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Topless Bike Protest In Williamsburg Latest Hipster-Hasidic Jew Battle

12/18/09 04:22 PM ET   AP

NEW YORK — Bicyclists planning a protest ride through New York City are calling it their "Freedom Ride" – free of clothing, that is. The removal of clothing during Saturday's ride is meant as a protest over the removal of a bike lane in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.

Bicycling advocates say the city erased the bike lane from the Orthodox Jewish neighborhood because some conservative residents were upset about seeing women in skimpy clothing ride by every day.

The conservative Jewish faithful say that's not the issue. They say it's about safety. A Bloomberg spokesman notes that there is another bike lane nearby that is separated from car traffic.

The naked protesters, meanwhile, will face some fierce weather Saturday: Forecasters are predicting snow and brisk winds.

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Filed by David Weiner  |