(Screenshot of the YouTube video showing the protest in "thongs" in Tel Aviv).
Hot bodies alert! You heard it right. Clothing was optional as Tel Aviv cyclists and roller bladers protested against lack of bike legislation in thongs, and other combinations of underwear (or lack of underwear).
Protesting a helmet law, the cyclists used the forum to balk about the lack of government support for cycling as a form of transportation. The streets of cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are blocked with congestion and stuffed up with pollution. Putting their bodies in front of the law is the only method this group saw as fit to deal with their frustrations: They decided to show the government exactly what it was missing by not promoting urban cycling - a nation full of attractive, physically fit specimens. See video below.
According to Green Prophet, about two weeks ago, the Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation decided not to support a bill that would encourage bike riding as transportation.
The bill would have mandated the inclusion of bike trails in urban plans, allow bikes to be taken on intercity public transportation (like trains and buses), and pave the way for specially designated parking areas for bikes. It would also provide incentives for employers and employees to make cycling a primary form of transportation to work.
The Israel Bicycle Association and Tel Aviv Rollers decided to protest the lack of government support for urban cycling in Tel Aviv last week.
The protest was clothing optional (see how far the naked cyclists took their protest in the clip above); they also spoke out against the stiffening of a helmet law for cyclists. According to the Israel Bicycle Association, the best way to ensure biker safety is not by requiring a helmet, but by making sure there are separate lanes for cyclists.
Yotam Avizohar, the head of the Association, said that the "government doesn't seem to really understand what biking is - a daily means of transportation for hundreds of people. It's not just a hobby for a select few mountain bikers."
Read more about urban cycling in Israel:
The Cycling Nightlife in Jerusalem
Tel Aviv Cafes Offer Great Cappucinos and Free Bike Rentals
Cicleta Sprint Bicycle Messengers Take Over Tel Aviv
I Have a New Bike, Should I Make it Ugly?
Read more on TreeHugger about urban cycling:
Dublin Still Waiting for 'Invisible' Bike Share
World Naked Nike Ride: Baring It All
Naked Bikers and the True Cost of Traffic