Cycling naked has become a "well-established tradition" in Portland

Multnomah County Courthouse in Portland, Orego...Image via WikipediaThe Oregonian reports today that a Multnomah County judge has cleared a Northeast Portland nude bicyclist of criminal indecent exposure charges.
Judge Jerome LaBarre said the city's annual World Naked Bike Ride -- in which as many as 1,200 people cycled through Northwest and downtown Portland on June 14 -- has helped cement riding in the buff as a form of protest against cars and possibly even the nation's dependence on fossil fuels.
LaBarre then cleared Michael "Bobby" Hammond, 21, of any wrongdoing after two days of hearings that concluded Wednesday.

Portland police said that Hammond's ride through the Alberta Arts District was a stunt, not free speech. They arrested Hammond, citing city code that states it's illegal to expose genitalia in a public place in view of members of the opposite sex.

For people who might complain about Portland's rowdy cyclists I have to remind you of a precedent. Lady Godiva rode naked through the streets of Coventry in England to protest the oppressive taxes imposed by her husband on his tenants. That event was over 1000 years ago and it's still well-known, so riding naked may not only be a well-established method of peacefully protesting, it's a good way to make a lasting statement.

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