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Jun-16-2014 00:05printcommentsVideo

The Annual World Naked Bike Ride Event Flashes through Eugene

Thousands of bicyclists around the world shed their duds to ride in the buff!

naked bicyclists
Bicyclists took it all off for this annual event!
Photo by Bonnie King

(EUGENE, Ore.) - “This place is so liberal!” said a newcomer to Eugene, Oregon on Saturday afternoon. True enough under most conditions, but this was a special case. After a casual afternoon spent at the Eugene Saturday Market, Terance Walsh was leaving with us for a journey northward. Before we could get to our car, we turned when we heard some hoots and hollers which gained in decibels as a large group of oncoming bicyclists drew closer.

And what to our wondering eyes did appear? Naked people. Dozens of very naked people, riding bikes down the streets of Eugene.

It was hilarious. The bike riders were laughing, chanting, even talking to bystanders while they waited at stop lights. Apparently it’s not mandatory to go completely naked, but the “clothing-optional” option didn’t have much of a showing.

Some were decorated with body paint and colorful accessories, but most were riding in the buff.

This incredibly unique annual bike ride took place Saturday in at least 70 cities and 20 countries around the world including Portland, Chicago, London, and Guadalajara, though some, like New York, had rides on Friday instead, or as well.

Organizers say that they've been doing this every year since 2004 to show “the vulnerability of cyclists on the road,” and “to protest against oil dependence.” They’ll go the extra mile for what they believe in, and they’ll go there, happily, in their birthday suits.

The impact this event made on unsuspecting bystanders was a sight to behold. Stunned, nearly everyone broke into laughter, or clapped as the parade of untanned Oregon buttocks peddled by. Our youngest group member, 11, was impressed and I think a bit disgusted. I’m pretty sure she has higher expectations for “adult” behavior than the rest of us.

Whether the naked bikers will convince the community at large to use fewer products from the petrochemical industry, and to be more aware of bicyclists out on the road is hard to say, but they did succeed in getting the attention of every single person they passed by. And of course, in getting me to write this very article.

What can I say? The Naked Bicycle Ride was definitely a memorable moment, something more interesting than usual to take home from Saturday Market. Or anywhere else, for that matter.

DISCLAIMER: NAKED PEOPLE. Don't watch this VIDEO if naked people offend you:

Video by Bonnie King



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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.


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