Public rental bikes used for Naked Bike Ride in New Orleans |
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Steven Adams

Public bicycles sponsored by a health insurance company were used in a rather unsanitary way.

It was more than 90 degrees on June 8 in New Orleans when the 2019 World Naked Bike Ride kicked off and riders mounted their saddles for a ride through the French Quarter. Although many of the participants had shed their clothing they may have still broken a sweat.

This would not have caused a stir except some the bikes were public rentals, dubbed Blue Bikes, sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield Louisiana.

“This is the first year Blue Bikes were widely used by participants, and we had not anticipated this. As such, the organization didn’t say anything about it beforehand,” World Naked Bike Ride New Orleans head of security Shane Steinkamp told WGNO-TV. “We will make such a statement next year.”

Any member of Blue Bikes New Orleans can use a code to unlock a bike in any of the Blue Bike stations across the city. There are hygiene concerns for both the naked rider and whoever takes the bike next.

“Most riders already cover their bike seat with a plastic bag or a towel,” Steinkamp told WGNO-TV. “We assume that participants will use common sense.”

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