). In fact, a woman showed up with her 16-year-old, perhaps, giving him an early lesson on how to attend racy events with class. And if that isn't enough; a nude pregnant woman, being pulled along in a wagon, showed up to give her support. Imagine that?

Unlike other participating cities, riders participating in the World Naked Bike Ride protest work with police. However, it appears that officers are retained for crowd control and security. This is likely a direct reason why some Portlanders are up in arms over the event and says the message about conservation and safety is diluted, citing information from Oregon Live.

As one person's email read in part:

Let me start off by saying that I think the naked bike ride is a cool idea and I totally support bicyclists' concerns about safety and oil dependence.

"What is not so cool is refusing to announce the route in advance and cutting off a large swath of Northeast Portland from road access with no instructions to drivers about how to get around the disruption..."

It appears that the problem of traffic congestion could have been alleviated had there been a plan in place to publicly release the group's planned cycling routes.

This will likely have a resolution at some point in the future, as the event is showing no stripping-down signs of participation. That being said, as the writing on one rider's bare back showed, "Keep cool and pedal on."