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Naked cyclists fight car dependency

Less gas, more ass

CYCLING FOR A CAUSE. Participants in the 2005 Ottawa World Naked Bike Ride pedal down Somerset St. This year's event takes place Sat, Jun 9. Credit: (Jenn Farr photo)

Nudist activists, pay attention — here’s your chance to save the environment by stripping!

The World Naked Bike Ride will be taking place in Ottawa and cities around the globe on Sat, Jun 9.

The message of the event is to end oil dependency and “car culture,” but Ottawa organizer Jenn Farr says it’s also about exposing how vulnerable cyclists are on the road.

“People forget that bikes are vehicles,” says Farr. “Our message is ‘Please don’t hit us.’ If you’re going to be in a box made of plastic, metal and glass, you have a greater responsibility to your community.”

The naked cyclists will be “stripping it down to basics” to show everyone that you don’t need to have a body like Lance Armstrong to ride a bike, says Farr.

Cyclists, in-line skaters and skateboarders are all welcome to participate in the ride.

Riders are invited to attend a pre-party on Fri, Jun 8 between 6 and 8pm at Aunt Olive (209 Gilmour St), where the group will be making posters and decorating their bikes.

On Saturday there will be body painting before the ride starting at 2pm at the fountain in Confederation Park. The ride will kick off at 3pm from the fountain.

Farr says the route will be determined by the riders, but it’s likely that the group will be heading to Parliament Hill, the Supreme Court of Canada, and the American Embassy.

As for the dress code, it’s “bare as you dare.” But Farr cautions that naked riders should bring an item of clothing to cover up if police request.

Farr says she’s hoping at least 50 people show up for the ride in Ottawa, which will be taped for a documentary about the ride being produced by Enviromaniacs.

The largest World Naked Bike Ride happens in London, England, where about 1000 people participate each year.