reg CATHEDRAL CITY — The Palm Springs Unified School District Foundation has withdrawn as a recipient of proceeds from the World Naked Bike Ride scheduled here in spring 2020.
“While we appreciate the gesture by the city to name our Foundation as a beneficiary of the event, we don’t feel that this is the type of event that best aligns with the District’s core mission,” PSUSD Foundation Director Ellen Goodman told Uken Report.
The Foundation and the Cathedral City Evening Rotary were identified as the two organizations to receive proceeds from the World Naked Bike Ride, which is designed as a fundraiser.
The Foundation’s decision came amid some swift backlash on social media about the event that is more than a year away. Some of the comments are so vile they can’t be published here. Some said they were embarrassed to live in Cathedral City; others said they are glad they moved away.
“Why, don’t we have other ways to get our name on the new (sic),” Julie Haltman wrote.
“Now I’m sure CC has gone to the dogs!” Patty Valdez wrote on social media. No; I’ll take that back. Dogs are a whole lot more civil, kind, loving, appreciative, and know there place!”
Amid the harsh criticism, there was praise. Friends shared the news with others.
“It’s about time for (World Naked Bike Ride) to occur here,” Thomas Kohn posted on social media. “The ride is 20 years old in some cities.”
Christopher Boada simply posted, “HOORAY!!!”
“I’m proud to live in CC,” posted Carlson Peters. “Maybe all that internalized shame is making you sick?”
Then there is Steve Michel who had fun with the whole idea, which is one of the goals of the event. “I voted for Gavin. I’d love to him riding a bike in the buff.”
The idea was initiated after Mayor Pro Tem Greg Pettis saw and heard about the great success Vancouver had with the ride.
Pettis, who was at dual ribbon cuttings and a series of meetings on Thursday could not immediately be reached for lengthy comment, but said via text he will persevere. “I’m not one to let 12 detractors stop me,” he said.
The World Naked Bike is an international clothing-optional event. Participants plan, meet and ride together en masse on human-powered transportation, the vast majority on bicycles, but some on skateboards and inline skates, to “deliver a vision of a cleaner, safer, body-positive world.”
Technically, it is a political protest, but there is also a lot of fun at these events with costume contests and more.
Sometimes described as a “flesh feast,” it is wildly popular in Europe and has steadily been gaining a toehold in the United States and Canada, which is Pettis first heard about the event.
World Naked Bike Rides, started in 2004, have been held in Portland, Las Vegas, Madison, Wis., and Philadelphia where it has been held for a decade. St. Louis celebrated its 11th annual event this year.
The dress code motto is “bare as you dare.” Full or partial nudity is encouraged, but not mandatory. There is no mandate to cover intimate parts; this is a distinguishing feature of the World Naked Bike Ride against other cycling events.
The first year is expected to attract as many as 1,500 participants and grow exponentially in subsequent years. The event is open to people of all ages, sexes, colors, and sizes. Anyone under 18 will need parental consent.
The expected route will be from CV Link south to Ramon, east to Date Palm, south to Buddy Rogers and into Towne Square.