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An estimated 5,000 take part in Portland’s Naked Bike Ride

Posted by on June 14th, 2009 at 7:56 am

The masses assemble in Northwest Portland prior to the World Naked Bike Ride. There were bikes and flesh as far as the eye could see in every direction when I took this photo (from the roof of a school bus).
– View slideshow below –
More images
(Photo Β© J. Maus)

World Naked Bike Ride - Portland-21

Last night’s World Naked Bike Ride was another legendary event. Bodies, bikes, and blinking lights took over the city.

I have heard two reliable estimates so far. A friend said one of the security guys at the party, who has worked many large marches and protests, said the crowd was about 3-4,000 strong. Also, the Fire Marshall at the party told a friend of mine the crowd was about 5,000!

Before the ride, I climbed on top of a school bus near the start and there were naked people as far as I could see in three directions. It was immense.

One major difference this year was the cooperation of the Portland Police Bureau. The ride has typically been more sporadic and random, but after the huge turnout last year — when things bordered on mayhem as bikes and cars mixed downtown — organizers decided to coordinate with the police prior to the event.

World Naked Bike Ride - Portland-17 World Naked Bike Ride - Portland-9 World Naked Bike Ride - Portland-10 World Naked Bike Ride - Portland-38

The result was police-assisted intersection control! This made intersections way more calm than in past years. Major thanks goes out to the fine officers that helped with the ride. (View the slideshow below the jump.)

Story continues below


World Naked Bike Ride - Portland-45

Unlike previous years, police and
organizers coordinated before the ride.

Another thing I noticed this year was a lot more bottlenecks and stopping. This was all fine and good, but at times the spectators lining the streets were so riled up and excited that I think it made for some uncomfortable moments for some folks. There was also a lot more ass-slapping from bystanders than I recall…which, depending on how you feel about that, can either be cool or not-so-cool (My but was slapped by a total stranger. It was a bit strange, but I just kept riding.)

UPDATE: According to commenter DT, here is why there was such a major slowdown on Burnside:

“As the ride came down Burnside to go over the bridge, the cops stopped the flow of bike traffic to let cars on 2nd Ave cross over Burnside. I was at the front of the pack that was stopped, watching the rest of the group disappear across the bridge. We weren’t there more than 5 minutes before bikes came across Burnside on 2nd Ave, having completed their loop across the river. Basically those at the front of the group that had been stopped by the cops decided that we should forgo the eastside loop and just turn left onto 2nd Ave, re-merging with the rest of the group.”

How did it go for you? We would love to hear your experiences. It was such a massive ride that I’m sure I only saw a tiny slice of the action. Browse my World Naked Bike Ride photo gallery and/or view the slideshow below:

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

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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 β€” Jonathan

  • John Lascurettes June 14, 2009 at 8:10 am

    I am completely beat but it was another fantastic ride. It ended out being a little shorter than last year’s (to the best of my recollection). I was happy to see the cops corking most of the intersections for us. Our group made a point to shout out and wave our appreciation to them.

    It got a little nuts when we started doubling back over Burnside. I was completely astounded when looping back we intersected with the back (or middle?) of the pack that hadn’t even made it to the Burnside bridge yet (and we had been over the bridge, down 7th, back over Hawthorne and up 2nd when we intersected with them).

    That certainly seems like there were more people this year than last. πŸ™‚

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  • blanca June 14, 2009 at 9:13 am

    my bike is broken and have a final exam this morning, two reasons I didn’t participate. I do however live on 22nd and Burnside on the west side. I watched for about 25 minutes and estimated 3500 ppl in that time… of course people had been going by for 10 minutes or more before I went out on the balcony. I can’t wait for next year! (to participate, vouyerisim is not my thing)

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  • Huggybear June 14, 2009 at 9:19 am

    This was my first naked ride. What a great way to celebrate my 62nd birthday.

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  • Shana June 14, 2009 at 9:33 am

    Loved it! although I lost my camera (Canon SD 400 Green Case) πŸ™ if a nice person has found it please call: 503 752 5792. Shana

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  • Stephen June 14, 2009 at 9:44 am

    It was my first NBR but definitely not my last. I had so much fun. See you next year!

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  • Borgbike June 14, 2009 at 9:50 am

    The scale of this thing is beyond words. Some many people! Such an awesome collective expression of joy and fun.

    On the whole I was really impressed with how cool and respectful people were to each other. With the exception of a few people drinking non-bagged/gloved beers I didn’t see much that “the Man” could come up with to justify shutting the ride down.

    My only worry was the drunk non-bicyclists who poured out of all of Portland’s bars to watch the spectacle. These crowds of people where sometimes so large that they bottled necked the ride. It was an interesting way to get a perspective on the number of people in bars in Portland on a Saturday night, actually. Is alcohol Portland economic engine?

    The folks who organize and volunteer for this event get huge props. You’ve made a huge contribution to the city and to biking. Thanks for your sacrifice so I could have fun!

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  • Jared June 14, 2009 at 9:50 am

    This was my first naked ride and overall it was a ton of fun. The ride was great up until the point where it no longer was a “ride”. Once we hit Burnside there were so many people in the street taking photos/videos of all the cyclists that they slowed down traffic to a crawl. We were walking our bikes as we looped around Burnside – my female friends felt like they were simply on display for the downtown crowd. Although it was somewhat expected, that was really disappointing and we all decided that we’ll only do another ride if it avoids Burnside.

    However, the remainder of the ride was fantastic. The atmosphere at the starting point was so positive that it actually convinced me to go fully nude, ha! On top of that, there were tons of supportive people on the side of the road not taking pictures but naked with the rest of us, cheering us on.

    I love this town.

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  • Anonymous 2 June 14, 2009 at 9:58 am

    I live on NW Wilson barely half a mile from the start.
    I stood on the corner with my neighbors (who had all stripped down to nakedness) and cheered. We stood there for 35-40:00 and saw the whole crowd go by. It was fantastic! Massive numbers! Excellent spirit!

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  • Anonymous 2 June 14, 2009 at 10:01 am

    As a minor aside, it would be nice if some event volunteers returned as there is some rubbish and some recyclables on the ground around the start area and for the first 400 meters or so. If it’s still there this afternoon, I’ll go and pick it up.

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  • A June 14, 2009 at 10:09 am

    This was my first naked bike ride and I had a blast! It was one of the most fun things I’ve ever participated in here in Portland.
    I was near the start of the pack, so we actually went over the burnside bridge, and turned right near the Doug Fir, coming down 7th I think and taking Hawthorn back over, before coming down 3rd ave back into the heart of downtown.
    I didn’t see any problems… one SUV was trying to push through but a biker stopped in front of it to keep them from hurting anyone. Props must be given to the Portland Police for helping to make this a very safe event!
    About the only annoying thing was the groups of onlookers in the street, which did create a few bad bottlenecks.

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  • Corey June 14, 2009 at 10:11 am

    First time for me as well. AMAZING amount of people! I agree that burnside turned into a parking lot. Part of that was because we got stopped at 2nd for a long time, which really confused me because a huge amount of bikers had already crossed the bridge and when we started going again, we went left down 2nd. ?! Anyway, we had an fantastic time and will do it again. The only downside was that the space for the afterparty was too small to accomodate even half the people trying to get in. That’s what I heard at least when I tried to get in line. Also, SPONSORS, you should be better prepared to serve out the beer in record quantities. LOTS of people want to give you money in exchange for beer, but FEW want to wait in line for 40 minutes. There’s a lot of profit to be made at this thing.

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  • MikeyLife June 14, 2009 at 10:29 am

    The ride was fantastic, but I have the same complaint as the rest of us, which was the spectators pushing into the streets at the bars close to the river. I kept asking them to take a few steps back, but they all seemed to just want to get closer to all of us. I was getting extremely frustrated with that. Maybe next year, we avoid that area – I know it’s part protest, but I really wanted it to be a Naked Bike Ride, not a Naked Bike Walk. Either that or get cops/volunteers to get the crowd back onto the sidewalk so that their polo shirts, short skirts and gawking do not muck up the experience.

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  • Brad Reber June 14, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Anonymous 2, there will be a volunteer clean up crew there this afternoon but if you feel like stopping by and lending a hand you won’t be turned away.

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  • dsaxena June 14, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Was fun but it was more of the World Naked Bike Walk than Ride. πŸ™‚ I hear that some folks made it across the Burnside Bridge before the cops blocked it off. I’d love to see this done flash mob style with different groups starting in different parts of the city instead of trying to squeeze that many people into a single route. πŸ™‚

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  • kate June 14, 2009 at 10:37 am

    I did not ride this year as last year I got too spooked by the grabby hands and in-your-face photographers as we half-walked, half-biked down packed burnside (in my book, that is not okay). The cops at the intersections is a fantastic improvement! The bike parking at the party looks majorly increased – that’s awesome. Hopefully next year either more assistance from police or a slight route change might help the apparent issue with crowds. I wish to be back next year- long live the Portland naked bikers!

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  • tom June 14, 2009 at 10:37 am

    Reports from naked rides all over the place keep coming in…

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  • Anonymous 2 June 14, 2009 at 10:43 am

    Sure. I’ll stroll over. For the size of the event it’s not much. Thanks.

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  • MG June 14, 2009 at 10:44 am

    It was my first ride, and I loved it, but I had mixed feelings about all the bystanders downtown. Obviously they were going to be there, and that’s cool, but it was annoying that they spilled into the street enough to impede traffic.

    Other than that, though, it was brilliant. I loved the naked joggers and folks who dropped trou on the side of the road for support. I’m super grateful that the police helped out. The atmosphere was fantastic and communal, such that I β€” a normally fairly reserved kinda girl β€” felt completely happy and unashamed riding through town in my underpants.

    I hope they guy we ran into who got himself all scraped up and then lost his glasses on Burnside feels all right this morning. Cheers to anyone who took a few battle scars in the spirit of naked cyling.

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  • Dianna June 14, 2009 at 10:53 am

    There was a rider down in a pretty serious way when I went down Burnside (fire trucks, paramedics holding his head, etc). Does anyone know if he’s OK?

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  • Kristin June 14, 2009 at 11:13 am

    After finding myself stuck at the Hawthorne & 39th intersection (in my car) as a hoard of naked bikers flew by a couple of years ago (at 1am I had to rub my eyes a couple of times to make sure they weren’t playing tricks on me), I was psyched to find out about this year’s ride just in time to join it…no preparation required!

    My fiance and I thought we would join the ride along the way for our commute back to SE, but after watching hundreds of bikers make their way to the party (and starting line) in NW, we decided to follow “suit” to the scene…Holy naked bikers Batman!!

    I’m glad we didn’t miss out – I was astonished at how many naked peeps and BIKES were scattered about, ready to ride….like Jonathan said, bikes and bums in every directions. The starting line with the send off from the drummers was a hoot and we just happened to find ourselves in a pack near the front with a guy rockin’ the boom box off the back of his bike…the tunage was a good touch.

    From the front of the pack, everything rolled smooth, even briskly…the crowds along Burnside were just starting to gather. Very few stops. Slapping high fives with the crowd was a riot, but I was hoping we’d see more people inspired to strip down and join along side us for a midnight naked run. All was exhilarating, but the best part – hands down – was having the Portland City Police involved. So much fun to ride through the intersections they blocked with flashing lights…watching their faces trying to exude calmness and control in their uniforms while trying not to break out in laughter as some of the characters rode by. Pretty ridiculously fun. Thanks Portland.

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  • steve pappert June 14, 2009 at 11:28 am

    I saw officer Picket scold a butt slapper

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  • Marc June 14, 2009 at 11:36 am

    We should have gone up Hawthorne. That would have avoided us wrapping back onto ourselves. Great night nonetheless!

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  • Barney June 14, 2009 at 11:38 am

    For me, the ride started with such amazing energy but ended really poorly. I loved hooting and hollering at/with bystanders and sharing collective cheer when the ride was moving. I did not enjoy walking my bike past the morons outside the downtown bars. For me, the ride is all about having fun and demystifying nudity. That got compromised when so many dudes along Burnside were taking cell phone pictures of topless women to text to their buddies. Equally unwelcome were the comments from the sidelines about peoples’ bodies.

    We were near the back and never made it to the east side. From #1’s explanation, sounds like the huge slowdown along Burnside was from the front of the ride reintegrating into the middle of the ride. The back of the ride never crossed the bridge, just turned north on 2nd. Next year, I hope the route selection can avoid such a slowdown, since I think the downtown bar scene would have been much less nasty if we were actually riding instead of walking.

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  • Kiki June 14, 2009 at 11:49 am

    For awhile there it felt like Providence Bridge Pedal of 07… except worse, ’cause we were naked. Nobody wants to walk their bike around while naked.

    I noticed the first commenter got to go over the Burnside and Hawthorne bridges? Apparently the route changed midway through, since most of us got turned north before the Burnside bridge. I wish we hadn’t gone through Old Town; as a female I definitely felt like I was on display for the meat market. A little uncomfortable.

    This was the first year that the spectators felt like a problem. Argh, why were they in the street?! I guess that’s the benefit of having the roads open to cars; pedestrians respect them and get out of the way! That being said, I did totally appreciate the cooperation of the Portland police. It was great to know that intersections weren’t going to be a problem.

    Overall a great ride! Can’t wait for next year.

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  • Jacob June 14, 2009 at 11:52 am

    @Jared: Agreed. It was tons of fun but my friends and I were somewhere near the middle and once we got down to W. Burnside and Park the “ride” ended. At that point, it turned into the World Naked Bike Walk, complete with annoying drunk gents gawking over women. We participated in that slow walk for at least thirty minutes until we finally looped around on second, heading up Cooch and saw the massive trail of blinking tail lights stretching on for blocks before us. That was when we bailed, and had fun finally started riding again, heading into SE to get whiffles, belgian fries and crepes (Big shout-out to the food carts for their naked love!)

    @Dianna: Yeah, we saw that biker down as well and are really hoping the person is/was okay, though things did look somewhat serious. Any one know anything?

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  • onetireflyer June 14, 2009 at 11:53 am

    what can I say? I was naked. I was riding my bike. What could be better?

    A huge thank you goes out to the Portland Police Department for making this a fun and mostly safe event.

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  • Andy in a Skirt June 14, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    It was a great ride, absolutely massive, and I don’t want to bring everyone down but I have to share in the concern over the bottlenecks. Not only did I hear harassment, I saw some physical harassment of some of riders, especially the females. Unacceptable, and I have to say even as a guy I felt uncomfortable with the way the stand-stills were. Oogling and screaming, ok, verbal harassment and groping… NOT ok.

    I very much appreciate the PPB being involved, and next year I would suggest even more *gasp* involvement from them, as I would like to see some of the sex offenders on the sidelines tazered so we can ride our bikes and feel like free, happy people.

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  • sing it sister! June 14, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Yeas, I agree with Barney: I feel like when our physical momentum dropped, the demystification, well, vanished. Its funny that if it weren’t for car traffic and lookie lous, I don’t think that our nekkid bike traffic wouldn’t have gotten congested.

    THANK YOU to all of the organizers, volunteers, and general (wo)man power providers for making WNBR 2009 most excellent! <3!

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  • b June 14, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    First WNBR ride here and it was crazy fun πŸ™‚ Despite the occasional bar wankers on the sidelines, the other 99.999% were a great crowd.

    There were two or three naked-skateboarder-guys just tearing it up on a couple of the routes. Big ups to the naked skateboarders πŸ™‚

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  • John Lascurettes June 14, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    A woman riding in our group said her butt got slapped 5 times along Couch. I witnessed one of them. Not cool.

    One of my favorite parts of last year and this year’s ride coming down down the hill on Burnside and seeing naked butts and blinky lights as far as the eyes could see. But if we’re going to to get all bunched up like that where the sloppy drunks are at last call, it would be a good idea to adjust the route a bit.

    The bunching up also meant we were intermixed with the cars along 12th Street on the second crossover and bikes were taking to the sidewalk and weaving with the cars. That sort of negated the nice police escorts we had earlier in the ride.

    Still. I know of no altercations like there were last year with the SUV. That’s something to celebrate.

    Now me, I got my butt slapped by an unknown woman at the starting line. She slapped so hard I know it left a mark. But she was naked too. So I give her a pass.

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  • Emily June 14, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    I really agree with everyone who’s saying that the bottlenecking and having to walk took a good deal of the enjoyment out of the end of it for me. For a while there it just turned into a gauntlet of guys taking pictures of and making comments about my breasts. Sure, a snarky comment back at them takes some of the sting out of it, but it still made some sections of the ride (more like a walk at those points) pretty uncomfortable.

    I was towards the front and got to cross the river, and thought that was my favorite part, since there was actually room for us to ride. Overall though, this was an incredible time for my first NBR. As someone new to Portland (and to biking), I think I’ve found somewhere special.

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  • George June 14, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    The ride was awesome! The butt slapping was not cool. The after party really turned into a bit of a buzzkill with all the awkward lines, it-is-but-it-isn’t-mandatory bag checking and a couple really awful bands, but I understand it’s hard to throw a party for a few thousand people.

    I had no idea the ride went over the bridge! We never made it over, and we weren’t at the back of the ride either. This thing was HUGE.

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  • Ken Wetherell June 14, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Just about as much fun as one can have without clothes! Amazing! I’m still smiling.

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  • revphil June 14, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    for those who want less physical attention from spectators i hear the daytime ride was awesome.

    lots of props to the volunteers who made it happen, megan, sysfail, and Ninkasi! and the venue hosts!

    13 kegs of beer consumed without any notable issue!

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  • solid gold June 14, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    good times! well done, organizers. the police escort was excellent. they were actually serving and protecting! sweet! however, next year, maybe we should have some brave peoples to encourage the crowd to not bottleneck the street/touch people. maybe next year the ride should have Team Crowd Control? i’m sure the logistics could be worked out in the next year.

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  • City of Roses June 14, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Thank you to organizers, Freaky Uppity Cycling Kids, and the Portland Police Department.

    Naked is rad.
    Bicycles are awesome.
    Portland forever.

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  • toast June 14, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Had a blast again this year.. Bummed that the ride was shorter (didn’t cross to east side) this year and yes, the spectator bottlenecks were very unwelcome.

    I know the route goes down burnside precisely to pass the largest number of people, but perhaps it’s time to switch to a less populated route. There were places where the crowd of onlookers choked us down to 1-2 bikes wide. Naked bike riding is fun, naked bike walking is not.

    I’m glad I was able to give someone a ride in the bakfiets, man my legs are tired this morning πŸ™‚

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  • Kirk June 14, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    It was my first Namked Bike Ride. I’ll be first in line next year. It was, without a doubt, the best time I have ever had.

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  • Kevin June 14, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    This was my third ride and by far the best! Rolling down Burnside and slapping 5’s with the crowd was a really awesome feeling. I did make it over the Burnside and Hawthorne bridges and was really surprised when the ride doubled back to Burnside. Maybe next year the ride should go deeper into the east side to accommodate for all the riders? Maybe water guns filled with hot sauce would deter some gropers?
    A big thanks to PPD for their help, they did an awesome job!!!

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  • K'Tesh June 14, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    It was fun to ride with so many of my friends (naked or otherwise), and I was surprised how many people recognized me (by name).

    All the walking at the turnaround point was very much a dissapointment. I mean, I was there for a “ride”, and we did less than half the distance of last year’s ride.

    I did manage to cross the river(s) though, when I rode over to Vancouver with JR.

    My photos of the ride can be found here:

    The GPS trace can be found here:

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  • April June 14, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Corey (#11): The beer was served by volunteers. If the beer line was too slow for you, you should volunteer next year and help it go faster.

    I hopped in for a few minutes to help out, and those people were busting ass like maniacs back there.

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  • Tony H June 14, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    I envy everyone that was there: It sounds like it was great fun. I hope to show up at a naked ride some year. I just can’t seem to stay awake much past midnight anymore!

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  • DT June 14, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    For those who are confused about the ride changing routes partway through:

    As the ride came down Burnside to go over the bridge, the cops stopped the flow of bike traffic to let cars on 2nd Ave cross over Burnside. I was at the front of the pack that was stopped, watching the rest of the group disappear across the bridge. We weren’t there more than 5 minutes before bikes came across Burnside on 2nd Ave, having completed their loop across the river. Basically those at the front of the group that had been stopped by the cops decided that we should forgo the eastside loop and just turn left onto 2nd Ave, re-merging with the rest of the group.

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  • Chris June 14, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Man, what a great time! I felt so free and alive. All the spectators on the sides of the road made it great fun too. It sounds like part of the riders got a longer trip than the back of the pack did. I was at the end of the group and we didn’t get to go across the bridge, we were directed to turn left when we made it to the Burnside bridge. Oh well, now I know for next time to get in the crowd earlier.

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  • es June 14, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    I won’t be buying any used bike seats on Craigslist after this event, that’s for sure.

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  • monsueircris June 14, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Overheard at the WNBR:
    “Man, we ARE the amber waves of grain”

    Awesome ride. I continued it by riding home (North Portland) Naked too- gave a few more late-nighters something to talk about today.

    Ditto all the comments about the crowding- I like the idea of different starting points. Maybe start @ different points around the city and all take the same route to make a big loop? I am sure the crowds would catch and intermingle with each other, making a sort of “ring of fire” of nakedness.

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  • n8m June 14, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    The fun barrier got pushed to all new heights last night. Thanks Portland for a glorious ride!

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  • General Jane June 14, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    I was taken by surprise by an unexpected groundswell of positive energy that swelled up from the masses into my soul. I smiled almost the entire time, from the dance party to the ride. Everyone who participated: You are awesome and thanks so much for making my first ride amazing! And thanks to those who encouraged us on with their positivity.
    I do have two complaints: One was the bottleneck and the subsequent extended stalls. As a woman it created the need for passerby’s to reach out and attempt to touch the breast of me and other women, or elicit less than complimentary comments. I considered myself a strong woman, and ready for anything. I have to admit I had to cover myself up, due to the fear of drunken, unrestrained men attempting to reach out. If they would of made contact while I was bare chested, I ready to defend myself. I just hope next year there would be a smother transition.
    Second complaint, was the bag check at the dance party. Naked dancers need bags for wallet, keys, cell phones, etc. Strongly encouraged and strongly enforced yet somehow voluntary bag check, was not a good idea.Silly at best.

    “If we do not keep pace with our companions, perhaps it is because we hear a different drummer. Let us step to the music we hear, however measured or far away.”

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  • Pseudopal June 14, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    I was driving and stoped on the exit at Everette St. in the Pearl last night.

    So this was my fun loving facebook post this morning: Late last night pulled off the freeway for much needed gas, only to be blocked entry into the city because of 1000 naked people cycling through the streets of Portland. 20-30 minutes of “nakie bums” and “full montys” 20 feet from the car. Can’t we just have vampires or werewolves roaming our streets in the dead of night like everyone else?

    What I wasn’t able to post was the fact that the concept was pretty fun. There were many gawkers- you have to expect that when you put your “wares” out there for all to see. There were many angry drivers stuck on the freeway exit. Many started getting out of their cars, yelling at the drivers or parked cars ahead of them, until they got to the end of the freeway exit and saw what was going on. (Honestly, it was scary for a few minutes- angry people yelling at eachother over the stopped traffic).

    I’ve been getting asked all morning if I’ve made this up. So I posted a link to this website. Perhaps next year there will be a World Naked Bike Ride in MN, CA, VT, AZ, NJ, TX, AL, NC, and so on.

    Hope everyone made it home safely!

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  • Mark C June 14, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    From the reports of bottlenecks, groping drunks, etc. it sounds like this ride has maybe become a victim of its own success in some ways. I did the ride a couple of years back when the total count was something like 700-800 riders and it was an absolute blast. I really hope this doesn’t turn into the naked Bridge Pedal. There’s an event that used to be fun that I will not do anymore.

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  • Chris June 14, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    I don’t think it was as bad as it might seem. People are just listing the problems because that’s what you do in a forum even if they were a minor part of the experience. Overall it was still a blast. Of course I could be wrong, I liked it when I got spanked on the butt.

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  • Anonymous June 14, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    It was a great event! Many thanks to the organizers and the Portland Police!

    One of the main purposes of the WNBR is to raise the awareness of our dependence on oil and to take more cars off the road while we are having the max fun of doing it. If we avoid populated areas next year, our messages are not going to be as loud as it would be. I am sure that many bystanders who watched the ride last night would be thinking. What made these bikers doing this? Is there anything that I should be doing but I am not doing it?

    The uncomfortable/bad incidents with the bystanders can be avoided by more Police involvment and maybe crowd control volunteers from us. With an event this big, it is just hard to be 100% perfect.

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  • Aaron June 14, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    I was letting out my inner attention whore so the spectators were fine with me. Honestly, I even encouraged some people to come downtown and did my share of high fives/waving/etc. When 3000+ naked bicyclists come riding through downtown Portland people want to see. Be proud and show off!

    I agree with the annoyance at bottlenecks. Once we hit the bottlenecked areas I was doing a whole lot of walking. I came to bike, not walk. It didn’t look like the bottleneckers were malicious, so perhaps someone could just talk to spectators?

    Why exactly did we not get to go over the Burnside Bridge? I would have like to have done more than a one hour ride.

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  • Jennifer June 14, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    I agree with the person who said we should have looped up Hawthorne after going over to the East side. That would have been a great way to extend the ride out and not have us loop back and bite our own tail. Plus, SE deserves some bike love πŸ˜‰

    This was my third ride and I appreciated the police blocking the intersections, although the police motorcycles were (at times) kind of fast and frightening to ride next to.

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  • Tankagnolo Bob June 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Both day and night ride ruled. I am 65 and felt mid twenties again. Never to old to ride nakid. 25 nakid miles, a “PR” as a roadie or MTB rider!!

    To fun, to fun, soo many people. The youth of PDX rule. Keep up the pace, viva the bicycle revolution. We need a nakid contigent in the STP this year !!! Nakid century anyone !!

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  • matthew June 14, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    the vibe at the start of the ride was great. but i could have done without the bottlenecks, walking and the butt slappers from the bar crowds. i felt bad for the gals as they were certainly targeted. so much for the celebration of the human body. and to the guy again this year with the recumbent and the bank of cameras… WTF? i’m not the only one that thinks what you are doing is creepy.

    a big thanks to the ppb. hopefully no one got their bike run over corking an intersection like last year.

    had a guy on a skateboard go down on the max tracks in front of me on 2nd, are you ok dude? saw you tumble and i barely avoided hitting you and you popped back up pretty quickly. peace.

    still it was too fun to miss and almost all the folks on the ride had great energy. thanks…. it was good for me too.

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  • John Lascurettes June 14, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Hey, KATU is reporting that we had at least 1,000 people there. Good job, everyone.

    Should have counted on local boob-tube media getting it all wrong once again. At least they covered it this time.

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  • John Lascurettes June 14, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Hey, KATU is reporting that we had at least 1,000 people there. Good job, everyone.

    Should have counted on local boob-tube media getting it all wrong once again. At least they covered it this time.

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  • Adron June 14, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    One statement:

    It rocked! Butt slaps and all.

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  • joe adamski June 14, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    actually my first WNBR, and wowed by the numbers. But one thing I felt was the idea of what WNBR is about was mostly lost on mamy parricipants. In my understanding, WNBR is about calling attention to being car-free. Sort of like, “hey, I endure your cars nasty polllution year round, one day you can endure my ‘indecent exposure’.”

    I would like to see WNBR reflect that idea more, especially in getting the word out to the spectators.

    that said, I witnessed a good deal of bikefun, cyclists coming together, and WNBR 2009 in Portland was truely memorable.

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  • eljugador June 14, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    From where we watched this event (NW 23rd) I noticed:

    1) Everyone — and I do mean everyone –looked fantastic
    2) The whole group appeared to be having a BLAST
    3) Where we were watching (NW 23rd)the interaction between riders and spectators was positive and respectful
    4) I’d say there had to be more than 3K people. it was an incredible sight to behold

    Sorry to hear the peanut gallery got a little unruly later down the road. Rudeness like that should not have to be tolerated.

    At any rate, I was able to get some great shots of the festivities — and the ear-to-ear grins on a lot of rider’s faces.

    Hats (and everything else) off to everyone who participated.

    Photos here:

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  • DT June 14, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    @Aaron –

    See #43! πŸ™‚

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  • Josh June 14, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    My first WNBR as well and what a blast! I agree with most of the complaints. One easy fix for the route getting mixed up would be alleviated by not having the route cross itself, like a figure 8 demolition derby. Bad news. It’d be cool to turn off Burnside, south on Broadway past Pioneer Square, then head down over Hawthorn, up to Burnside and then back to the party.

    Other than that, Crowd control is the only other thing that really got under my skin. My girlfriend and I broke off, headed down Oak to the waterfront and took that to the Steele Bridge and headed home. Great fun up until the bottlenecks though. Incredible energy at the start!!

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  • Andy June 14, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Win, win, and more win. I am so glad I attended this year. The energy level was unbelievable! The dance party was top notch (though I now have a crush on a girl with a blue Garfield hat). I was fully prepared to ride out in my skivvies, but dropped them as the first riders were taking off. Soooo glad I did! I will definitely be there again next year for more.

    Thank you Portland!

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  • Aaron June 14, 2009 at 8:40 pm


    I skimmed #43. Bad idea. Note to self: always read comments thoroughly before asking questions. Or, as we computer programming nerds put it, RTFM.

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  • spork June 14, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    What a fantastic time for my first WNBR. I had a great time and hope to participate in many more.
    Yep, walking through crowds of idiots sucked although the ass slap from a drunk watching girl wasn’t so bad. Too much fun to yell at people along the course.

    My only criticisms are 1, the already stated course loops and 2, all the railroad tracks. It seemed like every other street was right up the streetcar lane. A bad choice for a large, mixed ability ride to include so many streets with tracks, IMHO.

    I’ll be back next year. bike naked

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  • Soren June 14, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    I agree the message behind the ride was a bit lost…

    However, that was the most fun I’ve had in years. Incredible experience and positive energy.

    I found myself towards the front of the ride and made the Burnside Bridge crossing, which was the highlight of the ride for me. We had the whole bridge to play on. Several hundred must have made it across, including two bikes with heavy pumping sound systems. I didn’t know about the bulk of the riders getting rerouted until seeing the posts today.

    I completely lost track of where we were, but the front group hit a dead end of police vehicles at some point downtown and was rerouted as well. No complaints about the police. They were very helpful.

    I felt the crowds were mostly positive and supportive, even the drunken gawkers. I loved the high fives and people getting naked in on the sidewalks. Men were getting their butts slapped too. Given the nature of what we were doing, spectators will gawk and cat call. It’s part of the experience. Some sort of happy, naked volunteer crowd control might help next year. Avoiding Burnside, 2nd, 3rd and 4th streets downtown would be the best way to minimize the nastier crowds. The crowds and spectators elsewhere were awesome. I loved them.

    Fantastic job to the organizers of this crazed thing.

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  • Don June 14, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Fuckin awesome. From the front of the pack we got the full but cold ride. I’m gonna invent a heated anti-shrivel bike seat for next year. Yeah, I got my butt slapped by a girl who probably wasn’t young enough to be my grandkid, but she didn’t know I was old enough to be her father, so I was good with that; even flattered. Being queer it would have been better if it were a guy. The crowds ARE important for the energy of the ride; if there were a naked bike ride and no one saw it, would it have happened? The police rocks (did I just say that, fuckin hell, I hope my honorary punk card isn’t confiscated)

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  • dez June 14, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    this was my first NBR. I even got my very reserved boyfriend to participate, and we both feel the experience was something we will never forget. We were in the back of the pack and did not cross the Burnside bridge either. we wondered why the ride seemed a bit short!
    Overall, we had a blast…I love Portland!

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  • Lucas June 14, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    My first one too and it was incredible. The initial vibe from the smaller crowds gathering on 23rd was great, and when we were all pedaling, even slowly though that tightening bottleneck as we neared 2nd and Burnside, it was hoots of fun. The trip over to the East side was pleasantly uneventful, with the Doug Fir and passers by showing their support (for nudity anyway). Police and citizen corkers kept the ride smooth and sweet. The Old Town scene was pretty sleazy and uncomfortable, but that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The surprise was that we weren’t moving. The route could be better next time, but I’m not going to criticize the organizers for it — the number of people exceeded expectations I think, and getting help from the police was very wise.

    Incidentally, there was a biker being detained by police on W 14th on the way back north, anyone know what that was about? Were there any other run ins with the police?


    – Eastbound on W Burnside, Biker in front of me expecting a high five but getting denied and ass-slapped. He seemed to think it was pretty funny.

    – Skateboarder in the road on the Hawthorne bridge overpass, joining the ride, shirt off, pants hung just low enough to show his junk.

    – Getting cheers again on NW 23rd while biking in a small group, fully clothed, back home. I have a new-found fondness for NW.

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  • Vista Ridge Velo » WNBR June 14, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    […] See also BikePortland coverage here. […]

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  • girl-shawn June 14, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    @Pseudopal #49
    “There were many angry drivers stuck on the freeway exit. Many started getting out of their cars, yelling at the drivers or parked cars ahead of them, until they got to the end of the freeway exit and saw what was going on.”

    Pipe-dream solution: temporary electric freeway signs on the exit ramps that say “World Naked Bike Ride ahead. Expect Delays.”

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  • Carl June 14, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    The doubling over was regrettable but par for the course. Free fun has occasional hitches. This ain’t Bridge Pedal. It’s not like you paid for perfect planning.

    For perspective, the ride was well over 3 miles long. That’s how long the loop is from 2nd and Burnside, up to SE 9th and back via the Hawthorne Bridge and SW 2nd. Last year’s ride, though enormous, was nowhere near that long.

    I was amazed at how well this went. Trying to organize an event for 5,000 people with no budget is near-impossible. I’m told there were over 100 volunteer shifts that were filled to make this happen. What an amazing job, folks. I hope nobody’s in the hole financially today. Faster beer serving only would’ve meant running out of beer earlier. Just as nobody expected the ride to double in size this year, nobody expected to burn through 12 kegs so fast.

    Lessons for next year, I guess. Next year, I hope some of you folks with constructive ideas and energy will step up and help out. That’s what Pedalpalooza is all about.

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  • Noah June 14, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    Wow what a great ride and time it was indeed. I am new to this city and have been so amazed by the culture here, sometimes the bicycling crowds can be hard to feel accpeted by in other cities I have lived in. But surely not here. Amazing night, after party, naked ride home and all that happened. Many thanks to everyone who put it together, becasue minus a few peoples complaints it did go off very smoothly.

    I did notice some uncomcfortable women in the groups I was riding near and I would ride against the sidewalk to keep at least one body in between the drunks and the riders, just trying to do my part.

    Kind of weird seeing people around town today that I recognize their bikes and I know what they look like naked…

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  • Hagen June 15, 2009 at 1:10 am

    My first WNBR combined with sort of a blind date made it a very memorable ride for me. The long stop and go’s on Burnside weren’t the greatest. What was with the naked rider layed out on Burnside being attended to by the ambulance?

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  • daniel June 15, 2009 at 1:49 am

    I am aflame with regret that I had to miss the ride this year (camping with friends from out of town); You’re damn skippy I’ll be right back in the pack next year. Portland….you guys rock!!

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  • Marlon June 15, 2009 at 2:58 am

    What a great naked ride. It was the most fun I’ve had in years. The organization was top dog. Everything about this years ride was cool and open. This is why I love Portland!

    It was fun to see the naked skateboarders join in. I noticed at the end of the ride they had their on little naked party!

    So many beautiful people so little time at the kick off dance! It was fun to see everyone so FREE and OPEN. Portland has a lot of beautiful naked bodies. I will remember this for a very long time, to be honest it was one of the best days of my life!

    See ya next year!

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  • John Lascurettes June 15, 2009 at 6:15 am


    Actually, last year’s ride was over 11 miles (I had my cyclometer on my bike) and this year’s (for those of us that were lucky enough to do the east side loop) was about 9.5 miles. Last year’s was only longer tough because the starting line was a bit farther out.

    I’m guessing folks without the east side loop did about 6.5 miles?

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  • J June 15, 2009 at 6:42 am

    Still glad I don’t live in Portland. I’ll take rust belt misery any day over west coast hedonism. Less fun, less insipid.

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  • beth h June 15, 2009 at 7:12 am

    @ J (79):


    ..::shakes head::..

    Tell Pennsylvania I don’t miss it, enjoy drowning in that swill they call beer, and for heaven’s sake Just. Stay. Put.

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  • Camping close to town: Camp Creek June 15, 2009 at 7:25 am

    […] got out of town this past weekend to avoid the annual naked bike ride. Well, not really, but last year the ride disturbed our sleep (who knew naked people on bikes could […]

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  • Soren June 15, 2009 at 7:56 am

    In response

    “Next year, I hope some of you folks with constructive ideas and energy will step up and help out. That’s what Pedalpalooza is all about.”

    Yes, I’d love to help out next year. Who to contact, Bike Portland, SHIFT? Given the number of people present, I thought NBR was amazingly well planned. Government planners should take note of what this group of (sometimes naked) volunteers accomplished.

    This was my first NBR as well. I planned on wearing a spedo but the moment I hit the bottom floor of the staging area I slipped it off without a second thought. The people gathered were energized with such positive vibes.

    I thought the naked after party was great as well. The music was good for what it was. I don’t drink so didn’t have any problems with the beer line. The optional bag check worked perfectly for me. I handed someone my things, they set it on a numbered grid on the floor, wrote the number on my arm, and returned my things at 3:30am when I presented my numbered arm again. I didn’t even have an ID. Thank you volunteer bag checkers. It seemed as if there were half a dozen of you standing guard over the area for the entire event, plus have a dozen more running the check-in system.

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  • froot dawg June 15, 2009 at 8:03 am

    j @ # 79 we are glad you dont live here too!! what a great ride so many people! next year i will do some volunteering!! anything to keep this going!! thank you to all who volunteered you people rule!!!

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  • Matt Picio June 15, 2009 at 8:20 am

    re: comments on the route – Carl Larson and I planned the route. It’s really easy to Monday-morning-quarterback the route selection after the event, but consider this:

    1. There’s never been an official route, nor a police presence in a protective capacity.
    2. The planned route had to take the ride through the entertainment district while trying to avoid paralyzing all of downtown for 2+ hours.
    3. The route was planned in a way to make efficient use of limited police resources, and to keep people in areas where they wouldn’t be in a sketchy part of town if they got a flat.
    4. The ride has to be shorter than 10 miles, because every year, it gets a LOT of new cyclists, many who can’t ride long distances. Those who were able to do the east-side loop rode 8.5-9 miles.
    5. The route was designed for 3,000 attendees, and we had between 5,000 and 6,000 attendees – TWICE what the route was designed to handle.
    6. 25 ride ushers and fewer than 100 police managed a 5,000-6,000 person bike ride with few serious incidents, fand few serious injuries. The majority of the people who rode found it to be a positive experience.

    Next year, we’ll plan for 10,000 people.

    Major props go to the Portland Police Bureau, who showed an amazing amount of cooperation, leadership and professionalism dealing with the ride, the public, and the organizers. PPB took an early role in approaching the organizers and working in an honest, open fashion. This is the second major outreach from PPB’s senior personnel to the bike community this year, and both parties have bent over backwards to accommodate each others’ points-of-view, concerns, and needs.

    Special thank-yous to Commander Reese, Captain Hendricks, Lieutenant Parman, and Sergeants Niiya and Smith, and a big thank-you to all the officers who were on-duty and the many who volunteered to assist on Saturday night.

    Equally major props go to the ride ushers, recruited largely by Meghan Sinnott and Dutch. Dutch’s crew especially were extremely helpful in trying to take a living, organic, massive ride and encourage it to stay on the route. I met at least 20 new people Saturday night, and I can’t remember the names to post them all here, but your efforts are remembered and appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to volunteer and help out!

    And especially, thank you Meghan, Steph, Lily, Michael, and Carl for your instrumental part in keeping the WNBR in Portland a successful and SAFE event!

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  • Granny Moonstar June 15, 2009 at 8:38 am

    Hi all –
    After reading all the posts, I just have to throw in my two cents worth…
    I rode last year (major fun!!!) and chose to be one of the crowd outside Crystal Ballroom this year – wanted to experience the thousands of bike lights coming down Burnside. AWESOME!!! I was totally surprised by the police support. From what I remember of last year and the cars driving into the intersections, it had to be an improvement.
    It was pretty hilarious to hear the crowd reaction from those who did not know about the ride. I must have high-fived at least a hundred people, and several dozen presented their asses to be slapped (not my thing). I wonder if they were the reason that some of the folks were getting that unwanted attention???
    I’m glad most had an excellent time – the turnout was incredible. Kudos to those of you over 50. Nice to know we can still rock and roll with the best of them!!!

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  • San June 15, 2009 at 9:20 am

    Granny has a video, too. Thanks for sharing.

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  • Kiki June 15, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Matt, thanks so much for all of that information. It really helps to hear about the challenges from an insider’s perspective. I appreciate all the time and effort you and other volunteers put in to make this happen. I think planning for 10,000 in 2010 is a good idea, and I hope you send out the call for volunteers so we can all help!

    I realize my initial comment (#24) focused more on the complaints I had about the ride, rather than all the wonderful things I experienced. My apologies. This was my third WNBR, and each ride has been amazing.

    I look forward to this ride every year. It is hands down my favorite Portland event, and each time I ride my love for this city and its people (bikers and spectators) is renewed.

    I love the Portland World Naked Bike Ride. I want to marry it. A million heartfelt thank yous to those who made it happen (planners, sponsors, volunteers, riders, watchers, police, etc.) It couldn’t happen without you.

    See you next year.

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  • Anonymous June 15, 2009 at 10:40 am

    One of the best quotations of the night: “There should be 200,000 people on this ride”

    “Next year, we’ll plan for 10,000 people.”

    Rock on, Matt and all the organizers and volunteers!

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  • Matt Picio June 15, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Soren (#82) – contact Shift through this webpage:

    Mention that you’d like to volunteer to help out with WNBR/KODP 2010. If you have any skills you think would be particularly helpful, mentioning them would also be great. Most of the planning for the event won’t start before April next year, but some of it will be done well in advance.

    This year we had over 100 volunteers, next year we will likely need twice as many. This event is successful because of the efforts of many, and those efforts are greatly appreciated.

    Thanks everyone!

    Kiki (#88) – The organizers will be meeting to discuss what went well this year and what could be improved, and the information from that will be recorded for whoever coordinates the event in 2010. Anyone who’d like to be contacted next year to volunteer, please click on the link earlier in my post and we can add your name to a contact list for next year’s event.

    Thanks so much to all the volunteers – you all rock!

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  • Don June 15, 2009 at 11:26 am

    I can’t believe so many people enjoy engaging in an activity which devalues both men and women.

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  • Pete June 15, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Don, I respectfully disagree. It’s society’s hangups about sex and nudity that devalue men and women.

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  • Joe June 15, 2009 at 11:58 am

    sooooo Rad!

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  • Tommy June 15, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Another awesome ride this year! As long as you were toward the front of the pack before the bottlenecking got bad enough to have to walk, that is. I would definitely agree with many of the posters here that the West Burnside/Old Town bar scene is maybe getting a little too rowdy to be part of the route in the future. I wouldn’t mind seeing next year’s ride a little more focused on the East side, with maybe just a short loop through downtown, like in 2007. Hawthorne and Belmont would give us the bar crowd cheering and high fiving (and yes, taking pictures… I, for one, am perfectly cool with that), and my guess is that they would be a little more respectful than the hair gelled Clear reps who comprise the downtown bridge & tunnel crowd. Would also be cool to see it head up into NoPo. Hmmm, maybe I should volunteer to be on next year’s route committee…

    Nonetheless, a great event! Mad props to the organizers and the police for making what could have been a logistical nightmare work, for the most part, very smoothly.

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  • Speedster June 15, 2009 at 1:08 pm


    Nobody is devaluing men or women. We are all as valuable after the event as we were before the event.

    But thanks for your input.

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  • Carl June 15, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    by 3 miles long, I meant that the chain of riders was well over 3 miles long…not the length of the route. This is important becaucse it determines how long you have to ride before being able to safely cross the route. Obviously, crossing the route should be avoided, if possible, but you’d be surprised by how hard that is to do.

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  • John Lascurettes June 15, 2009 at 1:16 pm


    Thanks for the clarification. So, even without the break that PoPo put on the chain at the Burnside bridge, the serpent probably still would have caught up with its tail so to speak (but certainly without the degree of bottleneck problems that it had). By visual estimation, I’m guessing, that the east side loop was less than three miles long: 2009 WNBR route

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  • Matt Picio June 15, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Don (#91) – How does cycling devalue anyone? How does nudity devalue anyone? If any of the viewers were looking at someone as a sex object, they’d be doing that regardless of whether the man or woman in front of them was clothed or not, on a bike or not.

    Tommy (#94) – You must’ve been part of the 2nd group in 2007. The group I was part of didn’t take a “short loop” through downtown – we rode every street in downtown with clubs on it – literally.

    John (#97) – The loop from 2nd & W Burnside to SE 9th-Sandy-Madison-2nd back to Burnside is 2.97 miles long. Under last year’s conditions, 5,000 cyclists would stretch about 2-2.5 miles. With all the bar-goers constricting the flow further down Burnside, it stretched the ride out a lot longer than the eastside loop could handle.

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  • Mike June 15, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    There’s a Seinfeld episode in which Elaine claims that the naked female body is a work of art, and that men’s bodies are just utilitarian.

    This couldn’t be closer to the truth since the women looked pretty hot riding and with the men….well seeing that much junk in the chilly weather was disturbing…both me and my wife had the same opinion on this.

    Great fun though and at one point I saw a young homeless kid stoned out of his gourd walking directly into the oncoming bikes and the look on his face was priceless. It was the look of someone who had passed out and woke up to find themselves surrounded by naked people on bikes….priceless expression on his face.

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  • Wino Ryder June 15, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    ORganized chaos at its best!

    That old coffee bean building was pretty sweet too. THANKS!

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  • Wino Ryder June 15, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    ORganized chaos at its best!

    That old coffee bean building where the party was is pretty sweet too. THANKS!

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  • Egropp June 15, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    After the NBR, I feel tighter with the other riders on the street. It’s a good annual teambuilding exercise.

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  • Bonnie June 15, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    I, for one, had a really great time!
    Seems that almost everyone here had a great time!
    So, please thank all the volunteers and, to the small group of very dedicated volunteer organizers, huge thanks to them when you seem them, heck, buy ’em a beverage!
    If you are further inclined to help, please consider making a donation. The kick off dance party was not completely free of cost. Go to the very bottom of this page. If you donate big($500 or more), you get a brooks saddle!

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  • Dean June 15, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Nice job Carl and Matt. You mentioned that people with constructive ideas should volunteer to help out next time. How does one reach out to do that?

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  • Carly June 15, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    HEY! This was crazy!!
    If anyone has any pictures of two girls, bodypainted as A Tiger(ME) and A Panda(My friend) from Saturday night, please send them to me at!

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  • Tom H June 15, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Yes the night time ride was incredible. My first time was on the daytime ride, and I submitted a full ride report. from 2 pictures I saw of myself I will need to lose about 10 pounds which is hard for a type 1 diabetic. and I will be retired next year to volunteer extensively. I had never been nude in public before. I knew no one on the ride although I have cycled in the portland area for the last 58 years. Zoobomber route in 1953. Next year I have 4 more young ladies that want to go with me that did not go this year. I do wish to do route planning for maximum exposure and minimum traffic intermixing. The police did an excellent job of blocking intersections until the group I was in crossed the Burnside bridge. I was charged up all day like I had downed a case of rockstar energy drink although I didn’t touch any. I had the most fun just casually talking with the ladies while riding the bike. I didn’t badger them into talking but the vast majority initiated the conversations in a friendly manner. Absolutely the most friendly and energetic bunch of people I have ever met.
    Yes! both rides were fantastic!!!

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  • meghan June 15, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    phew. about a half-dozen PHENOMENAL volunteers cleaned the building all yesterday. it looks better than it did before (just smells more like pee and beer and less like coffee.)

    below are the items left on site. for next year i recommend if you leave your important item(s) at the site of a volunteer-run event, you bike on back, pitch in on the cleaning and find your item(s) yourself. just sayin’… … otherwise, we’re not out of the financial hole, yet, so a donation is always welcomed. or volunteer next year to show us thanks for how much fun you had.

    5 phones: i’ve called most of your moms, already, to let them know you were at the naked bike ride and lost your phone…
    1 back of phone (pink razor)
    wallets: if your name is daniel, kathryn, paul, andrew, mark or jordan i may have your wallet.
    IDs: if your name is sarah, ian, michael or matthew i probably have your ID.
    keys: 2 sets, 3 black bike keys, 1 car key
    cameras: 1 fujifilm, 1 kodak
    1 small camera case
    1 lens cover
    3 bags: 1 black canvas, 1 red purse, one camo. i tossed the black backpack that smelled like urine. sorry.
    3 helmets
    3 bikes: huffy, rallye and oregon state university stock bike
    1 chair
    2 metal water bottles
    2 nalgenes
    3 pairs of glasses
    4 bike lights
    1 headlamp (volunteer?)
    1 gold beaded bracelet
    1 cowboy hat (ted?)
    1 pair pants
    7 shirts
    1 pair fancy black gloves (skye?)
    1 velvet satchel
    1 piece animal print fabric
    1 black bra. sorry. i didn’t save the underwear i found.
    1 pair nike shoes
    1 mini tube
    1 bike chain
    9 cups of urine
    1 pound of coffee

    MISSING: 5 BEER sashes. these sashes were sewn by me. it took over $50 in materials to make them. they are needed for the multnomah county bike fair (MCBF). if you know somebody who has one or if you have one–please return it. if you see someone at a party wearing it, please let them know that’s not funny, cool, clever and the hard-working volunteers of shift would really like their sash back so we can continue to serve beer to you in the future. i will teach whomever would like to make a sash how, if you would like. but please give me the made ones back.

    (also. some really cool guy lost his digital camera. he said you can have the camera–he just wants the chip inside with the photos. if you return the camera, i get a meal out of it. for the love of underpaid people! return the camera!)

    so. if you need to retrieve any of these items, i recommend you email me soon. otherwise, wallets and IDs will be dropped in a mailbox tomorrow and in one week all other items will be taken to the food not lawns free porch.

    VOLUNTEERS–you were freakin’ amazing. YOU MADE THE PARTY HAPPEN. thank you. i will thank you more formally when pedalpalooza winds down.

    EVERYBODY–please personally thank (in alphabetical order): ashley, brian (sysfail), carl, chris, deadletter, ethan, halley, heather, lily, matt, michael, and steph, timtim. they put up with me and you.

    we went from about 30 some volunteers last year to over 100 volunteers this year. did you not hear the call out for volunteers this year? we tried. really. hard. to get volunteers. this was a 100% volunteer-run event with a $2,000 budget. it cost over $6,000 to make this event happen. for free. for you.

    go to (as mentioned above) to learn how to volunteer yourself! then all of your awesome ideas can become reality!

    not to sound full of ourselves, but… do not think we did not think of all of the things you are complaining about. EVERYTHING YOU HAVE MENTIONED was discussed by the 5 core volunteers. we all have full time jobs and/or are full time students. we would have liked to see most of the things you all have mentioned. the 5 of us could not do it all. we would love to have your help covering all bases. we got distracted by the legal stuff (like permits, etc.) that took our time and energy and money. we focused on these things so that you could have a party next year. it looks like we covered these bases well. the party was not shut down and the police haven’t called me, yet… … so. if you would like to see it bigger and better next year—please (please!) step up.

    new belgium
    7 corners cycles
    sock dreams
    brook saddles
    the mercury
    voodoo doughnuts
    stark naked pizza
    and anonymous donors–did you get to see the party? it was incredible. 5,000 people enjoyed something that would not have been possible without you.

    and to all of you wondering–the building WILL become artist lofts. the building will be renamed the nicolai business center. buy a hunk of that beautiful warehouse and remember WNBR 2009!
    thank you to doug bean and associates for their endless generosity. hurray for awesome portland-owned and run businesses!

    if you would like to sponsor this event next year–LET US KNOW NOW. the sooner we know, the more we can give you in exchange. if 5,000 eyes and a night of good memories isn’t enough exposure… we of the naked bike riding fame can find away to expose your name any way you see fit! just let us know.

    THANK YOUR PORTLAND POLICE. i look forward to hearing what you have to say about the night.

    THANK YOU CITY OF PORTLAND and STATE OF OREGON. fire marshal, noise variance control office, all of the people involved in the street closure and OLCC–you were amazingly patient and understanding and trusting. i hope we proved ourselves to you.

    RE beer: our major sponsor for several years running was not able to support us as much as they were in previous years. less than 2 weeks before the event we realized we only had “a few” kegs donated. less than one week before the party, ninkasi stepped up and donated 8 kegs. awesome!

    finally–i couldn’t get up to use the restroom last night. felt like i had spent the last 3 days running up and down four flights of stairs and pounding my feet on metal plates… … my body is killing me.
    brian’s body is in pretty rough shape, too. while dropping off the final load of items borrowed for the event, he was rear-ended. his truck in totaled and his body is thrashed.

    we could both use a massage. care to donate a massage? i’ve never had one before, but i think i’d like it.

    also–to the person who made the comment about gov’t planners taking note–you made me smile. yeah! take note! and–i’m still underemployed so. … you know… if, uhhhh the city needs an event organizer, i’m free now. party’s done.

    yours in bike love,


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  • Bart June 15, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    Suggested route might have us loop off Hawthorne onto Front, go under Burnside, and then around Broadway and back into the Pearl. Should eliminate any crossing of the group. Well, it’s just a thought.

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  • Bart June 15, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    See previous post. Bitch bitch bitch.

    Sorry. I forgot to say that this was my first outing, and I freaking loved it. I was down to shoes and socks, and I’ve never felt so comfortable in a group of people before. Where the wild things were, indeed.

    Fantastic work, everyone, and what a turnout!

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  • LEDWheels June 15, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    There’s another nekked ride scheduled in the calendar. Let’s do it again!

    BTW, while riding in the nude, I enjoy the interesting sensation of wind on my entire body — felt good to be bare.

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  • LEDWheels June 15, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Thank you meghan for your service and your excellent posting above. Thank you to all the volunteers. I would love to donate towards massages for you, Brian and the team. Let me know how I can show my appreciation post-event.

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  • Jess June 16, 2009 at 12:20 am

    I had an effing blast!! It was my first WNBR and I was elated. The amount of skin was absolutely amazing. Coming over a hill to see a vast landscape of humanity was invigorating.

    Towards the beginning of the ride, someone chucked a beer bottle from an at least four story window, which landed mere inches from my body. Definitely startling. Still not sure if it was an accident.

    Apparently I was one of the lucky few to make it to the East side. That was great. Sailing down the Sandy hill naked! Woot woot.

    Ditto to all the comments about the bottle-necking masses of spectators.

    And where we rejoined the crew after getting back on the West side? Utter mayhem. We were lost for a bit…hundreds of lost bikers. Hilarious.

    Also, thanks to the folks who brought the bike sound system so that we could have an outside dance party afterwards when we couldn’t get inside as the soiree was at capacity.

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  • Lisa G. June 16, 2009 at 10:32 am

    I didn’t go to this one due to what I know about the downtown bar scene on Sat. nights. I enjoyed this ride and party when it was a bit smaller.

    I urge everyone who still has a job to please donate something, even if it’s just a small amount, to help defray the cost of this event. The volunteers did an awesome job.


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  • Kirk June 16, 2009 at 12:37 pm


    Can you post details/a link as to how best to make a donation to the group?

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  • Aaron June 16, 2009 at 2:10 pm


    Thank you so much, you guys were absolutely fantastic! I had a total blast. I remember hearing that legal stuff was a hassle so thank you for that. Any problems were absurdly minor, partially thanks to you. I was looking forward to it this year and I am looking forward to it next year.

    By the way, I’ve heard that London’s ride got 1,200 this year. So much for Portland merely being the “largest naked bike ride in North America.”

    Now a bit of number crunching using the 5000 estimate:
    Percent of enrollment in Reed College: 335%

    Percent of population of Tillamook: 111.8%

    Percent of Portland metro population: 0.2%

    Maybe 0.3% next year?

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  • Bart June 16, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    re: 110

    What? When? I couldn’t find it.

    I would love to go again, soon.

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  • LEDWheels June 16, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Next ride is: This Saturday night 7:00 PM — ride starts after the MCBF. Not my event, but I’ll be there too. See !

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  • Dean June 16, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    BTW, based on the comments above that would have liked to see the purpose/message of the ride get a little more media attention, I put a post on my blog about ways that could be done. I’m happy to help out with some of this stuff in the future.

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  • Tom D June 16, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    This was my second ride–I was one of the lucky ones who got to cross the bridge. The east side was fun, and I didn’t much mind standing around with the barflies downtown–lots of gawking, but I didn’t see much aggression (I won’t say it didn’t happen elsewhere). As for looking & picture taking, well, you gotta expect it. I mean, we’re naked in the public street, f’godsake. It would be embarrassing if no one paid attention at all! We want to be seen. If we didn’t, we could bike out Springwater in the dark.

    Which brings up thoughts about routing. I heard no gripes about NW, and only a few about lower Burnside. So maybe it’s time to give the downtown bar scene a rest. Suppose we did a ride starting like this year–through NW, down B’side, across the bridge & down to Hawthorne; but then east out H’thorn to , and up to Broadway. Then back across the B’way bridge, up Lovejoy to 23rd, and back home. This is a pretty long ride, & we might want to plan cutoffs for those who aren’t up to it.

    Anyway, I had a great time this year, and I’ll do it again, whatever the route is.

    Next Saturday (20th) I’m doing the Fremont Solstice Parade in Seattle (the “naked painted cyclists”). I invite everyone to go up & join in.You’ve gotta be really comfortable being viewed here,since it’s broad daylight, & maybe 50,000 spectators. Street Theater, they used to call it. Check out their website at:
    or Yahoo group at:
    Plan to get painted … the gaudier, the better. I hope to see some Portlanders there.

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  • James Jennings LMT June 17, 2009 at 11:25 am

    I am a Licensed Massage Therapist who has been practicing for 7 years and I would be willing to offer full hour for $15 each to Megan and Brian. I have to pay per use for my office or I would consider doing it absolutely free.

    Feel free to call for an appointment: 503-490-9190.

    I practice Swedish, Trigger Point, Sports, and Energy Healing therapies. If you like I am willing to include a postural assessment and address structural imbalances, or I can simply find the painful muscles and get them to settle down.

    I’m located on Hawthorne in SE Portland, so hopefully I’m close by for both of you.

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  • Anonymous June 17, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    The kick off party and the ride on Saturday was awsome.

    The old Coffee Bean International building was super cool. Couldn’t have had a better place for a party. Love the old freight elevators.

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  • jj June 17, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    GREAT ride.

    In my 30 years of riding I have never once gotten a flat tire while ON a ride.

    Until the WNBR.

    When I was naked. is a picture of my bike with a flat tire on the sidelines right next to the zoobomb sculpture.

    Oh and thanks to the gals who let this old guy tag along to the rally point: I forgot my directions at home. You were both very nice. Hope you had as much fun as I did!

    I am looking forward to next year.

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  • james June 18, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    This year was my 4th Portland WNBR, and for me it was by far the most disappointing. My experience was ruined by 3 main things:
    1. the ride leaders moved too slowly. Throughout the entire ride I don’t think I was actually up on my bike for more than 10 blocks. It’s supposed to be a bike RIDE, not a walk with your bike. If I wanted to walk around Portland naked I would. I was extremely uncomfortable with the crowds of crazy by-standers pushing in on me and the other riders. I know a lot of other people I’ve spoken with felt the same. WE should’ve turned off Burnside WAY before the dirty crack-whore part. Bad planning. Once the police decided to let the cars go across the bridge they essentially ended the ride and ruined it for everyone behind.
    2. I saw a lot of people who just didn’t understand the spirit of the ride. A guy riding in front of me was so wasted that he rode directly into the side of a parked car and flipped his bike. He was so drunk he didn’t even seem to know what had happened. He just lay there with his open beer can. Not cool. Then there was the couple who were so wasted they were trying (and apparently failing) to have sex in the ditch outside the party. WAY not cool. Whoever organizes this thing needs to convey the true spirit of the ride and discourage these ridiculous assholes from attending.
    3. Once again the venue was too small, and super-lame. The building couldn’t even hold half of the people who were trying to get in, and smelt really strongly of horseshit. The music didn’t start until way after most people had already been turned away at the door. Why can’t we just have the after-party outside in a park somewhere or something?
    I probably won’t ride again unless these issues are publicly addressed. Neither will most of the people I know who rode this year.

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  • al m June 21, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    As I said in a post later in date, NOBODY CARES ABOUT Y’ALL XCEPT Y’ALL!

    Don’t wake everyone up in the neighborhoods next time!

    Show some respect for others!


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  • Rowmain Lettuce June 25, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    The whole Burnside bridge detour forced me to spend about 11 minutes of solo ride time in downtown and out of context! YIKES!

    I somehow broke away from my friends right at the very tail end of the first group that made it across the bridge for the east-side loop. I straggled across Burnside with one friend and suddenly realized we were completely by ourselves. One minute we were in the group, the next we were biking in downtown…by ourselves! We desperately looked for the group but did not find them. In my search for the group, we split apart and I went straight in a right turn only lane and a police car almost hit me. The officer asked me to come over. WOW was he pissed. I nearly did the same. Anyhow, he let me go but he was not happy about me being 100% naked BY MYSELF! He shouted some stuff at me and I just nodded and complied…I just wanted out of there. WHERE WERE THE FAMILIAR BLINKING RED LIGHTS and ASSES?

    Can we please avoid the whole Burnside mess next year? I’ll go again for sure if I know that I won’t be walking and/or biking by myself and out of context. That was my worst nightmare!

    At least I lived to tell about it!

    PS: Nothing is worse than a drunk polo shirt wearing 20 something video taping your face then panning down to the crotch and pointing. WALKING on Burnside was unfortunate and I’m sure my anatomy will make it on to some dumb-ass web site for jerks like him.

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