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Naked Bike Ride won't be spinning near Fat Cat Children's Festival

Annual Naked Bike Ride participants ride through downtown Kelowna.
Image Credit: Deon Nel Photography
June 07, 2016 - 6:30 PM

KELOWNA - Organizers did not deliberately chosen the event date to coincide with a children's festival, though one organizers says the children might benefit the most from its positive body image message.

“Kids are way too sheltered when it comes to nudity and way too normalized when it comes to (seeing) violence,” Naked Bike Ride organizer Liam Park says. “I remember growing up watching disfigured corpses on CSI for years before I even knew there was shows with boobs in them.”

The third annual Naked Bike Ride is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 11, beginning at Mushroom Beach beside the Bennett Bridge pedestrian tunnel. The Fat Cat Children's Festival begins Friday morning and wraps up at 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon at Waterfront Park.

The date was chosen, Park explains, for no other reason than to coincide with the World Annual Naked Bike Ride.

Park says the Naked Bike Ride will make a deliberate effort to avoid that part of town though, and will instead aim for a memorial to a local woman, Patricia Keenan, who was killed last summer while riding her bike down Bernard Avenue.

“This year we will be riding to the ghost bike (on Bernard Avenue) to emphasize the bike safety element,” Park adds. “Last year on our ride we didn’t even see any evidence of the children's festival.”

Park says the ride is not sanctioned by the City of Kelowna and is open to anyone who wants to participate.

Most riders will wear some clothing, he adds, but no one will stop a rider who wants to strip off completely, as long as they obey the rules of the road when cycling.

— This story was updated at 1:14 p.m., June 8, 2016, to correct the start time of 11:30 a.m.

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