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World Naked Bike Ride calls off annual clothing-optional event in Madison amid COVID-19 pandemic

World Naked Bike Ride calls off annual clothing-optional event in Madison amid COVID-19 pandemic

2019 World Naked Bike Ride in Madison

More than 100 participants took to the streets of Madison last year to promote renewable energy and a body-positive mindset. 

Local organizers of the World Naked Bike Ride have called off the annual event, adding to a growing list of Madison-area events that have been postponed or canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic. 

Before the cancellation, the clothing optional ride through Madison was set for June 20. The next one will be held on June 19 of next year. 

"Current conditions throughout the world have made it difficult for us all to make plans for the coming months," organizers said in a statement. "When it will again be safe and practical for people to gather in groups is a matter of uncertainty. In view of this, local organizers have decided not to hold the World Naked Bike Ride this year in Madison."

The World Naked Bike Ride  a demonstration against petroleum products and in support of body positivity  made its first run in cities throughout the world in 2004. Madison first participated in the international event in 2010. 

Last year, a group of more than 140 minimally clad cyclists followed a 10 mile-plus-long route, including a pair of loops around Capitol Square and treks both up and down State Street.

Founder and lead organizer Peter Keating said on Saturday that he was personally disappointed that the ride wouldn't be taking place in its 11th year, and that he probably isn't alone. 

"I expect a fair number of people are disappointed," he said.

Photos: 2019 World Naked Bike Ride in Madison

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Howard Hardee is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal. He has written extensively about government, natural disasters and forest health in northern California.

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