I find it ludicrous for Naked Bike Ride organizer Zach Robertson to even suggest that this event "draws attention to driving safety around bicyclists." While someone riding a bike naked is certainly going to be seen, that kind of self-absorbed act puts motorists, pedestrians and other cyclists at risk by creating a wholly unnecessary distraction for drivers. Furthermore, bicyclists put themselves at risk when they fail to wear safety equipment, and that includes clothing.
Bicycling is far more than just a recreational pursuit in Whatcom County: it's a serious mode of transportation for thousands of people. I believe the Naked Bike Ride trivializes that. If they insist on holding this event every year the organizers should stop trying to sell it as an opportunity to promote bicycle safety and acknowledge it - as Robertson did - for what it really is, "a space for people who want to be naked to be naked."
I'm the executive director of the Whatcom Council of Governments, and our Whatcom Smart Trips and everybodyBIKE programs have taught bicycle safety to thousands of people in Whatcom County.
Robert H. Wilson