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Nude cyclists to pedal through downtown Bellingham Friday for annual Naked Bike Ride

Hundreds of nude bicyclists ride around downtown Bellingham

Bellingham World Naked Bike Ride participants talk about their reasons for joining the demonstration on Friday, June 3, in Bellingham.
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Bellingham World Naked Bike Ride participants talk about their reasons for joining the demonstration on Friday, June 3, in Bellingham.

Cyclists – most of them scarcely clothed or completely naked – will take to downtown streets Friday for the 9th annual Bellingham World Naked Bike Ride.

The local iteration of a worldwide event, the ride began in 2008 as a way to call attention to a variety of issues, including body image, the use of fossil fuels and cyclist safety, said Zachary Robertson, an organizer. The current political climate, he added, made the ride especially important.

“Our president is someone who’s been caught on camera saying he cannot help himself around beautiful women,” Robertson said. “We are saying we need to be respectful regardless of how someone is presenting themselves.”

The event, which is open to the public, begins at 3 p.m. at Hub Community Bike Shop, 903 1/2 N. State St., where riders will gather for body painting before hitting the streets at 6 p.m.

Riders prepare for the annual Naked Bike Ride in downtown Bellingham, Wa., Friday, June 5, 2015 Video by Philip A. Dwyer/ The Bellingham Herald

The ride will cover most downtown streets like State, Holly, Forest, Prospect and Flora, as well as Railroad and Cornwall avenues. It will end at Sustainable Connections’ temporary KAPOW Plaza in the Herald Building parking lot.

Participants do not need to be naked, Robertson said – and they don’t even need to ride a bike.

“We really want this to be available to everyone who wants to participate,” he added.

The Bellingham Police Department said any citations for indecent exposure require a citizen complaint. One complaint was filed against a rider in 2015, but the charges were later dropped.

Naked Bike Ride 1
Bicyclists ride down Railroad Avenue as part of the Bellingham World Naked Bike Ride on Friday, June 3, 2016. This year’s ride is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday. Evan Abell eabell@bhamherald.com

Kyle Mittan: 360-756-2803, @KyleMittan

If you go

What: Bellingham World Naked Bike Ride

When: Friday; optional body painting is at 3 p.m., ride starts at 6

Where: Begins at the Hub Community Bike Shop, 903 1/2 N. State St.

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