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Portlanders prep for record-breaking naked ride

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on May 30th, 2008 at 1:22 pm

World Naked Bike Ride 2007
Riding naked -- what's not to love?
(Photos © J. Maus)

Last year, around 800 Portlanders mounted up for the annual World Naked Bike Ride.

That number tied with London for the largest crowd in the world, and this year, organizers expect the crowd to swell to 1200-1500 people.

If you've never done the ride, you should really consider it. This year will be my fourth time and it's always an absolutely unforgettable experience. There's just something about being naked on a bike, whizzing through the heart of downtown Portland -- while crowds of club-goers spill onto the streets to give you high-fives and incredulous looks -- that defies description.

World Naked Bike Ride 2007
Excited to see us.
World Naked Bike Ride 2007
A sea of nakedness.

If the nudity thing makes you pause, just remember that everyone's welcome -- whether you bare it all, or just show-off your favorite underwear. The only thing required for the ride is a bike (and a smile!).

And, in case you somehow missed it, the very talented volunteers that are putting the party and ride together have created a truly human-powered World Naked Bike Ride countdown timer. Grab the code to embed it on your website here.

Portland's edition of the World Naked Bike Ride is slated for midnight on June 14th and happens the same night as the Pedalpalooza Kickoff Dance Party. Find all the details here.

-- See what last year's ride looked like by checking out my Naked Bike Ride Photo Gallery.

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Comments
  • Pete May 30, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    Is it coincidence that June 14th also happens to be Flagpole Day??

    (Oh wait, it\'s just \"flag\" - damn this small calendar print... ;).

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  • WCCommuter May 30, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Ugh...

    Every time I try to convince people that bike commuting is for ordinary people- saving money and getting exercise doesn\'t make you some sort of kook, the Lars Larsons of the world point to this sort of story.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) May 30, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    \"the Lars Larsons of the world point to this sort of story.\"

    let them point!

    I hear your pain WCCommuter, but riding naked is just one of the many ingredients to the soup (to borrow a phrase from Joe Staples) that makes this city such an exciting place to live in.

    and this isn\'t bike commuting! this is bike fun! (not that commuting can\'t be fun).

    ;-).

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  • Allison May 30, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    I don\'t really think the naked ride talks people out of commuting. It\'s not like they\'re doing it during rush hour.

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  • Andrew May 30, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    the last time I saw someone unclothed-in-motion in town was a group of women flashing cafe patrons from a jeep.

    It didn\'t change my opinion of motorists.

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  • Allison May 30, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Andrew:

    But it did change your opinion of women.

    Am I right?

    Heh.

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  • peejay May 30, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Wow. All the people who go through life taking things way too seriously! Lighten up, folks! It\'s just some good, clean fun!

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  • steve May 30, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    Im naked right now.

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  • april May 30, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    I can\'t wait, I can\'t wait, I can\'t wait....

    Last year was my first year at the WNBR, and I had so much fun. I\'ve been trying to talk several coworkers/friends into coming along this year. I point out that they can go to the dance party and not go on the ride, or they can go on the ride but still be wearing a little clothing if they want to/need to.

    It\'s just ...one of the best experiences of my life, and I don\'t think anyone should miss it!

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  • david4130 May 30, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    One question always lurks at the back of my mind when I think about participating: is being naked in public legal?

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) May 30, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    \"One question always lurks at the back of my mind when I think about participating: is being naked in public legal?\"

    david4130...i wouldn\'t worry about it.

    this is a good-natured ride and it\'s so many people that it just moves like one big amoeba through city.

    i\'ve seen the cops just smile and lower there eyes as we pass...others have clapped.

    i would imagine if someone on the ride wanted to be a jerk and did something to attract the police\'s attention they could nail them with being nude in public... but that\'s just not likely to happen.

    also remember that we\'re out there after midnight... so there is very little other traffic on the streets.

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  • West Cougar May 30, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Hey Jonathan, show some love for the sunny day-time WNBR.

    It\'s not hundreds of riders yet, but we\'ve been growing in numbers every year too. :-)

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  • Metal Cowboy May 30, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    Funny story bout the sunny day wnbr - I was throwing my oldest son his dream birthday party at the portland rock gym - 20 fourth graders all listening to the instructor and concentrating on the Dude showing them how to harness themselves into a family jewel crushing devise so they wouldn\'t fall to their deaths on a manmade wall. And up rolls these cyclists all decked out in flesh with the occasional viking helmet and caveman loin clothe as an accessory. About twenty or more of you day time sun worshipers out for a ride - it was cold and rainy at the time. Of course the group catches the red light, and being the law abiding community that we are, they wait and wait and wait - some wave and the kids go nuts!!!! Laughing, pointing, absolute mayhem. I guess you can\'t call it flashing a group of fourth graders when there\'s nothing covering the boobies, frank and beans and vjj\'s to begin with, save of a Brooks Saddle or handlebar mirror. ( No actual vjj\'s were on prominent show, but for some artfully displayed tuffs of hair, I\'ve just promised myself to use VJJ in print as often as possible until Oprah, that crazy princess of daytime media stops hollering it every five minutes as if she has some sort of Hefner style form of Terrets Syndrome!) But for the gent doing the track stand at the light, come on man, that was uncalled for... ;-)

    Was I outraged? Was I covering the eyes of the children and running about like Barney Fife? No, I laughed and made light of it b/c it\'s really quite cartoonish when you think about it, explained that these were the cyclists who couldn\'t wait for the midnight naked bike ride, these were the kids who dig around in the closets before Christmas to check out the take - God love em, theseare our little achievers, and proud we are of them all, Mr. Lebowski.

    No, what really, bothered, me, what got under my skin? Is that I was paying by the hour and the naked bikers caused a pack of fourth graders to be distracted from the reindeer games at hand for a good fifteen minutes. So there it is... I\'m a cheap so and so... but I\'m trying to let go of that and you gave me a good story... On the upside, those kids will never forget that birthday party.

    You\'ll see me at the ride - the night time one, no track stands though, I promise.

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  • gabriel amadeus May 30, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Well, nudity is legal in Oregon, although I\'ve heard that the City of Portland has slightly varying laws. Regardless, this is one of the most well received rides I\'ve ever been on. Seriously, if you\'re ever having a bad-driver day, just get naked! Here\'s the Oregon legal speak:

    163.465 Public indecency. (1) A person commits the crime of public indecency if while in, or in view of, a public place the person performs:
    (a) An act of sexual intercourse;
    (b) An act of deviate sexual intercourse; or
    (c) An act of exposing the genitals of the person with the intent of arousing the sexual desire of the person or another person.
    (2)(a) Public indecency is a Class A misdemeanor.
    (b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this subsection, public indecency is a Class C felony if the person has a prior conviction for public indecency or a crime described in ORS 163.355 to 163.445 or for a crime in another jurisdiction that, if committed in this state, would constitute public indecency or a crime described in ORS 163.355 to 163.445. [1971 c.743 §120; 1999 c.962 §1; 2005 c.434 §1]

    163.467 Private indecency. (1) A person commits the crime of private indecency if the person exposes the genitals of the person with the intent of arousing the sexual desire of the person or another person and:
    (a) The person is in a place where another person has a reasonable expectation of privacy;
    (b) The person is in view of the other person;
    (c) The exposure reasonably would be expected to alarm or annoy the other person; and
    (d) The person knows that the other person did not consent to the exposure.
    (2) Private indecency is a Class A misdemeanor.
    (3) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to a person who commits the act described in subsection (1) of this section if the person cohabits with and is involved in a sexually intimate relationship with the other person.
    (4) For purposes of this section, “place where another person has a reasonable expectation of privacy” includes, but is not limited to, residences, yards of residences, working areas and offices. [1999 c.869 §2]

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  • Michael M. May 30, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    These people aren\'t naked ... they are wearing shoes! I guess us foot fetishists are out-of-luck for this event.

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  • KTesh May 30, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Where do I get the Official ride Tee shirt? ;)

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  • mike_khad1 May 30, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    I might ride my new bike on this ride. Sounds like a hoot.

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  • xb May 30, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    re: legality. anyone who has seen me naked (4 years so far) knows it is obviously not my \"intent to arouse\". i aint worried about breaking the law.

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  • Tasha May 31, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Oh my goodness, I\'m so very sad I\'ll be out of town for this. Last year was SO fun! I was hoping to be in London for THEIR ride, but I\'ll be in some dinky country town in England, where I doubt anyone will be on their bikes naked.:(

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  • Todd B May 31, 2008 at 11:41 am

    Yes I remember my first view of a WNBR during a bikesummer event at City Bikes...what shocked me was not the nudity but the fact that the Portland Police following the event who did not want to touch the riders. This was very soon after all the critical mass abuses by the police on a similar ride.

    I wonder if anyone is going to rent pedicabs or bakfiets and bring them along empty incase cute pedestrians what to join the bike mayhem. Remember we have to build support and understanding (of FUN) with other communities and modes. ;-)

    ----

    Thanks Metal Cowboy for the Big Lebowski quote...remember it is playing at one of our local theatres tonight.

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  • revphil May 31, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    what we should really be concerned with is the question of accessories. We\'ve seen boas, stalkings, fish hats, and of course the popular \"shirt cock\"

    ALSO there\'s the question of body paint. Plan accordingly!

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  • mc May 31, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    I did the ride last year and I highly recommend it - even though I biffed it coming down SW 12th towards Burnside. I still have a faint red patch on my shoulder as a reminder. For this reason, I would also highly recommend a helmet in addition to the shoes. I smacked my head hard enough to see stars for a second, even though I was only going about 10 mph at the time. I am kind of modest by nature and intended to stop at some funny tie-dyed briefs, but you quickly get into the spirit of things, and next thing I know all I\'m wearing is the shoes, helmet, and a necktie. What a blast!

    This year, we are going to do the family ride and watch the bike parade and races over on Mississippi. Of course, all that will be over long before the WNBR so maybe I\'ll decide to do it again this year!

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  • Metal Cowboy May 31, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    Todd,

    The Big Lebowski plays at my house on demand. We don\'t have a TV, but the dvd is within reach of my computer at all times. It\'s what really ties our room, not to mention our sanity, together.

    Of course nothing matches a proper viewing of it on the big screen. I believe Kris Schramp is putting together a Lebowski fest in the near future including a viewing at the Hollywood Theatre and bowling down the street at the Hollywood Bowl. I will ride my bike to that one, perhaps with a White Russian in my water bottle.

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  • BikeBillboards dot blogspot dot com June 1, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    No thanks. Goin\' nekkid in public on a bike is only fun when there\'s a chance to get busted for it. :-P

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  • J. Mike Lynch June 2, 2008 at 9:24 am

    A memory: a friend of mine and I moved to Portland about the same time. On our cells at the Winking Toad, we stepped outside to call our parents and tell them that we were fine.

    Of course a cadre of naked cyclists pumps uphill right passed us around the part when the parents said something like, \"how is Portland\".

    This is my favorite city in the world.

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  • Brad June 2, 2008 at 11:28 am

    Beware off duty cops and their girlfriends!

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  • KT June 2, 2008 at 11:57 am

    A couple of year\'s ago, we were driving through downtown Seattle and there, coming up the hill towards us, were a gaggle of WNBR-Daytime version.

    Yes, uphill. Yes, standing and sitting. It was hilarious, they were having such a good time, waving and laughing and smiling! :)

    I\'m too much of a chicken to bare all, but it does sound like a blast.

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  • Helen Wheels June 2, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    what is the weather forecast?

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  • Tom June 2, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    Cirque du Cycling on Mississippi starts at 5pm on 6/14. Quite a day in store! http://www.CyclingCircus.com

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  • [...] wondering whether the owner of the clothes had zipped off on a practice spin for the June 14th World Naked Bike Ride. No luck. Or whether there really is a Superman, and Clark Kent couldn’t find a phone booth. [...]

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  • Jessy June 6, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Please for the love of jeebus I hope the weather gets better in another week...

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  • Bike Peacefully June 16, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    Hello everyone,

    Just wanted to share a quick story about saturdays 6/14/08 naked bike ride. First off I completely support being wierd in portland. The naked bike ride is an example of what makes our city so great. How ever there were a few bad seeds this year and it really gives every who is trying to have fun a bad name. During this weekends bike ride I was cut off by a few bikers, no big deal....They then blocked our path leaving us stranded in the intersection with no where to go... Why??? Let us get out of your way and everyone can enjoy themselves. After sitting in the intersection for about five minutes a couple people started hitting our car as if it was our decision to be where we were. Moments later they began throwing their bikes into our car then someone took a knife and slashed our tires. REALLY!!!! is this the fun loving people portland has to offer? How disappointing. This is not what I want portland to be known for. Please lets keep it safe and pass the word on. Bike safe - drive safe.

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  • re: Bike Peacefully June 17, 2008 at 10:12 am

    REALLY?!!

    what a fantastic tale - can you give details, \"Bike Peacefully\"?

    What intersection were you trapped in?

    How many tires were slashed?

    How did you get your car out of there with flat tires?

    Where did the assailant keep their knife?

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  • Tour De Fat in bicycle-loving Portland August 17, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    [...] was the Tour De Fat, one of many Portland summer bike parties. Since I missed the Naked Bike Ride, the Bridge Pedal and who knows how many other bike events, I made a point to get myself to this [...]

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  • [...] Portlanders prep for record-breaking naked ride [...]

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  • Jessica September 25, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    I was wondering.. if your in it.. do go to it naked... or do you get undressed where they meet?

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