Naked bike ride nothing to blush about

June 20, 2009

What was planned as a naked bike ride through downtown Colorado Springs on Saturday afternoon ended up being merely immodest.

Instead of letting it all hang out, the 15 or so riders donned skivvies and selectively placed duct tape before setting off in a group from Left Side Spin, a bicycle shop at 333 N. Tejon St., at about 3 p.m.

They blamed the prudes in the City Attorney's office.

"They said we could end up on the sex offender registry," said John, who, like the other riders in the event, declined to give his last name after hearing warnings that naked riders could be ticketed for indecent exposure.

The rolling protest was part of World Naked Bike Ride, which seeks to draw attention to dependence on oil.

Riders in Boulder last weekend also settled for near-nudity in the face of threats they could be prosecuted.

In Colorado Springs, there was still plenty of bare skin for pro-environment slogans scrawled in body paint.  Some featured mildly racy puns not fit for a family newspaper. Others beckoned, "Burn fat, not oil."

Several riders donned dark glasses and other disguises to protect their anonymity. One wore an American flag bandanna over his face, and another wore a bright blue mask usually seen on professional wrestlers in Mexico.

Some spectators arrived disappointed they weren't getting the Full Monte.

"So do people find this offensive?" asked Merwin Scartiano, who sat with a companion and watched as the riders got ready to embark on their ride south on Tejon Street and west on Colorado Avenue and back.

Apparently somebody did.

A Colorado Springs police supervisor said officers were summoned to investigate a complaint but apparently left without taking any action.

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