So many naked bike rides — a scheduling headache in Seattle

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(See also: 2008 naked bike rides scheduled)

It's sometimes a challenge to schedule bicycling tours that don't conflict with other recreational events.

But I was surprised to discover the niche of naked bicycling was so crowded on the Seattle calendar that the organizers of the World Naked Bike Ride here are struggling to find an open date.

I was reading over at the Gadling bicycle touring blog that World Naked Bike Rides — protesting oil dependency and the car culture — were held in Australia and South America on March 10, and that similar rides are scheduled in the northern half of the planet on June 9 and 30. I thought it would be cool to post the local date on the Washington bike ride calendar.

When I checked World Naked Bike Ride Seattle website, however, I read the headline: “Too many naked bike rides too close together:

“This ride must not conflict with the Solstice Cyclists on the Saturday closest to Summer Solstice in June or the Body Pride Ride, which is the week after that. In 2005 and 2006, there were three naked bike rides in three weeks! Way too many, especially for the organizers and artists who are staging the event.”

Another naked ride, the Hemp Ride, takes places in August and is not a concern, according to the website. There are also the bare bun fun runs; not bicycling but the same genre.

For a town with so much winter and spring rain, some cyclists here sure like to bare their souls when the summer sun arrives.

The Painted Cyclists of the Summer Solstice Parade (pictured above) will hit the streets during the Fremont neighborhood fair on June 16 and 17. The painted nude cyclists are a longtime parade fixture.

The Body Pride Ride dovetails the Seattle Pride weekend. Rides are planned for June 23 and 24. The Saturday afternoon ride is for those festively dressed; the Sunday morning ride is “bare what you dare.” Check the Body Pride Ride website for details.

The dates of the World Naked Bike Ride are June 9 or June 30, but the Seattle organizers are boxed out of those dates here. So they've tentatively settled on Saturday, July 7, for this year's ride.

 It gets started with a body-painting party from 9 to 12 at Gas Works Park, visits the fountain at the Seattle Center (home of the Space Needle), then roams around various parts of the downtown and the Burke Gilman Trail. Check the Seattle website for details closer to the event.

Dozens of cities in the US and around the world have held naked bike rides in previous years. The rides are designed to protests oil dependency. As the website says, “It is time to stop indecent exposure to automobile emissions and celebrate the power and individuality of our bodies.”

Among the US cities already committed for this year are Chicago, Seattle and Washington DC, and Victoria, BC, in Canada.

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