May 05, 2016 - 8:00 PM
KELOWNA - Organizers of the third annual naked bike ride say repeating the event doesn’t take away from its message.
“It was a great success and it got a lot of people engaged in conversation about bicycle safety and positive body image,” Liam Park says.
“We’re trying to expose the vulnerability cyclists face in traffic by using our naked bodies as a metaphor for being vulnerable," he says. "We’re also calling attention to the noise pollution and our addiction to fossil fuels in our car-dependent society.”
Kelowna had its first cycling fatality of 2016 on April 15 when a 50-year-old man was knocked down and run over by a flatdeck truck at the intersection of Banks and Baron Roads.
And last July, 38-year-old Patricia Keenan was killed when she collided with a car door.
Last year’s ride drew about 50 people, Park says.
“We had all ages, shapes and sizes. None of them were hoodlums and nothing got caught in a bike chain. We all made it out in one piece.”
In keeping with its anarchist roots, the ride is not sanctioned by the city.
“Last year’s ride went fine and we didn’t get permission, so we’re going with that,” Park says.
This year’s ride is scheduled for Saturday, June 11 aligning the local event with the World Naked Bike Ride.
Park is printing posters and has created an Facebook page for the ride, relying as the event does, on social media to spur interest.
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