Would you ride a bicycle naked through the center of your town? How about if it was with a group of similarly disrobed riders in support of improving the awareness, safety and infrastructure for cyclists? You have that opportunity. World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) is an event staged in various urban areas throughout the year. It’s aims are to make the world more bicycle-friendly and conducive to biking.
Dates for 2017
There are two focal dates each year allowing for rides to take place in spring or summer in both the northern and southern hemispheres. In the northern, the primary date is usually the second Saturday of June. So for 2017 it’s 10 June with events in the global south having occurred already around 11 March. Of course organizers in individual cities are free to schedule rides on any day which is best suited for their situation.
Some cities holding rides on the weekend of 10 June include
- Thessaloniki, Greece
- Cork, Ireland
- Madrid, Spain
- London, UK
- Manchester, UK [9 Jun]
- Toronto, Canada
- Vancouver, Canada
- Chicago, Illinois, USA
- Eugene, Oregon, USA
- Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
- Montpelier, Vermont, USA
- San Francisco, California, USA
Some other dates worth noting are
- Edinburgh, UK [18 Jun]
- York, UK [25 Jun]
- Amsterdam, Netherlands [1 July]
- Madison, Wisconsin, USA [17 Jun]
- Portland, Oregon, USA [24 Jun]
- Boston, Massachusetts, USA [22 July]
These uncoordinated dates are part and parcel of the decentralized structure of WNBR. There doesn’t appear to be much of an overall organizing effort. Rather each location decides for itself the date, guidelines and publicity for its event. This does cause more than a bit of frustration when trying to get information about the different rides. I have not found a source listing all the events happening in a given year. If you know of other upcoming WNBR events, please leave details in the comments below.
Naked in Madrid
When I lived in Madrid, Spain some years ago I participated a few times in the annual <em>Ciclonudista, which is the local version of World Naked Bike Ride. The ride usually starts at the Plaza de Cibeles in front of City Hall and ends at the Royal Palace after winding through all of the historic center.
The first time I did the ride, the whole scene felt slightly surreal. We congregated at the plaza then went around the block to a side street to disrobe. The hundreds of naked bodies reemerged straddling bicycles. I think I was the only black in the group, and so I was very noticeable. I didn’t have any problem with that. But it did feel a bit bizarre to be nude in the middle of a busy city on a Saturday morning. However, within a few minutes it just felt normal and it was easy to forget about the fact that most everyone was naked. Well at least it would have been easy to overlook that if not for all the cameras pointed our way. From sidewalks, tour buses, cars and cafes people snapped shots of the flood of human flesh. And many of the riders ourselves stopped to do likewise. I’m sure there are countless pictures of my naked body in cyberspace. And not just the ones I’ve posted myself.
After one of the rides I participated in, I decided to make a series of acrylic on canvas paintings based on photos I had taken of the event. The paintings have been displayed in three public exhibition till now. I’ve included pictures of some of the works below. And for the first time, you can buy a print from the Nudist Planet Shop.