Neighborhood Watch Asks City to Ban "Grotesque" Naked Bike Ride
ballsy brave bicyclists rode through the streets to call attention to the plight of cyclists and pedestrians in an "oil-dependent culture," but not everyone is a fan of the naked riders.
The Elysian Valley Neighborhood Watch (EVNW) penned an open letter to Los Angeles City Council Member Eric Garcetti calling the event a "grotesque site/indecent exposure & sexual harassment." It asked for city officials to think of "public safety" and the "quality of life" that is tarnished when a group of mostly-naked dudes pass through its neighborhood:
Disturbing is the fact that this event is permitted with zero regard for the public safety and quality of life of the affected communities. Equally troubling is the apparent political protection being afforded this cycling group by City Hall. According to police, the "last time these people made a ride in the down town area, the patrol officers were told not to cite or arrest."
Yes, it's true, the police in Los Angeles made a point of not cracking down on naked bike riders—as long as they weren't doing anything lewd or breaking other laws. (The same is true in other cities like San Francisco, New York and, of course, Portland.)Most of the commenters—many of them apparently participants—weren't having it. A commenter identified as Melissa Ralph wrote: "You have got to be kidding me?! A display of sexual harassment and indecent exposure for riding a bike naked? Whoever wrote this article is grasping at straws to find some harm in this innocuous 'crime.'"
The letter also quoted a 66-year-old resident, who alleged that some of the naked riders tried to climb her fence and steal her oranges. If true, her allegations would be creepy and obnoxious even if the riders weren't naked. But she said she would have gladly given them her oranges except that they were "too disgusting to watch." Instead, she called police to report that they were the "[crossing] the line of this being a free country."
One commenter identified as Marc Mode offered to mend ties with this anonymous Elysian Valley resident: "I wouldn't mind going back and give this lady some organic oranges to make things right."
LAist writer Valerie Chen contributed to this post.