Wednesday, June 20, 2001 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Jean Godden / Times staff columnist

Uneasy rider in Fremont

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A councilman's lot is never easy. Take the experience of Seattle City Councilman Nick Licata at the Fremont Solstice Parade on Saturday.

He was busted for riding a bike - with his clothes on.

Licata, writing in his newsletter, said he didn't know he was supposed to take part until the last minute. So he sped to Fremont on his bicycle.

He wandered into the staging area, and the next thing he knew he and his bicycle were part of the parade. Licata says, "I did slow circles, waving time with the Anti-Fascist Marching Band in front of me."

A parade monitor appeared and ordered the councilman off his bike. Licata agreed not to "ride." But, when the official walked off, the councilman decided just to coast.

Alas. The parade monitor returned and told Licata he'd have to leave.

Easier said than done. Licata couldn't squeeze through spectators, six deep. Besides, people were looking at him or, more likely, at the half-naked woman, painted purple and doing a belly dance, behind him.

With the parade monitor out of sight, Licata again mounted the bike. Catching sight of a friend, he made the mistake of gripping the hand brakes and was thrown to the pavement.

Licata says, "As the band played on and the fairies danced around my splayed-out body, I thought this parade was turning into a challenge." He stood up, bowed and tipped his hat. The crowd loved it.

At last, reaching the end of the parade, Licata spotted a Seattle Times photographer aiming in his direction. As Licata waved, a flurry of colored objects darted past him.

Licata laments, "I was waving to the photographer - smack in the middle of a pack of painted, naked bicyclists."

•   •   •

Seattle trek: Tomorrow is the summer solstice, a fact not wasted on Seattle sales rep Mark Lawson and New York marketer Gabe Goldberg, chums since college. They'll start a solstice trek around Seattle - their fifth annual - at 8 a.m. and hike until 10 p.m.

Goldberg, a former Seattle resident, explained: "Mark and I had done a fair amount of traveling. We realized we'd seen more of other cities than Seattle, the city we love."

They decided to explore the city as if they were tourists, traveling a different route each year. This year's odyssey starts at Woodland Park, heads north to Richmond Beach in Shoreline and returns via Greenwood. The hikers will be easy to spot. In honor of the fifth anniversary - the wooden one - they'll wear T-shirts that read,"Wooden Ware."

•   •   •

Charity replay: Savvy nonprofiteers know how to stretch a buck. A textbook example: Yesterday's Special Olympics Breakfast in the Westin's Grand Ballroom was followed by the Salvation Army Soupline Lunch, also in the ballroom.

The two organizations saved a couple of grand, splitting audiovisual and staging expenses. By coincidence, they also shared a keynote speaker: Husky football Coach Rick Neuheisel, who rated a 10 for an entertaining and eloquent speech.

But it may have been carrying things too far when he began by saying: "Apologies if you've heard this story. I shared it this morning at the Special Olympics breakfast."

•   •   •

Vanity fare: License plate on a sedan spotted not far from Children's Hospital: MD4BBS.

Jean Godden appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Phone 206-464-8300. E-mail: jgodden


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