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.
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.
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.