Critical Mass not to your liking? How about cycling naked

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Cyclists who feel a bottomless need to protest big oil and the use of non-renewable energy take to the streets twice a year — depending on their hemisphere — in the World Naked Bike Ride.

March 12 was the southern hemisphere's turn; protesting cyclists in the northern hemisphere take to the streets on June 10.

Explains the World Naked Bike Ride website:

“We face automobile traffic with our naked bodies as the best way of defending our dignity and exposing the unique dangers faced by cyclists and pedestrians as well as the negative consequences we all face due to dependence on oil and other forms of non-renewable energy.”

Although it was a little chilly for the protest in most places north of the equator, The Tampa Tribune reported that 13 cyclists — some bare down to their thong underwear — participated in a protest in that Florida city's warm weather. The city's laws forbid public nudity, hence the g-strings and pasties. (More about the bike ride at the St. Pete Times.)

The nearly nude rode five miles out to MacDill Air Force Base for a rest stop and peaceful protest, before heading back to town.

The website lists 15 countries that have naked rides in March or June; a World Naked Bike Ride wiki lists at least 30 cities in the US where a ride is planned this year. I was interested to see that my neighbor of Seattle is credited with hosting the first naked bicycle ride in the US in 2004.

In fact, cyclists in Seattle had four clothing optional bike rides in 2005; the WNBR, the Fremont Solstice Parade (featuring more than 100 body-painted cyclists), the first annual Body Pride Ride (BPR or beeper) and the Autumnal Equinox Mini Ride in September.

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