Judge: riding in the buff is 'tradition,' man cleared

Judge: riding in the buff is 'tradition,' man cleared »Play Video
Michael "Bobby" Hammond.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A Multnomah County judge has cleared a nude Portland bicyclist of criminal indecent exposure charges, saying cycling naked has become a "well-established tradition" in Portland.

Judge Jerome LaBarre said the city's annual World Naked Bike Ride -- in which as many as 1,200 people took part this year-- has helped establish the practice as a protest against cars and dependence on fossil fuels.

LaBarre then dismissed the misdemeanor charge against 21-year-old Michael "Bobby" Hammond, after two days of hearings.

Hammond's legal troubles began June 26 when he stripped down and hopped on his vintage 1970s 10-speed.

Portland cops saw the brief ride through the Alberta Arts District as a stunt, not free speech, and charged him with a city code forbidding the exposure of genitalia in view of members of the opposite sex.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)