That's right, bicycles with no fairings. People with no fairings, too. But darn it, here's an example of people with many different causes coming together with one approach, and one dress code. There's a video at the site you might not want to miss. Then again. . . .
Slogan. Let's see. . .I'd rather go naked than wear cloth--- nah. I got it. I'd rather go naked than use gas.
Because nudity is newsworthy, duh.
June 12 is World Naked Bike Ride Day. No, we did not make that up.
Wanna feel the wind in your hair, the sun on your face and the peering eyes of confused neighbors on your naked parts as you ride a bike through a major US city? Well you'd better mark June 12th on your calendar, because that's the day when thousands of people around the world will be taking part in what's known as the World Naked Bike Ride.
This year, official rides will be taking place in Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Portland, and a few other bike-friendly cities. Times, dates and public nudity laws vary from state to state, so you'll need to consult the WNBR's official wiki to get details about your ride -- and about how little clothing to wear. But be prepared for a certain level of secrecy; a few of the better-organized rides will only broadcast the route via text messages to participants on the day of the event, to prevent gawkers, we assume.
What's the purpose of the World Naked Bike Ride? According to Chicago organizer Andrew Bedno, "Chicago's official slogan is 'Celebrating freedom from oil and the beauty of people.'" OK, that makes some sense, right? We'd all like to be less dependent on our cars, especially in light of the recent oil spill, and we're down with the beauty of the human body -- although that brings up another question: Why the nudity?
Because nudity is newsworthy, duh (that's why Holidash is covering it). If you're trying to attract attention, nudity is definitely the way to go. Just ask PETA. The WNBR site declares, "We face automobile traffic with our naked bodies as the best way of defending our dignity and exposing the unique dangers faced by cyclists and pedestrians as well as the negative consequences we all face due to our dependence on oil and other forms of non-renewable energy."
So how effective is the naked bike ride at raising awareness of global oil issues? It's hard to tell. As you might imagine, this clothing-optional event brings together a very wide range of participants. "Most of the cyclists are pretty seriously anti-oil, consider it a demonstration, and account for maybe half. Very roughly another third is nudists, frustratingly many coming by car, and the rest come for fun," Bedno tells Holidash.
The bottom line is this: these naked riders aren't nudists or exhibitionists. For the most part, they are anti-fossil fuel protesters with a few freeloading naturalists mixed in. The World Naked Bike Ride may be a boisterous and fun event, but it does have some serious sociopolitical underpinnings ... they just get kind of drowned out by the whole nudity thing. We're hopeful that this year, the environmental message will trump the naked people, though.
If this sounds like a good idea to you and you'd like to bring the WNBR to your town, check out the Chicago WNBR's how-to formula. Organizing a ride is actually pretty simple, but that doesn't mean it's easy -- or comfortable. Then again, who ever said protesting was supposed to be comfortable?