World Naked Bike Ride
Photograph by David 23on Flickr.
They argue that by occupying lanes intended for cars and not for bicycles, by tossing their clothes and rejecting body shame, they are protesting a way of life which should be abandoned. Since that time rides have also taken place in February and March (mainly in the Southern World Naked Bike Ride Hemisphere).
Participants celebrate the many benefits of a car-free lifestyle: free of emissions, free parking, and an overall free feeling. Some cycling activists criticize the event for trivializing the issues of oil dependency, cyclists access to roads, and car culture. The controversy made the cyclists even more popular, World Naked Bike Ride especially after they agreed to participate within the spirit of the event with costumes, bodypaint and bike decorations. (4) Participants who encounter police or other aggression are urged to not reciprocate the aggression, to keep it light, and to use humor as a weapon.
Some people who are offended World Naked Bike Ride by nudity or topfreedom believe that it should take place in designated areas or times only. In addition to simply being able to ride clothes-free on community streets, some rides have established precedent by having body-painting parties, often involving numbers of naked riders and artists, in high-visibility municipal parks. This distinctive form of Critical Mass, occasionally called Critical Ass, is often described or categorized as a form of political protest, street theatre, party-on-wheels, streaking, public nudity and clothing-optional recreation and thus attracts a wide-range of participants. The first Naked Bike Ride was celebrated in Zaragoza, Spain, in 2001 which took place in the early part of the same year, as well as other high-profile political/media events leading to the creation of The Work Less Party of British Columbia. WNBR rapidly started to come to life through collaborations with activist groups and individuals around the world.
Despite having similar political messages neither of these groups knew of the existence of the other until collaboration began many months before the first WNBR event. The 2004 WNBR saw events in 28 cities, in 10 countries on four continents. Some are opposed to large Critical Mass-type events in general because events may interfere with automobile traffic. A smaller number of rides have taken place at other times of the year. Prior to the first World Naked Bike Ride event in June 2004, two independent organizations - AFP/AAW and ManifestaciÃ³n Ciclonudista - had been organizing very similar political events with virtually identical messages of protesting oil dependency.
Anger and aggression only returns anger and aggression. Riders are encouraged to ride loud and be proud. Organizers only allow rides to be organized in public areas for maximum outreach, not in established or ghettoized areas such as nudist/naturist clubs. For example, flesh-colored bodysuits with exaggerated body parts were used in Seattle in 1999 by Fremont Arts Council members to spoof the Solstice Cyclists in the Summer Solstice Parade in Seattle.
Attempted police/city crackdowns on popular nude events have met with popular backlash. Critical Mass participants counter: We are not stopping traffic, we are traffic. Critical Mass and other biketivist groups promote awareness of cyclists, they feel, out of necessity â€” many cyclists are seriously injured and killed by careless drivers.
However, the laws of most progressive societies are written to discourage activities which are intended to shock or offend. Full and partial (especially topfree) nudity is encouraged, but not mandatory, on all rides.
At some events, police support and facilitate the event. Organizers encourage creativity and imagination, whether the participants go fully bare or not. (2) Some cities have restrictions on nudity in public areas, and some cultures have harsh restrictions on nudity in public (such as Saudi Arabia).
The two riders agreed to having the charges reduced to disorderly conduct and pay a $300 fine, a major portion of which was paid for by the WNBR Legal Defense Fund. The reason the majority of WNBR events have encountered few problems is fairly simple. (1) The laws on nudity are often vague and difficult to enforce. Body art (such as body painting) are common forms of creative expression, as well as costumes, art bikes, portable sound reinforcement systems (such as public address systems/bullhorns, boomboxes) and musical instruments, as well as other types of noisemakers. Pre-ride parties for WNBR have become events unto themselves featuring musical bands, DJs, bodypainting, temporary structures/installation art, political tabling, and catering.
Organizers argue that having fun and doing public outreach are not mutually exclusive. They claim that the WNBR is about body-positive values: living a healthy life in tune with, not against, the environment; respecting the natural beauty and diversity of human bodies; establishing and projecting a positive self image; and rejecting shame.
It is tough getting angry at a colorful naked person on a bicycle. Though the pair were in the Scottish borders at the time they sent a pack of postcards down to the London event illustrating their participation. .
As WNBR is clothing-optional, organizers urge those who are uncomfortable going naked or who fear legal scuffles simply not to go completely naked. Most participants believe that there is nothing indecent about a naked body and counter that the only thing that is indecent are the laws on indecent exposure.
Oil has become a treasured commodity despite its inherent evils â€” the costs of war, climate change, and innocent lives. Like Critical Mass, WNBR aims to promote bicycle transportation, renewable energy, recreation, walkable communities, and environmentally-responsible, sustainable solutions to living in the 21st century. Creative advocacy stimulates people to contemplate the issues.
Many contend that the shame is on those who demand coverups, not on those who can go without. Simon Oosterman, organizer of the Auckland 2005 WNBR, and the first to be arrested during a WNBR event, is credited with going further and refocusing the issue on oil-dependency. Participants advocate living streets and bicycle-friendly communities. Participants believe that many communities were not designed to take advantage of bicycles, which they consider the world s most efficient means of personal transport.
It is too embarrassing. World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) is an international clothing-optional bike ride in which participants plan, meet and ride together en masse on human-powered transport (the vast majority on bicycles, and fewer on skateboards, rollerblades, roller skates) to protest oil dependency and celebrate the power and individuality of our bodies . The dress code motto is Bare As You Dare .
The first WNBR event in 2004 was a collaboration between the WNBR group (June 12) and ManifestaciÃ³n Ciclonudista in Spain (June 19), establishing a precedent as a solstitial Saturday observance. At other events police take a more neutral stance, and simply monitor the event.
All cyclists are at risk. Many laws on nudity hinge on a concept of indecent exposure .
Instead, they believe, society has subordinated community values to the requirements of expensive, dangerous, loud and polluting vehicles. However, there has been no documented backlash due to any WNBR event.
They believe that getting people to laugh and smile is a great way to connect and share ideas in a non-threatening way. The ride has been criticized by some because WNBR often involves participants who are naked or topfree. He urged: Stop the indecent exposure to vehicle emissions. Oosterman later defended a charge of indecent exposure in the Auckland District Court in 2006; after hearing evidence, the Judge dismissed the charge. Organizers believe that there are many indecent laws that citizens of the world have to stand up to, such as laws infringing on personal freedoms. (3) Police do not want to be seen confronting a large group of peaceful, naked people.
In other cases police have attempted to stop the ride or have intimidated riders into putting on some level of clothing. Arrests during WNBR events are rare. Some riders feel secure and empowered in their belief that they are part of a popular blowback effect after living in a restrictive society and feeling that their concerns have not been taken seriously. This year, William and Edward Stevens participated in the WNBR as part of their Tall Bike Tour Britain ride around Britain on tall bikes.
A team of cycle-mounted police provide traffic control at road junctions for the London (UK) ride. Two male riders were arrested during WNBR North Conway 2005 and were charged with indecent exposure and lewdness .
Requiring partial cover-up is strictly forbidden and is a distinguishing feature of WNBR versus other cycling events. Creative expression is also encouraged to create a fun and immersive atmosphere during the ride, to capture the attention and imagination of passers-by and the media, and to make the experience more personalized and fulfilling for the riders. There have been arrests in Auckland (13 February 2005), North Conway, New Hampshire (11 June 2005), and Chicago (11 June 2005).
That includes commuters, students, children and police officers on bicycles. Participants have used body paint, liquid latex, a strategically placed sock, underwear and duct tape to cover illegally exposed body parts.
As an example, the City of Seattle threatened to withdraw a permit to the Fremont Arts Council in 2001 for the Summer Solstice Parade due to an increasing number of naked cyclists. Events are promoted at the grassroots level, often using Internet resources such as discussion groups, web sites, blogs and online journals and also by placing advertisements in local, non-mainstream newspapers and progressive journals. Some believe that public nudity may threaten clothing-optional freedoms such as at-home nudity, clothes-free beaches or naturist/nudist clubs and resorts, or that it may result in legislation further restricting other activities involving nudity or partial nudity.