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Even Naked Butts May Be Risky

By Tim State in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 3, 2007 10:56PM

nakedride.jpgPart of an international movement, Chicago’s fourth-annual World Naked Bike Ride is set for this coming Saturday. Check-in will be from 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. in Union Park, near 100 N. Ashland, at the statue of former Mayor Carter Henry Harrison, Sr. He would be so proud. The official e-mail announcement arrived in Chicagoist’s mail box today, and warns non-participants and disruptive people will be turned away, suggesting you’re not welcome if you’re just a gawker. Apparently, the route is secret until the ride actually commences at 9 p.m., suggesting if you’re just there to watch, you should be “on Clark or Halsted near Belmont” (?) around 10:45 p.m. or Rush at State around 11:30 p.m.

“The WNBR’s objective is to create a fun and conspicuous event promoting freedom from oil dependency as well as positive body image,” says the e-mail from Andrew Bedno. We can’t think of anything more conspicuous than riding bikes through the city in the middle of the night butt-naked.

“The event is bare-as-you-dare. Outfits from thong and body paint, to fanciful costumes, to street clothes are all fine,” continued Bedno. “Past rides...covered about 20 miles of high visibility tourism and recreational areas,” Bedno indicates, in case participants might forget they will be riding through the city with few clothes on.

He includes a few precautionary tips for riders, pointing out that running around nude is illegal, but naked bodies can take steps to reduce the risk. Such as arriving clothed, or not carrying open alcohol. “Exposed genitals or female nipples may make you a target for arrest,” he writes. “Do so at your own risk, and not until the ride is underway. Even naked butts may be risky.” We wonder what might make one naked butt more of an arrest risk than the next.

And finally, “For maximum 1st amendment protection...integrate nudity with your message.” He includes an example, “this naked body burns calories not oil.”

Even the most naked of riders are encouraged to wear the very minimum - a helmet.

Image of Vancouver's Naked Bike Ride courtesy of freetoeknee.