West Seattle “Naked Bike Ride” organizer charged by city

(9/13/09 photo by WSB photojournalist Christopher Boffoli)
More than three months after the September 13th “World Naked Bike Ride” in West Seattle – in which a dozen-plus cyclists in various stages of undress rode from Morgan Junction up California SW through The Junction and on to Alki and Lincoln Park (WSB coverage here) – its organizer has been charged with indecent exposure. Daniel Johnson contacted us via Twitter last night to report he’d gotten notice of the charge. We cross-referenced city files to confirm it, then called the City Attorney‘s office today for details. According to deputy city attorney Mike Finkle, the charge stems from a police report filed the day of the ride. You may recall from our coverage this year and last, police had explained that someone would have to complain (or engage in “lewd behavior”) for them to intervene. According to the court document Finkle read to us, that’s what happened: First police were stopped by someone in the 2400 block of Alki during the ride, saying he was offended to see the unclothed riders, particularly because he had a child in the car; the officer wrote of stopping the group nearby “two minutes later,” and being told they had permission to do this each year. The officer, nonetheless, told them not to continue on to the beach. Less than an hour later, police got a call from someone complaining about the “nudists,” as the report put it, gathered in Lincoln Park, “with children around”; officers found the group at Fauntleroy and Webster, at which time, the report says, they all put their clothes back on and left. Johnson, identified as the leader of the group, is the only person charged, the court documents indicate. He is scheduled for an “intake hearing” in mid-January.

127 Replies to "West Seattle "Naked Bike Ride" organizer charged by city"

  • Steve Rogers December 30, 2009 (5:17 pm)

    OMG!!! I hope those children recover from the mortal peril they encountered by seeing nude people! How will they ever cope? I bet they turn instantly to a life of crime or become rapists. If only their parents (the complainers) could be cited for “pathetic parenting.”

  • k December 30, 2009 (5:25 pm)

    ridiculous. lighten up seattle.

  • Mr.JT December 30, 2009 (5:26 pm)

    Seriously, that is one police report that should have just have gotten lost.

  • mark December 30, 2009 (5:29 pm)

    I am willing to kick in $5 to help these poor kids get the proper counseling they will need to recover from such a tragic event. I shudder to think how what would have happened if two of the bike riders did something like kiss each other. The nightmares might never end.

  • Lynn December 30, 2009 (5:31 pm)

    the same people who complained about it probably take showers with their shorts on.
    “Never-nudes! There are millions of us!”
    Man. Talk about getting all psycho about the wrong thing.

  • BethH December 30, 2009 (5:31 pm)

    And WHO gave them permission???

    Did Mr. Johnson get a permit “legally” by failing to disclose his event involved public nudity????

    If he wants to ride nude…he needs to go to a nudist colony….sorry, but his need to bare his body shouldn’t supercede the rights of law abiding citizens to be exposed to unexpected nudity.

  • BethH December 30, 2009 (5:37 pm)

    By the time I wrote my post others had hit send.

    OK sooooo lets get this right….we should lighten up???? Bury the police report??? Make jokes about the kids needing therapy????

    Last I checked, public nudity is AGAINST THE LAW?
    SO, by the same token, if I walk out into a cross walk and a car hits me as it goes thru a red light…I should just lighten up as I fight for my life???

    If people dont like the laws…they can move to aniother country in my opinion, instead of just saying we should “lighten up”

  • velo_nut December 30, 2009 (5:48 pm)

    “Never nudes”

    Why oh why did that show get canceled? :-)

    Yeah, c’mon Seattle. Lighten up. Damn prudes. Next they won’t let us have a little bike race in a park. Oh, wait/

  • BG December 30, 2009 (5:50 pm)

    BethH, I’m pretty sure that you getting hit by a car is WAY different than a naked person on a bicycle. But nice try at the analogy.

  • James Doe December 30, 2009 (5:55 pm)

    Kind of arrogant of the cyclists to assume it’s okay to do this, no? They sort of made of their minds to flaunt the law and offend people, it wasn’t forced upon them to to so.

    As for the people making decisions for the rest of us about our kids seeing nude cyclists…how can you be that self-centered and arrogant? These cyclists are almost child-like in their view of the world, thinking they can behave in a certain manner for shock value. Grow up…get real hobbies…come back when your more adult and less flaky.

  • Mr.JT December 30, 2009 (5:58 pm)

    BethH. Tough comparison. sorry about what ever your body issues are.

  • mark December 30, 2009 (5:58 pm)

    Lighten up Beth, if God wanted us to wear clothes all the time he would have made us that way.

  • k December 30, 2009 (5:59 pm)

    Lynn-i am on the floor laughing at “never nudes”. brilliant!

  • rob December 30, 2009 (6:01 pm)

    nah, you should just lighten up.

  • christopherboffoli December 30, 2009 (6:04 pm)

    Beth: Could you please identify when and where it was the last time you checked? As a matter of fact, Seattle has no law regulating public nudity. You’ll find nothing in the SMC. Neither does the State of Washington, though you’re welcome to scour the RCW.

  • Been here a long time December 30, 2009 (6:08 pm)

    The Fremont Solstice parade has been opened with naked bicyclists for well over 15 years. The idea can’t be that much of a shock.

  • Simpson's Fan December 30, 2009 (6:19 pm)

    “Ohhhhh won’t someone think of the CHILDREN???” – Mrs. Rev. Lovejoy

    Lighten up Seattle! The body in the nude is not an offensive thing. It is children watching others having sex that can have psychological impact. Once again, the opportunity for a teaching moment with a child is spent on the phone complaining that some law needs to protect us all from every being offended.

  • bribak December 30, 2009 (6:20 pm)

    Uh, is this for real?! I saw a group of nudie bicyclists ride through Belltown one night and it literally made my day! The best part? They drove right by the cop next to me!! It’s not a sexual or perverted or lewd act in any way… I see it as an expression of freedom. We are all born naked, with the same parts as everyone else. I think it’s healthy for anyone to see that people come in different shapes and sizes, and that it’s ok to love yourself enough to BE FREE. Seriously, LIGHTEN UP! And, btw… this didn’t kill or hurt anyone.

  • Anthony Vincent December 30, 2009 (6:20 pm)

    Move to another country? Not a chance. Last time I checked we still have SOME freedom of speech left. Which includes the freedom to challenge ridiculous antiquated laws. I choose to evolve. Living in a democracy is about encouraging us to evolve.

    It’s Beth that can move.

  • zero-to-life in West Seattle December 30, 2009 (6:21 pm)

    Apparently the city of Seattle does have rules about “indecent exposure” however that is defined. If that definition includes public nudity, I don’t see how there is any arguement. Seems to me the bigger problem is the city “looking the other way” which creates an expectation and belief that it is legal.

  • zero-to-life in West Seattle December 30, 2009 (6:22 pm)

    And no, I do not have body issues nor am I a prude.

  • Duane December 30, 2009 (6:27 pm)

    Something tells me the same parents that complain about a little nudity let their kids play with toy guns and somewhat violent video games, but that’s OK. America: Make war, not love!

  • Nekked's good December 30, 2009 (6:27 pm)

    So why don’t we have fully nude strip clubs in my neighborhood? If it’s legal on the streets of Seattle,why not behind closed doors.

  • Trisket December 30, 2009 (6:30 pm)

    Oh BethH, your analogy reminds me of my high school days… particulary my sophmore year.

  • Save Our Streets Seattle December 30, 2009 (6:36 pm)

    There are people buying and selling crack, cocaine, and worse just blocks from my house in West Seattle (between Highland Park Elementary and Chief Sealth High) and when I call the SPD they say, “Seems unlikely, but we’ll be sure to look into that.” They never do. It still goes on every day. But when a naked person rides by the SPD is on it! Seattle, your priorities are VERY messed up.

  • maxx December 30, 2009 (6:39 pm)

    Semper Ubi Sub Ubi? :-P No… No…. I like the way god made me. No labels, no logos, no underwear…

  • BethH December 30, 2009 (6:46 pm)

    (1) A person is guilty of indecent exposure if he or she intentionally makes any open and obscene exposure of his or her person or the person of another knowing that such conduct is likely to cause reasonable affront or alarm. The act of breastfeeding or expressing breast milk is not indecent exposure.

    OK…this is as intentional as it comes in my opinion….just as those who do this and keep getting away with it in Freemont, it is “intentional”…they intended to ride without their clothing, knowing FULL WELL that it would offend many, which is a reasonable outcome to those out minding thier business and then WHAM a buncha naked people are riding by!

    I am NOT a prude by the way, I just think there’s something wrong in the head of people who think it’s fine and even funny to force things like nudity on others, especially children.

  • Jordan December 30, 2009 (6:46 pm)

    That is pretty ridiculous. People who are offended by nudity seem to have real issues that they need to work through. As for your kids, they will parrot whatever the parents do. If you are hung up on nudity they will be too. If you just go Hmmm, and look away they will be totally unimpressed by the whole scene.

    Of course, this was well publicized before the fact, so if you didn’t want to see it you could have just stayed away. The people who are just looking to be offended are amazing.

  • Monkfish December 30, 2009 (6:53 pm)

    Here’s the WA State RCW on indecent exposure. Of course it’s open to interpretation.

    RCW 9A.88.010
    Indecent exposure.


    A person is guilty of indecent exposure if he or she intentionally makes any open and obscene exposure of his or her person or the person of another knowing that such conduct is likely to cause reasonable affront or alarm. The act of breastfeeding or expressing breast milk is not indecent exposure.
    (2)(a) Except as provided in (b) and (c) of this subsection, indecent exposure is a misdemeanor.
    (b) Indecent exposure is a gross misdemeanor on the first offense if the person exposes himself or herself to a person under the age of fourteen years.
    (c) Indecent exposure is a class C felony if the person has previously been convicted under this section or of a sex offense as defined in RCW 9.94A.030.

  • Chris December 30, 2009 (6:53 pm)

    I am no prude, but can someone please tell me how this behavior is moving us forward as a society ? What kind of world are we making here ? Where do we want to end up ? We can do better.

  • Mr.JT December 30, 2009 (6:57 pm)

    Beth, do you take a shower until the mirror is completely steamed up ?

  • Babs December 30, 2009 (6:59 pm)

    If people want to ride a bike nude, so be it. I think its totally fine and fun. Kudos to those who did it. I do not have kids but if they saw it I would explain it to them. I would rather have life experienced kids over closet cases that are sheltered from everything the real world is and is not. This is the CITY. Maybe haters should move to the Midwest sticks where we know there is “never :) ever ” any crime or social civil disobedience. SPD should have looked the other way…

  • Trisket December 30, 2009 (7:04 pm)

    In my opinion if you have to say “I’m no prude”, then you probably are a prude.

    Can we please just leave the naked bicyclers alone?

  • Admiral Janeway December 30, 2009 (7:06 pm)

    “Semper ubi sub ubi?” Sorry maxx, close but not quite. (My Latin teacher would cringe.) Ubi is “where” not “wear”.

  • Angie December 30, 2009 (7:09 pm)

    The problem is that these people who have filed complaints (and people who have attitudes like Beth’s) are motivated entirely from fear. Fear of breaking the law. Fear that if a child sees a group of naked people they’ll either become so aroused that they’ll start humping each other or that they’ll begin to question why Mom and Dad teach them that they MUST wear clothing when other people don’t have to. Fear that if they were riding naked on a bicycle in public, someone might judge them negatively because their body doesn’t match society’s projected image of physical perfection. Fear of personal freedom. There are so many reasons someone might give of why public nudity is “wrong” that all go back to a fear of something or other.

    Wake up! There is NOTHING to be afraid of except for the power that our fear can have over our own lives. Fear inhibits creativity, experimentation, self-expression and evolution, growth, change. Just because you may not LIKE something doesn’t mean you have to fear it. And so what if these people are riding around naked? You say you don’t want their nudity “forced” on you? Well first of all, if what Jordan said is right about the fact that it was publicized in advance, don’t go! Secondly, if you’re suddenly assaulted by a nude person, close your eyes if you don’t want to see it. Being comfortable with your nudity doesn’t mean you expect others to lust after you when you’re naked. That isn’t the point. Its freedom of self and self-expression, and a desire to educate others about the freedom that could be theirs if they would just open their eyes, let go of their fear and grab it.

  • jhonny December 30, 2009 (7:09 pm)

    All good stuff here! Beth is right on the money: “knowing to cause harm.” Bikes say their attire is harmless while your Buicks are harmful.

    I know you think the IPCC is garbage and that walking on water is the Truth. Think about moral values and how bouncing boobies on a bicycle are not the same as second-hand smoke or Co2.

  • BethH December 30, 2009 (7:15 pm)

    Hmmmmmm why should my shower habits be of any concern to you “MrJT”?

    I think this obviously a hot button issue, and both sides have valid points.

    It really comes down to commen sense and decency.

    Rides such as the one mentioned here are more about the shock and awe factor, than just a simple ride in the buff. Same with the one in Fremont. Police looking the other way is WHY we have become more lawless in the past decade. Sadly some have lost their lives as a result.

    Oh and in the spirit of full disclosure…I was sexually assulted as a child, so my views are skewed by two evil men who did things to me that should only happen b/t consenting adults.

    Nuf said.

  • old timer December 30, 2009 (7:26 pm)

    I thought we had a budget problem.
    That rabbi could KILL someone in an Admiral area crosswalk, but got no punishment, yet these mindless blitherers, who probably expose their ‘children’ to nightly news which regularly reports murder, rape, hideous accidents, all in excruciating and needless detail, can cause the city to wastefully attempt to prosecute this guy for not wearing pants.
    Oh, I do feel your pain, you decent law abiding citizens who, when confronted by unexpected nudity become powerless in the presence of flesh, and lose your ability to avert your eyes.
    After all, it is all about control isn’t it?

  • CB December 30, 2009 (7:30 pm)

    A colossal waste of time. It’s time we all get over nudity, and realize there is no shame. We all have the same bits and pieces. The way airport security is going, we’ll all be flying nude soon.

  • AdmiralWayish December 30, 2009 (7:40 pm)

    I would LOVE some nude bike riding, and naked skydiving as well. Naked jogging is hard on the ol’ jugs.

  • Matt Durham December 30, 2009 (7:42 pm)

    I would be curious if the organizers, “The Fremont Arts Council”, receive the same treatment from the city attorney as does Daniel Johnson. The Fremont Solstice Parade’s website displays a bare chested lady as part of the promotion for the parade.
    A great experience, by the way.
    I’m sure some time in the Solstice Parade’s history, there have been individuals who have their panties in a bunch enough to push their puritan values on the rest of society by lodging complaints about the the nude cyclists.
    If my young sons saw West Seattle’s bike riders I would explain to them that nudity does not always equate to sexual expression; this may be apparent when one sees some of the riders.

  • velo_nut December 30, 2009 (7:55 pm)

    Nuke the gay naked bicycling whales.

  • Mr.JT December 30, 2009 (8:00 pm)

    BethH – How could you possibly equate the tragedies that our local Police Departments have suffered to riding nude?

  • Trisket December 30, 2009 (8:05 pm)

    Rock on old timer! and CB!

    The naked bicyclists are just as harmless as BethH’s little tirade; which by the way is just absolutely darling to read.

  • MargL December 30, 2009 (8:26 pm)

    How is riding a bike down the street naked where anyone can see different than walking up to someone and opening up your coat to show there’s nothing on underneath?

  • JanS December 30, 2009 (8:27 pm)

    Mr. JT…nice to see you posting…

    as for how I feel about this? So what? I didn’t run outside to see them…but I might have pointed and laughed if I had been outside. Most of these people applied paint to “disguise” the nudity…from the pics I saw, it was pretty clever…hope this guy beats the charges.

    Geez…this was 4 months ago, and they’re just getting around to it now? seriously?

    • WSB December 30, 2009 (8:30 pm)

      Re: Just getting around to it now – the time it takes between police investigation and charge filing can often take months. We’ve reported on other such cases, including some fairly serious car crashes. Although in many of THOSE cases, it’s a matter of evidence being processed and analyzed …

  • smallbusinessowner December 30, 2009 (8:37 pm)

    Ok, everyone picking on Beth, now now. We all have our own opinions. But I will say reading this was better entertainment than what is on TV tonight. But in reality, I think its gone overboard. And I agree, if we were not to be nude, we would have been born with clothing on. Really now, lets not take this to another level. There are so many more tragic things happening in the world today. And lastly think about it, was any true harm done? Not really. Oh, and the jogging nude comment, that one had me rolling on the floor. I know the feeling from a male’s side….

  • Dale December 30, 2009 (8:58 pm)

    Once again the Seattle bias comes out. This time they attack Beth. Not becuase she is right legally, but because she disagreed with one of them. Beth, don’t you know its politically incorrect to not agree with a liberal in West Seattle, regardless of what the law is, or the issue?

  • Daniel Johnson December 30, 2009 (9:16 pm)

    Hi everybody,

    Thank you for your interest in WNBR West Seattle story.

    KOMO 4 TV News in Seattle just finished interview with me in Maple Leaf. Story should be on tonight’s 11 O’Clock News http://KOMOnews.com

    I hope you will enjoy me stumbling my way through the interview. ;)

    Peace be with you during the holiday season!

    Daniel Johnson

  • kg December 30, 2009 (9:22 pm)

    I second the motion of the strip clubs.

  • Daniel Johnson December 30, 2009 (9:38 pm)

    My understanding was that when we were stopped by the police on Alki they told us we could not continue along Alki. This is second hand info though. I did not talk to the police directly. We rerouted through the neighborhoods in the area, which we have never done before and then made our way back to our original route when it seemed safe.

    Our new ride coordinator and volunteer ride marshals did a good job of staying together, looking after some of the slower riders, keeping the event light-hearted and avoiding conflicts during the event.

    BTW, Our route each year is pretty much the same. Admiral District to North Alki to Lincoln Park.

    I also want to point out that several of our riders do not consider themselves nudists, or naturists, such as myself. Some are beginning cyclists, other are more experienced. Several of our riders chose to stayed closed. Everybody is welcome to participate regardless of affiliation as long as they follow the golden rule.

  • lina December 30, 2009 (9:52 pm)

    I am still laughing about never-nudes. yes, it is a crime that Arrested Development was canceled.

  • k December 30, 2009 (10:21 pm)

    this is like the ridiculous janet jackson incident. this country needs to chill out. NO ONE WAS hurt in this. watch some commercials from Europe and realize how far we have to go in this country to relax a bit. i mean really. we are way too uptight.

  • 140.6 December 30, 2009 (10:48 pm)

    A couple of points here……

    1. “SPD should have looked the other way”. Babs, the law is on the books. Should SPD officers and choose which laws to enforce? Should they use this forum as a barometer to aid in that decision? Should they keep you on speed dial to decide which law and when? Reading the account above it sounds like several different citizens complained. Should SPD ignore a crime called to their attention? Even after it was called to their attention it sounds like they gave the group a warning. That sounds like a pretty good exercise in discretion to me.

    2. Yes, it is cold out now but when it warms up give a go by stripping down and trying to catch a Metro bus or stop in at your local coffee shop. How do you think that will work out for you? Why? Because it flys (pardon the pun) in the face of common courtesy and decency. Sure this is just another example of government legislating morality and decency but sometimes people just can’t seem to exercise common sense on their own.

    3. You’re happy with your body? Good for you. You think that adults riding their bicycles around naked is OK? Fine. Just recognize that it is against the law and take responsibility for breaking the law. Don’t try and push your values on me or the rest of us that feel the same way and try and pass it off as me being close-minded and you being enlightened.

  • KellyM December 30, 2009 (11:09 pm)

    So yeah, perhaps riding a bike in the nude is against the letter of the law. However, I think we’ve got more pressing issues to worry about. How about property crime for instance? Admittedly, chasing down the nudists probably didn’t take too much of the police officer’s time, but they could have been doing something else. Our court system could be worrying about more serious issues than having to hear this case.

    For those comparing the nude bikers to flashers. I think the main difference boils down to context and intent. A flasher is looking primarily for sexual gratification, looking for prey to attack. The nude bicyclists seem to be looking primarily for attention, shock value, a feeling of freedom, pride in their bodies. Maybe there are some of the bicyclists that get some kind of sexual gratification out of it. However I’d guess that whatever feeling they got out of it that it is not predatory.

    Personally, I see absolutely nothing wrong with nude bicyclists. I enjoy living in a city because I get to see unexpected things from time to time. While this may violate the letter of the law, I think that the spirit of the law is to stop sexual predation. Not to prevent people from seeing a non-sexually threatening nude person. We as a society are hung up on nudity, other societies have moved on.

  • nmb December 30, 2009 (11:12 pm)

    to those quoting from the SMC and/or RCW, the key word is “obscene”. simply being naked in public is not a crime. but to couple it with obscenity (i.e. masturbating, having sex, flashing someone for sexual satisfaction, or other overtly lewd behavior) — *that* is what these laws are intended to prevent.

  • starcraft December 30, 2009 (11:15 pm)

    In order for exposing one’s self to be a crime under the RCW, the exposure must be legally “obscene.” Nudity itself is not obscene. Let me illustrate. Dryhumping someone’s car window as they stare out in shock is obscene. Riding a bicycle is not obscene. Go live in Utah or someplace really cold if you are afraid of nudity.

  • MellyMel December 30, 2009 (11:25 pm)

    It seems the interpretation of the Seattle code hinges on if one considers the nude body in itself obscene, right?
    Generally Americans equate nudity with sexuality, and its the sexuality that is considered inappropriate for children.

  • Diane December 30, 2009 (11:32 pm)

    good job on the news Daniel; nice to see the face connected to story; funny that komo 4 had to blur the butts; so silly
    I moved to Seattle in 1998 from bay area and was shocked at how prudish this city is about nudity; in San Francisco it was no big deal to see a person walking down the street naked; at Pride Fest there are zillions of nude people, starting with the fantastic Dykes on Bikes leading parade; but in Seattle they make the women cover little pasties over their nipples; what a joke
    some people in this state are so archaic about connecting the natural body with naughty/nasty, that we actually had to pass a state law to prevent breastfeeding moms from being harassed; that’s pathetic
    Kudos to Daniel and the other nude bicyclists; maybe I’ll join in next summer

  • Fodder December 30, 2009 (11:47 pm)

    Okay, so it’s the law, let’s change the law, problem solved. (Yes, you can have a permitting process so the whole city won’t show up nakked to work).

    Our kids saw this last year as we happened to be driving by — really no big deal. Honestly, with several keystrokes on an internet connected computer (without a proper filter) and a kid can see much, much more than a few people riding their bikes naked. Let’s not sweat the small stuff… Just my 2 cents

  • dawsonct December 30, 2009 (11:53 pm)

    EEEEEK, genitalia!

  • jB December 31, 2009 (12:05 am)

    If people really think this is important and should be a tolerated and protected activity then they should contact their state representatives to amend the RCW to explicitly allow for organized nude bicycle rides much like was done for nursing.

    Otherwise, you are asking for trouble.

    A commenter above said they’d rather their kids see the “real world” than remain “closeted.” What is it, exactly, about a bunch of naked bicyclists that is supposed to be “real?” It seems like the most artificial and unoriginal stunt that could be imagined.

    Most people who ride bikes not only choose to wear shorts, but specifically choose shorts with extra padding in the crotch. Why anyone would choose to ride in the nude is beyond me.

    It isn’t particularly outrageous. It isn’t original in the least. It is one of those things that is shocking only to the extent that riding a bike in the nude is completely idiotic. Nude sun bathing? Sure. Nude swimming? OK. Riding a bike? Ridiculous.

    If anyone is impressed by this behavior, they truly need to get out more.

  • M. December 31, 2009 (12:17 am)

    Not sure why all the hysterical comments. Public nudity is against the law. If you wish to be naked in public, try to get the laws changed. Good luck, as we the citizens would prefer not to see you. And please, no “are you ashamed of your body?” or “Those poor children!” comments. Ridiculing a parent who does not wish to have their child exposed to nudity is simply awful.
    Regarding enforcement: do some of you have a list of what laws you think should or should not be enforced?
    Beth H, sorry for all the strange comments to your logical points.
    jB, well put.

  • E December 31, 2009 (12:23 am)

    nmb and starcraft – well said!

    “Public nudity is against the law.” No, it’s not. Not in this city.

  • dawsonct December 31, 2009 (12:26 am)

    My greatest concern for the cyclists is the possibility of a wipe-out. That would probably be the very worst case of road-rash EVER.

  • deoiridh December 31, 2009 (12:39 am)

    For any who missed it, here is the video from tonites news:

  • TK December 31, 2009 (1:12 am)

    Matters if any of them had gross boobs or not. Oh my generation! *sigh* We all have to look like porn stars….

  • rob December 31, 2009 (1:54 am)

    police selectively enforce laws all the time. if they wrote a citation for every violation they saw they wouldn’t make it a block from the precinct after they started their shift. they generally use good judgment and concern themselves with offenses that merit being dealt with.
    if you’re going to quote RCW, read the whole statute for what it is, don’t just fish for that little scrap of it that is what you want to hear. taken as a whole it is very vague and wide open to interpretation, which is why it is a stupid law.
    the statute does not define what is considered to be obscene in the context of exposing one’s “person”.
    it doesn’t define what amounts to one’s “person”. does it mean a totally naked body? a penis? boobs? a butt? a bald head?
    you can’t really tell. i think girl’s showing off their tramp stamps is offensive. this statue seems to cover that. maybe i should call and complain when i see a woman showing cleavage. how about when you see a girl with too short of a skirt. someone with their shirt not tucked in. maybe it offends me to see a guy not wearing a hat outdoors. should i call the cops to complain about these things?
    you don’t have to apply much imagination to make this statute mean whatever you want it to mean.
    then there is that last little bit about knowing that what you are doing is “likely to cause reasonable affront or alarm”. being offended by seeing a naked person riding a bike or walking down the street is not reasonable. it’s no more reasonable than being offended by seeing people on the corners at the junction holding pro-war signs.
    if it offends you, you’re not being reasonable.
    being reasonable would be something like asking yourself “how does what this person is doing affect me?” “is this person harming or threatening me?”
    if the only thing you can come up with is that it offends your delicate sensibilities, avert your eyes and go about your business.

  • Josh December 31, 2009 (2:08 am)

    I love it. People should, “just lighten up,” about this, and let these free spirits ride around, naked as they day they were born. The children? Why, the nightly news is much more dangerous to them then a bunch of nude bicyclists… I wonder if people taking this attitude would think the same thing if a lone, say 50ish homeless man decided to strip down across from an elementary school and enjoy a little time in the sun. Probably not.

  • Leroniusmonkfish December 31, 2009 (3:44 am)

    Haha…I had to laugh that Keltickitty had the last word/post in the previous thread…and am laughing yet again that the nudies aren’t gettin’ any sympathy from the SPD.

    There are other places to undress other than Cali Ave, Alki Beach, etc…

  • deoiridh December 31, 2009 (4:37 am)

    As it’s written – the law states that indecent exposure is cited if a naked body is obscene. If a simple naked bicyclist is obscene, then we should also close all the museums and art galleries that have naked ‘obscene’ paintings or naked ‘obscene’ statues. Because our children could see them and be traumatized. Then continue with purging all the libraries of all art books and foreign travel books, so our children can’t be exposed. And while we’re at it, clean the schools of all health books used in sex-ed classes because of pictures and diagrams in them. Additionally, demand ONLY ‘G Rated’ programming on TV (including the news!), in movies, and for our childrens delicate eyes, SHUT DOWN THE INTERNET. Outlaw speedos and bikinies on the beaches. Make our women were burkas. Have I gone far enough? Last time I checked – this is The United Satate of America NOT Iraq!

  • Leroniusmonkfish December 31, 2009 (7:07 am)

    But it’s my choice to go to a museum or art gallery, search the internet, watch TV, etc. I don’t need to have their version of “art” thrown in my face while out and about…

  • mar3c December 31, 2009 (7:15 am)

    actually, the pertinent phrasing in the municipal code is “likely to cause reasonable affront or alarm.” re-read the words, “likely” and “reasonable.”
    please keep your logic honest. “riding around naked,” “wandering onto the metro naked,” “homeless people sunbathing naked,” etc. are disingenuous comparisons. this event was planned and permitted. it went by once, it ended, people dispersed.
    regarding “can’t disagree with a liberal in seattle:” wow. stunning logic. i guess this discussion is over. check and mate. you are definitely the master debater.
    anyway, anyone who was truly offended probably had the good sense to avert his or her eyes. those who are raising a fuss are simply trying to force their morality onto others. they probably saw the cyclists, but – strangely – couldn’t look away. the more they looked, the more offended they became. they called the cops, the news, and half of the city council.
    we are *not* a society of children, and this was obviously not a sexual act, and if you conflate the two, you probably shouldn’t be walking around free.

  • Smitty December 31, 2009 (7:18 am)

    Can I come take a poop in your yard? It’s just “natural” and I promise to pick it up.

    If the answer is no then you are a prude!

    “Mommy, there is a naked man pooping in our yard! Relax kids, it’s natural!”

  • Jim December 31, 2009 (8:19 am)

    This is highly anti-social behavior that is also illegal. Laws exist to keep society orderly and civil. You don’t get to decide, as an individual, which laws other people should “lighten up” about.

  • Howard December 31, 2009 (8:39 am)

    Seattle does not have a law regarding nudity. They depend on the Washington State RCW. AND the RCW DOES NOT have any law forbidding “public nudity”. What they do define is “indecent exposure” – but that is defined as the “intent” to shock someone else. Seems to me that to prove “intent” is rather difficult. Especially when the group did not approach anyone and any member of the public who saw them, did so because they wanted to see the nude riders. Perhaps the complainers went out of their way to be “offended” so they could call in a complaint. Since the arrest was based on a complaint and not on what the police observed – it seems logical that the police did not observe anything illegal. So, this boils down to one or two individuals who believe that it is their constitutional right to “not be offended.” Well there is no such right. Unless they had specifically observed the riders doing something sexual or something that actually violates the state law – which it appears they didn’t. Of course the easiest way to avoid being offended is to simply look the other way – so it appears that these people who complained went out of their way to “be offended.” As far as the “children” go, it has been my experience as a parent and grandparent that when a child is young, they are natural nudists and will shed their clothes as often as they can and you really have to work to bend their minds so that they understand that they need to put clothes on when they are in public. Thus, if our population didn’t have this taught compulsive need to wear clothes, we would all be nudists if we let children grow up following their own feelings – if we didn’t teach them that the body was shameful, we would all be much healthier beings without all these hang ups about having to wear clothes.

  • mark December 31, 2009 (8:44 am)

    It is both physically and fiscally impossible for the police to enforce all laws equally. Peace loving naked bike riders should probably be somewhere below pot smokers (the lowest level) on the enforcement scale. If you really are worried about your children you should implore the police to enforce the traffic laws in your neigborhood. Not only would your children actually be safer but its also a revenue generator.

  • Chris December 31, 2009 (8:59 am)

    Maxx — Semper Ubi Sub Ubi? No… No…. I like the way god made me. No labels, no logos, no underwear… — too funny, you brought me back to 7th grade Latin.

    Nude people on bikes, seriously? Kids are going to have to deal with far more difficult issues. Use it as a teachable moment and get on with life.

  • Been here a long time December 31, 2009 (9:23 am)

    This is a very interesting twist in the thread. When this happened in August, the blog thread was very firm ANTI- naked bike ride. There were blogs going on and on how this was the beginning of the end. These were the scum of the earth. NO decent person would ever do this…. There was one blogger who insisted that the riders were pedophiles and ect…. It’s interesting that this time around the issue of the naked form has more support in the blog.
    My grandkids and I saw the riders, I thought it was a bit of fun really. They were painted and went by so fast too that you really couldn’t “See” anything anyway. I find this to be much ado about nothing.

  • Lee December 31, 2009 (9:23 am)

    I’m offended when I see people wearing clothes on warm days. Apparently, I need to contact the police.

  • Chris December 31, 2009 (9:41 am)

    I love the term Beth used: “unexpected nudity”…ha. I would love to live in a world of unexpected nudity.

  • Lindsey December 31, 2009 (10:40 am)

    These guys rode right by my friend and I while we were walking by the water at Lincoln Park. We saw them coming and had our glasses on. Did either of us see any genitalia? No, and we definitely checked them out. You’d have to ask them to slow down and get off their bikes to see anything that you wouldn’t see in the summer at Alki. We just looked at each other and said, “I love Seattle!”

  • Andy December 31, 2009 (11:15 am)

    My comment over at the Seattle pi:

    I would like to see this response:

    “Really? Well, I guess I have been riding my bike naked in public. I suppose I was overdue for this one.”

    The feigned shock of people who support this public nudity thing is tiring. Every person who goes naked in public does so knowing and expecting that it will upset people. Whether you think it should upset people or not is irrelevant – you know it does, every time you do it, and yet you do it anyway. That’s called picking a fight. Don’t pretend to be affronted when you get one.

  • T December 31, 2009 (11:34 am)

    If you haven’t tried it, being naked in the warm sun feels good. All you “never-nudes” should give it a whirl! Don’t worry, we won’t look…

  • rnl December 31, 2009 (1:00 pm)

    way too many posts about naked guy….need champagne…

  • TK December 31, 2009 (1:21 pm)

    I want to know how comfortable riding a bike naked is? I can’t run w/out a bra w/out grabbing my chest as it hurts!!! I want to know how naked men sit on their seats, do they push their package over to one side not to squish their nards? These are they real pertinent questions!!!

    I’m all about “de-puritanizing” our society. Actually i love that idea! But c’mon! Riding a bike naked? I’ve taken spin classes before and gone out and gotten the special shorts that pad your crotch cause it’s PAINFUL!!! Ouchy bouncing boobs and squished nards.

  • rob December 31, 2009 (1:51 pm)

    TK: very valid questions.

    personally, I am out of it straight away because I have a strange phobia involving keeping hanging/protruding genitalia away from meshing sprockets and chains. that’s just a personal hangup though.

    utilizing a normal bicycle seat without the benefit of some sort of rudimentary containment system for the naughty bits seems like a route to assured discomfort. particularly since it seems to take forever for someone to get around to fixing those nasty potholes we have no shortage of.

    but, i think it warrants consideration that the near certainty of the inevitable chafing, bruising, sunburn, etc shows resolve and dedication on the part of the rider.

    i saw a man and woman in california rollerblading naked years ago. i am sure the sun and the breeze feel amazing, but damn a wipeout would suck real bad.

  • persimmon December 31, 2009 (2:41 pm)

    I’m trying to teach my children tolerance. My six-year-old has learned to say “It’s not my cup of tea” if she doesn’t like some thing. I find nothing harmful about nudity as nudity alone is not sexual, and get great joy from pointing at naked people we catch a glimpse of and laughing. We laugh because it funny. It’s obvious naked bikers and bathers are having fun—so why not enjoy it with them as they get away with a little something that should be our right anyway. I’d rather show my children naked people than scantily clad ones or those who are overtly displaying themselves in their mating rituals. The sexualization of our bodies through clothing is much more damaging and harmful to our own self worth and our children. I’d rather expose our kids to a little live nakedness! Besides, bike riders of all people, aren’t going to be the ones to worry about: If they ride a bike, chances are they probably have a high level of awareness (-;

  • Catherine December 31, 2009 (3:33 pm)

    My first thought when I heard about this was “how do they keep their testicles from sticking to the seat?” Maybe they have cloth covers on the seats?
    I’m really offended by sexual nudity in movies but this? Not at all. There’s nothing sexual about it. It wouldn’t bother me if my daughter saw it because I’d prefer she was able to see that the naked body can be sexual and natural depending on the context and intention. She comes into the bathroom with me and hangs out while I shower. Nothing sexual there. I hope she grows up not being ashamed of her body and knowing the difference between artful/innocent/tasteful nudity and sexual nudity.

  • Tonya December 31, 2009 (3:52 pm)

    I really don’t want to see some pale white guys a*s while I am out and about…but I don’t think they should have charges filed against them. Fine them,yes if a law was broken.

    You all need to put the bong down that are attacking Beth. She has as much right to her opinion as anyone else on here. Where’s all the “tolerence”?

    PS- Why oh why are the ones who feel the need to be free and nude in public are the same ones who should really be the last to be seen nude???? :)

  • Justice Marshall December 31, 2009 (5:01 pm)

    “Regardless of the strength of the government’s interest[in protecting children,] the level of discourse reaching a mailbox simply cannot be limited to that which would be suitable for a sandbox.”
    Justice Thurgood Marshall

  • Justice Marshall December 31, 2009 (5:04 pm)

    And the great new TSA commander will soon require you to fly naked too! All for that old Homeland Security!

  • Justice Marshall December 31, 2009 (5:30 pm)

    By the way, your policemen , like your judges are confused along with your prosecutor, it’s a requirement to get hired!

    Did the oficer view the crime?

    We reverse the Court of Appeals and vacate the district court judgment.

    4 The State makes this argument for the first time in this court. The State claims that “the
    defendant was still creating a danger when the trooper arrived at the scene.” Suppl. Br. of Resp’t
    at 15. The State may be correct that Magee still posed a danger to other motorists simply by
    virtue of being parked in the wrong direction. But Magee was cited for a specific infraction;
    negligent driving in the second degree. That infraction is committed only when the defendant
    operates a vehicle negligently. By the time the trooper arrived, Magee was no longer operating
    his vehicle. We find the State’s argument unpersuasive.

    State v. Magee (Andrew), No. 81746-4


    Justice Tom Chambers

    This is your Washington State Trooper, who flunked reading comprehension, 101, along with the prosecutor, District Court Judge, Appelate Court Judges…

    But that’s what happens when you send your children to the WEA Union School, sucking your brains out for generations.

  • rw December 31, 2009 (5:31 pm)

    The nudity is irrelevant to me. Our nudity laws are silly.

    On the other hand, this group is an offshoot of Critical Mass (aka Critical Mess), and those yahoos need to be hauled in by the police– but for disrupting and blocking traffic, not for showing skin in all its human perfection or imperfection. We’re all made of the same stuff, so why do people get shocked or upset by this? On the other hand, blocking and disrupting traffic is putting yourself ahead of or better than others, and that deserves to be addressed by police.

  • RG-KOA December 31, 2009 (8:25 pm)

    First of all, I’ve got no love for uppity bicyclists. Anybody who has sat behind those d-bag Critical Mass dorks knows exactly what I’m talking about. However, the pleasure of a cool breeze blowing about my scrotum sack is a God given right I don’t intend to give up soon!

  • kat December 31, 2009 (11:28 pm)

    oh give me a break Ya see more nudity at Alki on a hot day ( I mean that string bikini that goes up the butt really doesnt cover much!!)

    If the Children are scarred then the parents need help

    give it a rest this is the only country in the world were it is a big deal!!! lighten up folks there is more to be worried about then ya saw some naked person on a bike!! whoopie dooo!!!

  • Smitty January 1, 2010 (8:42 am)

    Kat, I need your address! I intend to come poop in your yard (I’ll pick it up) while naked. It’s natural and “no big deal”. I’ll tell your neighbors to “lighten up” if they say anything!

    Darn country of ours – we’ll show ’em!

  • Andy January 1, 2010 (10:21 am)

    My comment appears to have been swallowed – my apologies if this winds up double posting.

    “give it a rest this is the only country in the world were it is a big deal!!!”

    This one comes up every time. I have been to other countries, and I don’t remember seeing packs of naked people walking or riding through the neighborhoods. Maybe I’m going to the wrong places.

    The problem here is the same as it is every time people head out without their clothes on ostensibly to further some cause. Absolutely nobody is discussing the cause, which in this case was something about raising awareness that riding a bike instead of driving a car is a good way to reduce our carbon footprint. I welcome someone to explain to me how public nudity furthers that message, or to simply point me towards a discussion inspired by one of these events which actually centered on the cause, instead of a bunch of armchair lawyering and moralizing about public nudity.

    You want o promote riding bikes, then ride bikes. If you want to promote public nudity, get naked out there and make that your message. Don’t pretend it’s about something else. It’s like going to an anti-war protest and chanting about child labor laws. Spurious.

  • Daniel Johnson January 1, 2010 (11:52 am)

    Please send a message to Mike McGinn to support the designating areas of Seattle’s shoreline for clothing-optional recreation.

    Vote YES for clothing-optional beaches at


    Currently the issue is ranked #5, we need your support for a higher ranking! Please get your friends and family who support the idea to vote as well!


  • jp January 1, 2010 (1:24 pm)

    your priorities are so messed up allowing kids to blast each others heads off with shotguns, beat each other to death with crowbars (on a fun, safe, Nintendo Wii game) or watch Vampires and Zombies slash each other to pieces and not even bat an eye. celebrating and romanticizing violence, violence, violence, that’s what good ole USA is about.

    BUT a little bit of skin and you’re all “up in arms”?? i wonder where that expression comes from? oh yeah, a long established history of violence…

    egads Amerika, learn from the rest of the world. a little bit of skin does not kill. you’re a bunch of moronic prudes that need to pay attention to the REAL problem with your country.

  • Brandon January 1, 2010 (3:04 pm)

    I don’t think people who think “nudity is natural” are going to easily convert those of the mindset that “nudity is obscene and perverted.” There is simply too deep of social training on both sides. It’s like abortion, if you think it’s literally killing an unborn child, nothing will convince you it should be legal, period. I personally fall into the “nudity is neutral” camp and have far more issues with violence and misinformation on TV than I do with some artists parading around playfully on bikes naked for 20 minutes occasionally… especially with a permit.

    I can point out that there’s science to support that there has never been a link established between nudist lifestyles, or exposure to non-sexualized nudity causing any emotional damage or leading to developmental issues in children. (http://www.fcn.ca/children_2.htm).

    What amazed me are people that think that the 500+ people who were in the nude bikeride (and I know many of them) are somehow equivalent to child abusing pedophiles and should be locked up as sex offenders (see other comments). Really? Just biking around for fun covered in paint is equal to rape? Sorry, you lost me there.

    Also, the red herring of “cops have more important things to do than enforce this law” is as equally invalid as “protesters should find a more important cause to support.” Yes, there are more important laws, and issues to protest… but that doesn’t stop this from being important to some people, on both sides.

    As a final point, it’s culturally learned, especially in America, that nudity is shameful and harmful and inherently obscene. The rest of the world really does find our sensitivity to this hilarious and close minded.

    Oh wait, one more point… that law is terrible. It’s WAY too vague to be reliably enforced. Unclear what obscene means, and unclear what “exposing one’s person” means.

  • Leroniusmonkfish January 1, 2010 (6:16 pm)

    Thanks for that post Brandon. 500 in the bike ride? Hmmm…looked to me like about 20 or so….

  • Leroniusmonkfish January 1, 2010 (7:34 pm)

    And for the person posting under the name “Monkfish” be a bit more original and find yourself a unique name.

  • Daniel Johnson January 1, 2010 (9:29 pm)


    Different bike rides in Seattle have different levels of participation. Solstice Cyclists has at least 250-400 cyclists. I haven’t counted though. That must be what Brandon is referring to.

  • Leroniusmonkfish January 1, 2010 (11:57 pm)

    Thanks for the clarification Daniel. I thought for a moment that I had been over-prescribed on my meds yet again.

  • russ January 2, 2010 (12:52 am)

    Can anyone tell me why, we live in a society that dictates, that paying for sex is illegal, but paying for porn is legal…? Nudity is somehow more damaging than murder and violence on TV…Sometimes I am embarrassed to be living in this sick society we call America.

    Someone once said, it is no mark of sanity to be seen as sane in a sick society.

    Please look into yourselves at your sickness, don’t blame others for your issues of shame.

    Let the riders be naked and cover your eye’s or get over it!

  • bb January 2, 2010 (9:05 am)

    Ive said this before they are “pedal-philes” If you have a right to bike in the buff then others have the right to be offended. who are you to dictate others likes and dislikes? if you want to be naked so bad then be willing to goto jail for your convictions. but most importantly if it was not sexual then people COULD not percieve it as such, but they do. they are doing this to annoy people nudity may be natural but bike riding is not.

  • sbunny8 January 2, 2010 (10:12 am)

    The purpose of the World Naked Bike Ride is to protest our addiction to fossil fuels by promoting the most efficient alternative: bicycling. This is a peaceful protest, protected by the first amendment. Yes, I’m saying painting your bodies and riding bikes down the street is free speech.

    But even if it weren’t part of a well-known annual protest for admirable goals, even if it were just one person riding a bike naked for no reason at all, I would still say it’s silly for someone to be offended by it. Automobiles make lots of noise and spew toxic gasses into the air we breathe; these huge machines can kill you if one collides with you… yet someone has the gall to say that a human body is indecent? Automobiles are dangerous, and that makes them ten times more indecent than a naked cyclist.

  • Daniel Johnson January 2, 2010 (10:33 am)

    Here is some information about WNBR for those of you who are not familiar with what it is all about.


    Hope everybody is having a relaxing and Happy New Year!


  • Andy January 2, 2010 (11:21 am)

    I am still looking to be squared away about exactly how getting naked is in any way related to protesting “our addiction to fossil fuels by promoting the most efficient alternative: bicycling.”

    Now I see in the wiki link provided by Daniel:

    “protest oil dependency and celebrate the power and individuality of our bodies”.

    Still trying to figure out just how in the heck these two things have anything to do with each other. Or, for that matter, how anyone expects me to believe that adding nudity to a protest is motivated by anything other than a desire to aggravate people.

    And why do people who want to celebrate things always choose things – quite intentionally – that are morally or culturally divisive? Why does a celebration have to interfere with and disrupt someone else’s comfort in order to be worth doing?

    Oh, and in case I haven’t asked yet, what does public nudity have to do with driving less? It’s just “Borat on Bikes:” Do something that is so obviously a mean spirited poke in the eye to people who disagree with you, and then pat yourself in the back for your brilliance and progressiveness.

  • nmb January 2, 2010 (12:42 pm)

    Andy: it certainly got everyone’s attention, didn’t it? Only a dozen or so participants and look at how much people are talking about it!

  • Andy January 2, 2010 (1:26 pm)

    But not a single, solitary person is talking about the actual reason for the event. Not one. Which means that absolutely no progress was made towards the goal of the event. And that’s my point. Are these people really, really out there to promote bike riding, or are they just a little carried away with the satisfaction they get by upsetting people?

    Seriously, I wouldn’t have joined this conversation at all if the purpose of the WNBR was to promote naked bike riding. That would make sense. Why bother with the lie about dependence on foreign oil, reducing carbon footprints, etc, if what you really want is to promote public nudity? Is that the legal loophole, or something?

    And if you really, honestly are trying to protest foreign oil and promote bicycle riding, then what on Earth is the point of getting naked? There is ZERO, ZERO, ZERO correlation.

    Just looking for some honesty here.

  • rob January 2, 2010 (2:55 pm)

    It is legal to be nude in Seattle but illegal to be nude in public with the intention of engadging in Lewd behavior. I saw plenty of children playing around nudist in public in Europe and very rarely did I ever hear of a sexual crime being committed there, UNLIKE HERE DAILY!

  • Joy January 2, 2010 (3:12 pm)

    1. Public nudity, per se, is not against the law in Seattle. Flashing is, because there is a target… because there is an intent to shock the target… and because the goal is sexual gratification for the flasher, and/or humiliation for the flashee.

    2. the world naked bike ride is an international event, coordinated by people who believe that getting together to riding bikes naked is a great way to draw attention to how much stuff we consume just because it’s “normal” to do so. Stuff from clothing to cars to lots of gas for those cars to lots of soap to wash those clothes.

    I suspect that Daniel Johnson would argue that putting your unclothed self and your unclothed baby on your human powered bike and going to your local community garden is a more civic-minded pursuit than putting your kids in the car seat and driving to the store for veggies that were shipped to China for processing, and then shipped back here.

    You can argue whether that’s true or not.

    But what’s certainly true is that the ride had a very clear socio-political theme and goal. The purpose of the ride was not “sexual gratification” (Daniel’s, or anyone else’s).

    3. Nor was there a “victim” singled out for “humiliation,” nor was there any credible threat of sexual violence. Most of the WNBR events include non-naked cyclists bearing signs to warn people that there are naked cyclists following. If you see such a sign, and if you consider nakedness to be a problem, I’d suggest closing the drapes, pulling the car over, etc. Most of us, in a pinch, have working eyelids. Absent the threat of sexual violence, it makes sense to use those eyelids when you see something you don’t approve of.

    In my generation, our moms used to distract us when protesters (or the news) showed pictures from VietNam. Plenty of moms felt those images were not appropriate for kids eyes, and that they would give me nightmares. They complained that the protesters should “think about the children.” But calling for the police to intervene, because she was shocked? No… she knew better than to confuse comfort with safety. The police are hired to make us safe, not comfortable.

  • Andy January 2, 2010 (3:39 pm)

    Joy: A voice of reason, thank you. Not entirely satisfied, and certainly still in broad disagreement with the idea that public nudity is a valuable tool for doing anything other than upsetting people, but you’ve done a fine job of explaining the intent.

    It does seem reasonable, though, in light of the signs with warnings about nude riders ahead, that a person should be also able to have a sign that says, “People who don’t want to see naked bikers ahead,” and expect the cyclists to go a different way. However, I am willing to bet that a nude cyclist who saw that sign would laugh and pedal right on ahead. Why does the naked cyclist get to occupy a more privileged seat in the values-pushing theater?

    In point of fact, I am not too worried about the ethics or morality or legality of the thing. I see it something like this (On top of the points I raised earlier): Take a community like West Seattle on any given day, doing whatever it might be doing, and then get a bunch of people to ride naked through it, and you have introduced an antagonism that instantly sets the community more at odds with each other than it would have been had the bikers been clothed. Which to me isn’t very civic-minded at all.

  • Joy January 2, 2010 (4:12 pm)

    Hi Andy–

    Think of it this way; 99.99% of the time, there are no naked cyclists, which is fair to the 99.99% of the population who have no particular interest in naked cycling, or in fact deplore it. And 0.01% of the time, there are naked cyclists.

    I see a lot of things every day that make my day slightly less beautiful, or even perfectly legal things that offend me. Heck, I’m sometimes offended by people with whom I totally agree, in a political sense. You can pick any hot-button issue, and someone will have made an offensive poster or a reductionist, brain dead bumper sticker…for both sides.

    We do have groups that ride bikes with their clothes on as an anti-car statement. Critical Mass certainly has that ethos. They also have more participants (sometimes thousands, depending on the city). And in turn, they totally shut down city streets to motorized traffic (for hours, in some cities) and rouse massive enmity among those stuck in cars, while amusing the heck out of others.

    I’d count your blessings. Everyone’s getting where they need to go, and no-one’s getting hurt.

    I have to suspect that the crackdown on some of the long-standing, tacitly “clothing optional” bathing spots along the sound and on Lake Union could be politicizing some clothing optional folks and encouraging them to get together in larger groups. I’d like to think that setting aside certain spots or routes (or certain days or times) for clothing optional use might remove the unexpected nature of the “unwanted interactions” and mitigate some of the stress. As you say, it’s the “on any given day / at any random location” aspect that’s drawing a lot of the ire.

  • Georgie Bright Kunkel January 3, 2010 (10:34 am)

    Interesting that dozens of people want to comment on nudity but no one cares about the fact that our society has never provided free child care and early education accessible in neighborhoods.

    Stadiums abound, urban transportation issues polarize our community and nudity (which we were born with I might add) riles us up but family services don’t seem to be high on our priority list. It is easier to complain about nude bikers and it doesn’t cost us anything, right?

  • PBR January 4, 2010 (9:30 am)

    I can not fathom how people could actually be offended by the human body, especially enough to contact the police. Those types of people who “act to uphold moral decency” are the cause of the crusades, McCarthy-ism, and are the reason why gay marriage is still illegal.

    I grew up camping with a bunch of “hippies” and saw nude people regularly while swimming in rivers or lakes. I am proud to say I have no problem being nude. I enjoy swimming nude with friends, and if the occational camper sees me in that state, so be it.

    I would honestly say people like the hippies I grew up with have a more well rounded look on life and generally cause others less pain.

    It is the people who claim such lofty moral righteousness who most often commit egregious acts against other humans. The examples range from Mary K. Letourneau to the abuses that have happened in the Catholic Church.

    The human body is a beautiful thing, and it is our society and the supposed “moral majority” that claims it to be offensive or indecent.

    And to the person who continues to mention deficating on a person’s lawn: gross. You know that there is a huge difference between a nude human body and feces.

  • Free Lunch January 4, 2010 (8:25 pm)

    Comparing public nudity to public dump taking? I guess nudity really offends you all!
    Meanwhile, I’m sure your kids spend the class after PE stinking, because they’re too worried about taking a shower. Protect the children indeed.

  • devilbunny January 4, 2010 (10:54 pm)

    Naked biker’s: Keep riding. And as Mom would say, Keep warm. It’s cold outside.

  • nmb January 6, 2010 (9:56 am)

    So for anyone who is offended by the human body, this event should be more to your liking. In fact, why not come out and join us!


  • Paul Roberts January 8, 2010 (11:48 am)

    Lighten up Seattle you are becoming the laughing stock of the World. I don’t know how your police would have coped with 1200 naked cyclists that rode through London, UK. The London police sorted it all out, got on their bikes and cycled with us (they were clothed of course). The atmosphere was relaxed and great fun. However, three important issues were raised.

    1. That we all come in different shapes and sizes and the human body is a natural thing. We should not be ashamed of being who we are.

    2. That cities should move away from being built for the car and the streets should be reclaimed for people. London, one of the busiest cities in the World was turned into a happy smilling village for two hours. NOBODY complained.

    3. That we HAVE to end our dependancy on motor cars that are costing the Earth.

    We raised all these issues in a humorous, gentle and fun way that offended NOBODY.

    Lighten up Seattle, be adult, get the point, your body is NOT obscene. It’s just you and you are beautiful. Fight the culture that says that anything naked is sexual.

    We are all naked under these clothes.

    If you really want something obscene – look at the World’s oil culture.

    Can we move on to something more pressing than this witch hunt against a brave man, who should be praised.

    Thanks for your time.


  • Ryan January 8, 2010 (3:31 pm)

    Lol, I was part of this naked bike ride. Thanks to all the well wishers. I’m kind of a green freak so I liked the idea of doing something that would have little to no impact on the environment which was what we were all going for. Yeah we got stopped by a police officer and so we immediately altered our route just as the officer said. Too bad the direction he pointed us in was right past a playground/schoolyard. It was kind of a facepalm moment.

  • john mercado January 8, 2010 (4:10 pm)

    It is not very good use of law, nor would it be considered constitutional, this form of enforcement, if considered by a higher court.

    In the past the religious were rebuffed on their plan to make this a perfect state with regard to their own necessary perversity with regard to the place they relegate morality;sex and the human form.

    Because of this there was some kind of compromises or precidents that let the court deal with cases individually yet not spell out what is a crime or the threshold of such because it would sound stupid and corrupt from a secular point of view if it was spelled out. So from this strange precedent of compromise(I know it when I see it) we get this kind of law enforcement where some conservative can decide simply by complaining that an others actions offend.
    That is corrupt and untenable law enforcement and..well, we should at least tax these organizations if the officials who live off our tax dollars are so beholden to them and their primitive moral substitutions.

    On the other hand if I don’t have such weird superstitions regarding or any that our enforced on other people for my benefit at the expense of their liberty I most be made a second class citizen and without a take break for having less power.

  • Alf January 9, 2010 (6:55 pm)

    Beth H., do lighten up a tad. Your argument would have the men, yes, the men, in the US who demonstrated in the thirties for the right for men to go topless on the beaches invited to leave the country. It seems to me that when a law reaches the point of absurdity, either in whole or in application, then the duty of the citizen is to protest it. A once-a-year event with much publicity is hardly to be classed as either unexpected or injurious to children.

  • keltickitty January 12, 2010 (3:01 pm)

    the right choice was made. it was dismissed

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