Cyclists protest unsafe biking conditions by riding naked

Posted at 11:25 PM, Jul 14, 2018

"This is a protest ride though, so people are protesting with their bodies," Matt Dunning, said.

Saturday evening, naked cyclists protested unsafe biking conditions in Buffalo. Protestors came in all degrees of nudity. Some arrived completely naked, others just half-naked, and some dressed in drag.

"The significance of being naked is showing how vulnerable cyclists are on the road," Dunning said.

According to the CDC, in 2015 there were 467,000 bike related injuries, which is why nearly 100 people came to Wilkinson's Point to ride and protest.

Valerie VanDerwalker said she knows just how dangerous it can be to ride a bike around the city.

"These guys were following me and yelling at me," VanDerwalker said. "They were sticking their middle fingers at me and screaming and joking. And then they ran me off the road. And I fell and my bike chain popped off. And they were still like yelling at me. People do not care," VanDerwalker said.

She said that this kind of thing happens everyday to her. She came with her friend Steve Donelson who shared a similar experience.

"Not a day went by without me getting beeped at for doing nothing wrong," said Donelson.

Biker safety wasn't the only issue the naked protestors were raising awareness for. Another one of their concerns was for the over-consumption of fossil fuels. However, what was clear by the crowd and what they said, the bike ride was as much of a protest as it was a celebration of the human body.

"There are a lot of people who are ashamed of their body, but shouldn't be. So we get out here, not all of us are perfect, most of us have something we are embarrassed about or some flaw, but we get out here and show it off anyway," Donelson said.

People painted messages on themselves that read "love you body."

"Everybody look at you like ahh your naked, but it's the true body. It's true beauty," Kevin Hunt of Tonawanda said.

He came down because he is an avid biker, but also to be apart of the free-spirited atmosphere.

"Just being free. There's a lot of people who aren't free. I want to be free," he said.

In this case, being free meant being naked.

The legality of doing a naked bike ride in public doesn't favor the riders, though.

According to NYSenate.gov the laws for public nudity is, "A person is guilty of exposure if he appears in a public place in such a manner that the private or intimate parts of his body are unclothed or exposed."

Breastfeeding is allowed, but other types of nudity is prohibited.

Regardless, the protestors weren't afraid of the possible consequences. Dunnings said that in the previous three years they have done this, there hasn't been a problem.