"Be nice to the cops, they'll be nice to you. They are here to help us," one man announced into a bullhorn. He was struggling to get the attention of more than 1,000 people at 400 West Rich: Never mind that he was almost completely naked.

"Be nice to the cops, they'll be nice to you. They are here to help us," one man announced into a bullhorn. He was struggling to get the attention of more than 1,000 people at 400 West Rich: Never mind that he was almost completely naked.

On a recent Saturday, nearly 1,300 people took to Columbus streets in varying levels of undress for the sixth annual World Naked Bike Ride, an event that aims to "highlight the vulnerability of cyclists to automobiles, protest our dependence on oil and celebrate the human body, rejecting all forms of body shame."

The announcer was right, too: Columbus police officers blocking off streets and patrolling the area gave a friendly wave to a completely naked man as he walked his bike toward the entrance. Where else do you see something like that?

It was 9:30 p.m., and a sea of bikes flooded Franklinton. Inside the gate, people were peeling off clothing, painting their bodies and adjusting merkins to prepare for the 9-mile ride. Even with everyone standing around almost completely nude, I was impressed the "creep factor" was basically non-existent. People ranging from twenty-somethings to retirees chatted and readied their bikes together without the "my eyes are up here" weirdness.

Even though clothing was sparse, creative costumes were plentiful; my personal favorite being a woman donning pasties and football shoulder pads, evoking a Mad Max vibe. A costume contest for both people and bikes would be held at the after-party … and the crowd was clearly taking it seriously.

The inclusiveness of the event was contagious, and even on-lookers without previous knowledge of the ride dropped what they were doing to join in.

"Part-way through the ride we passed a guy with a bike. He yelled, 'Hey! Can I take off my clothes and join you?' Of course we all cheered and told him to come with us. By the end of the ride he was actually helping us out," organizer Alexa Conner said.

Once back at home base, DJ Dave Espionage and Kenny Lectro provided the soundtrack for the after-party that didn't stop until sunrise.

On a related note: Does anyone have a bike I can borrow next year?

Downtown Abbey is a nightlife column that covers everything from drag shows to magic shows, the club scene to fetish parties. It runs every other week.