After a demonstration last weekend drew more police officers than protesters, cycling activists will rally again to show their support for the Bedford Avenue bike lane — but this time they’ll do it in less clothing.
On Saturday, upwards of 50 nude and underwear-clad cyclists will ride on Bedford Avenue between Flushing and Division avenues to protest the recent removal of 14 blocks of bike lanes from South Williamsburg’s Hasidic community, The Brooklyn Paper reports. Organizer Heather Loop said she’ll be biking with her off her top off to show the residents of the religious community — which is purportedly opposed to bike lanes because of scantily clad cyclists — exactly what they’re missing out on. “If you can’t handle scantily clad women … live in a place where you can have your own sanctuary, like upstate,” said Loop, 27.
The so-called “freedom ride” comes after a tumultuous few weeks in South Williamsburg, starting when the city removed the Bedford Avenue bike lane, only for cycling activists to repaint it themselves a few days later (with video!). Some of the bike activists were charged for the act, and the city again removed the bike lane.
South Williamsburg resident Leo Moskowitz told Gothamist that the Hasidic community’s opposition to bike lanes has nothing to do with cyclists’ clothing, or lack thereof. “There are people who are trying to play that the nudity is the issue, but it’s not,” he said. “The main concern is the safety of our kids. There are lot of institutions and families on that Bedford Avenue stretch, and we are always really concerned about the kids being picked up and dropped off. There are sometimes small accidents where the cyclists are violating the law because they don’t stop for flashing school buses.”