Splendid Cycles

Doing the World Naked Bike Ride this year? Read this first

Posted by on June 8th, 2009 at 11:04 am

World Naked Bike Ride 2007

Riding naked. Oh what a feeling.
(Photo © J. Maus)

It’s less than one week from one of the most epic rides on Portland’s bike calendar (and with all the amazing rides we have, that’s really saying something).

Yes, the annual World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) commences this Saturday night. In 2007 we had about 800 people on the ride. Last year, the crowd was so large I don’t think anyone was even able to count it. My estimate put the number of riders at 2,000 or so.

This year, organizers estimate about 3,000 people will join the fun.

In preparation for the event, the folks at Shift have just published a handy webpage with all the details for this year’s ride.

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Here are a few things to remember:

  • WNBR is officially organized by Freaky Uppity Cycling Kids (nice acronym).
  • Ride at your own risk. This is not an officially escorted ride. You may be with a 3,000 other people, but you flaunt the law at your own risk.
  • Dress code is officially “as bare as you dare”. (You don’t have to bear it all, it’s just more fun when you do.)
  • Admission to the party is free, but you must arrive by bike (or other human-powered vehicle such as a skateboard). Your bike is your ticket.
  • This year the party’s theme is “Where the Wild Things Are”
  • No outside alcohol is allowed. Good quality, cheap beer will be available.
  • Don’t bring cameras into the party. There will be plenty of photo action on the ride, although sensitivity to the nakedness is important.

If you still have questions, don’t forget to check out Shift’s “Your First Naked Ride” page.

This year’s ride will take place at 2181 NW Nicolai. That’s smack-dab in a hardcore industrial zone, which means there are some gnarly train tracks you should be aware of. Check the special map that has been created for the occasion:

A “Party of Bike Fun” surrounded by a highway, power stations, and train tracks “of death”.

And lastly, if you’re concerned about potential legal ramifications of riding naked in public, fear not. A Multnomah Judge threw out charges stemming from the ride last year, ruling that naked biking is a “well-established” tradition in Portland and is therefore, legal.

— Browse our World Naked Bike Ride coverage through years here. Visit the official Portland WNBR website.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Evan June 8, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Be sure to ride safe and watch those train tracks! I’ll be celebrating my one year anniversary of a broken thumb and 17k in medical bills saturday, too!

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  • ken June 8, 2009 at 11:45 am

    and remember: avoid buying used saddles off CL for a few weeks afterwards… 😉

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  • Miss Ena June 8, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    I was dying to do this last year, but did not have anyone who would accompany me.
    This year, I will be there and let’s see how daring I can get.

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  • Nicky V June 8, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    My wife was afraid of the dark… then she saw me naked and now she’s afraid of the light.

    – Rodney Dangerfield

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  • Joe June 8, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    what time?

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  • Meghan H June 8, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Just. Can’t. Do. It. I love my padded cycling capris for a reason. But a big “have fun” goes to all those who want to flaunt what their mama gave them.

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  • K'Tesh June 8, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    If you want, you can check out my 2008 photo set on flickr.


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  • DJ Hurricane June 8, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Have fun yall. I’m really looking forward to being out of town this weekend.

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  • KruckyBoy June 8, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    I feel overdressed just reading this article.

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  • John Russell June 8, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    I think I can safely say that fate picked a horrible week to have my bike totaled. Bummer. My Brooks may be thanking me though.

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  • K'Tesh June 8, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    @John Russell

    I have a medium sized bike that with suitable application of plastic wrap, and a seat adjustment *might* help you (as a loner).

    PM me in the forums.

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  • Mike B. June 8, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Next to Musiscfest NW on bike, this was by far the most fun I’ve had on a bike. Although riding NW Germantown is pretty darn fun also.

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  • Tony P June 8, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    I’m not generally a get-naked-in-public kinda guy, but I finally mustered the courage to do this last year and it was WAY more fun than I thought it would be. I highly recommend it. Dance party after, not so much, but the ride is a blast. There’s nothing like seeing the reaction of all the folks along the route. Some shocked, others running out of bars and tearing their clothes off in solidarity.

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  • ggw June 8, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    #9–That’s why I always read BikePortland in my birthday suit-I’m ALWAYS prepared!

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  • meghan June 8, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    thanks, jonathan!

    party is from 9pm-4am.
    great music all night:
    –DJ Beyonda
    –Mad Rad (from Seattle)
    –Jeffery Jerusalem
    –May Ling
    –Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers
    –DJ Ryan Oregon

    a few special reminders:
    –bring cash to buy beer. no body is charmed by their cheap friends who bring crappy booze from home/the corner mart when a) the beer at the party is AWESOME b) they’ll be putting the future of the party in jeopardy and c) all beer money goes to pay off the bills for this incredible party. no outside alcohol allowed in the street, either.
    –bring a cable lock, providing parking for 3,000 bikes ain’t easy. you may have to get creative.

    –ride leaves at midnight sharp.
    –ride is not a race.
    –riding drunk is stupid. the cops think so, too.
    –please be nice to the people (drivers) you pass. altercations are not beneficial in keeping this tradition alive.

    VOLUNTEERS: hi. have you ever volunteered for a shift event? if not, why not? (that reason stinks.) we still need 18 volunteers to make this party happen. come on! you’ll get free beer enjoy and a cool armband to prance around in. and my gratitude. please contact
    a n o m a l i l y @ g m a i l . c o m
    for details.

    SPONSORS: wow. we would not be able to have this party for all 3,000 of you without the support of seven corners cycles, sock dreams, the soon-to-be nicolai business center, brooks saddles, new belgium, ninkasi brewery and anonymous donors. thank you all.

    okay. i’m done.

    happy pedalpalooza!


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  • Arty June 8, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    Bring something to warm up with…I froze last year during the ride.

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  • John Lascurettes June 9, 2009 at 6:42 am

    To all those folks making jokes about dirty bike seats: Learn to wipe.

    I did it last year and I wouldn’t miss it for anything this year. I’m still trying to come up with my back-paintable slogan. So far the contenders are:

    “TAXPAYER: I do own the roads”

    “Can you see me now?”

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  • joe adamski June 9, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Just so everybody gets it.. WNBR is pure street theater. Non drivers get an unhealthy dose of pollution/auto-generated mayhem on a daily basis. WNBR is a fun way to say ” a little ‘indecent exposure’ to counter your massive ‘unhealthy indecent exposure’.

    Check out WNBRs website for more info: http://www.worldnakedbikeride.org/

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  • Dutch June 9, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    and remember this ride is not a race! Keeping together in a tight pack (even if its a pack of thousands) increases the fun, and most importantly the SAFETY of e all the riders.

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  • Biggest Dummy June 9, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    To John #17

    Since I am not going to be there you may use my slogan on your back if you care to

    “Does this seat make my ass look big?”

    enjoy Ron

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  • […] BikePortland.org: Portland’s World Naked Bike Ride, expected to draw 3,000 barebackers, is this Saturday. As is http://wiki.worldnakedbikeride.org/index.php?title=Vancouver” target=”_blank”>Vancouver’s. Folks from Seattle are expected at both events, since Seattle’s naked ride doesn’t happen till July 11th. Seattle btw is the naked pioneer here, what with the annual Fremont Solstice Parade naked cyclists as well as: […]

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  • Speedster June 11, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Is there a map of the actual route anywhere?

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  • John Lascurettes June 12, 2009 at 1:01 am


    The route is not planned, so no map. Last year was about 11 miles total. Roughly, we went from NW industrial area south on NW 21st, down Burnside, South on SW 3rd Across Hawthorne, up Grand, Back across Burnside up to 23rd and then north on NW 23rd back to the beginning.

    I have no idea who was leading. The pack was so large, I could not see the front or the back of the nakedness.

    From the your first naked ride page:

    There is no set route, but typically we buzz the downtown bars along 2nd and 3rd avenues, and along NW 21st and 23rd. Many people do multiple laps, or detours past their favorite sites. Some like to buzz the Eastside bars too. I’m thinking of leading a group to the previous years’ start locations on the Eastside. It’s glorious chaos for an hour or more. If you’ve never done this before, then you might want to follow somebody who has.

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  • Afro Biker June 12, 2009 at 8:07 am

    wow…not people you want to see nude.

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  • DT June 14, 2009 at 3:07 am

    Let me be the first to publicly say thank you to the Portland PD for holding/directing car traffic for this ride. I don’t know whether the organizers contacted them, or if the cops knew it would be needed this year, but the officers were all great. And LOTS of cyclists were saying thanks directly to the cops as we rode by (complete with high fives and everything!!).

    So, that being said, I think this will be the last time that this ride is held in its currently unstructured, decide-the-route-on-the-fly fashion. The sheer number of people participating this year (I can’t begin to guess at numbers, only that it was way more than last year) led to massive traffic jams in chinatown, to the point that there were full stops for large periods and people having to walk their bikes many blocks. To try and describe the sheer number of people riding, at one point the cops stopped the oncoming bikes as the ride approached the Burnside bridge, and after waiting only 3 or 4 minutes, the beginning of the pack of cyclists crossed over Burnside in front of us, having already come back across the river and ridden north to run into the middle of the group. Basically, the group was so big that it could form a cloverleaf across the burnside bridge, down Grand, across the hawthorne bridge, up 2nd Ave and still have Burnside full of bikes stopped from 2nd Ave back to Powells. If there are this many people who want to do this ride, I think it will have to become more structured (kinda like the bridge pedal), which is weird b/c of the naked aspect, but if the cops were okay with being involved this time, maybe it isn’t as big a deal as I think.

    Anyway, everyone seemed to be having a great time, even with the hiccups that came with having such a large group. Viva la Portland!!

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  • J June 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Thank you Portland Police for keeping everyone safe!

    Awesome ride. Can’t wait until next year!

    For those who missed out DO IT!

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  • […] Doing the World Naked Bike Ride this year? Read this first […]

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  • Jennifer June 14, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    A lone protester shares his temporal anguish with riders: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwRSryq10bI

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