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World Naked Bike Ride Generates Controvesy

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Portland is a city that celebrates the unusual and the bizarre, but apparently not the unclothed.

On June 8, the city hosts the World Naked Bike Ride starting at 10 p.m., where, as the name states, bikers ride the streets wearing nothing but helmets and shoes.

Rides will take place in more than 74 cities in 17 different countries, but Portland organizers hope to get more than 8,000 naked people to participate.

It’s all in the name of protesting against the oil-based economy and the vulnerability cyclists face on the road, according to the event website.

The butt-baring bike ride is arousing strong reactions from Portland locals like Cathy Goertz, who hasn’t been a fan of past naked protests in the city. She called police last year after she and her husband, Joe, were stuck between a bevy of nude commuters near the downtown waterfront.

This year’s ride is starting in her neighborhood, and she’s trying to call attention to possible problems.

“It’s bad enough to see it as adults, but kids? They could be scarred for life,” Goertz told The Oregonian. “The participants are mostly naked, and what they do have on is very strange.”

Portland Police are taking a practical approach to managing the event. They suggest that people who don’t want to see naked bike riders should stay indoors, pull the shades down and put their kids to bed. They also suggested watching a movie or turning up some music to avoid hearing the revelry.

Sgt. Pete Simpson said trying to arrest thousands of naked protesters isn’t the worth the effort.

“Arguably, the Oregon Supreme Court or the court system could say, ‘Your application of the public indecency law to arrest people here is unconstitutional,’” Simpson told KGW-TV.

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