Preparing for a Saturday afternoon bike ride:
Water Bottle: check.
A small group of dedicated cyclists want to raise awareness on the importance of bicycling, and if there is one thing for sure, they know how to get noticed.
A group in Drumheller is set to hit the streets in different states of undress to participate in the World Naked Bike Ride. This will be the first event of its kind in Drumheller, and indeed Alberta.
The ride goes this Saturday, June 13 starting at 3 p.m. at The Melting Pot Gallery. The group will take a tour through Drumheller to raise awareness to drivers of cyclists on the road, to celebrate the human body, and carry a message about car culture, and its impact on the environment.
“It is to encourage people to get on the bikes, and make cars aware there are cyclists on the road for safety,” said ride organizer, Jennifer Chow.
The ride runs in concert with events in more than 100 cities in the Northern hemisphere on the same time and day. The Southern hemisphere typically stages its event in March.
Chow says she thinks Drumheller is ready for such an event, and has heard commitments from a few ready to pedal their way around town, feeling more breeze than usual.
“I think there are enough people ready for it. I have spoken to many people and some think it is a joke, but some are really excited,” said Chow.
Chow said she has participated in one, and her boyfriend has also been a part of the rides.
“I went on the World Naked Bike Ride in 2006 while I was in Victoria, and it was great fun. I’ve talked to lots of people who are excited for the World Naked Bike Ride in Drumheller, and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Chow.
She has checked with the Town of Drumheller and was told there are no special requirements.
She also approached the Drumheller RCMP. In a letter from Staff Sergeant Hopkins, he states he cannot condone or support violations against the laws of the country. He also had further concerns with the safety of the public using the road at the time of the event.
Chow says the event has been held in about nine other Canadian cities over the past five or six years, and there has not been an arrest.
“I think the law is you are not allowed to be indecent, and this is not indecent,” she says.
While it is billed as naked, Chow says it is not a requirement for riders to bare all, of course. The motto is to “be as bare as you dare.” The events encourages, skateboards, rollerblades, unicycles; any sort of human powered transportation.
“It is a peaceful, respectful, non-drinking event that is open to everyone. They are fun, light-hearted events in which participants often dress-up or are body-painted, adding to the festive nature of the occasion,” she said.
For more information on the event, contact Chow at firstname.lastname@example.org.