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Thousands take part in Portland’s Naked Bike Ride

Posted by on June 20th, 2010 at 6:38 am

Naked Riders on West Burnside. – Photo by Jared Souney/JaredSouney.com.

Lead photo by Jared Souney.

Congratulations Portland! Your penchant for pedaling pantless has set records once again. Estimates from last night’s World Naked Bike Ride put the number of riders at 11,000-13,000 people*. Wow. I think that would be the largest ride of its kind the world has ever seen. (*Note: The initial estimate of 13,000 has been disputed by event organizers.)

People who watched say it took about 30-40 minutes for all the riders to pass by. All reports from the field so far say the event itself was a big success. A large (and coordinated) police presence helped the ride stay together by corking most intersections.

The route also “worked beautifully” according to one of the volunteers. Organizers wanted to avoid the bottlenecks (which can lead to excessive groping from bystanders) that had occurred downtown in previous years so they spent more time on the east side. The ride went through downtown via W. Burnside and went up Hawthorne Boulevard, passing by the Bagdad and Laurelhurst Theaters in Southeast.

Here’s another photo from local photographer Jared Souney:

(Photo © Jared Souney)

By all accounts, it was another amazing Naked Ride and a magical night to be on a bike in Portland.

The crew of volunteers and organizers from Shift deserve a huge thanks for making it all come together… as do the City of Portland, TriMet, the Portland Police Bureau, and all the other local agencies that allow this to take place worked together to make everything go smoothly.

Was it good for you? Chime in below to share your experience and let us know how it went.

More photos by Jared Souney here. Also see this photoset from Jim “K’Tesh” Parsons.

[*If you’re skeptical about the 13,000 rider estimate, check out this analysis by volunteer (and BikePortland contributor) Marcus Griffith.]

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TommyPDX
Guest
TommyPDX

My second year riding and what a wonderful Portland experience! Thank you to all the volunteers and Portland Police! Have a wonderful Fathers Day!

Tommy
Guest

Yet another awesome naked ride in PDX. Pretty amazing organization and coordination, and an even more amazing crowd of participants (and *huge*; I wonder if it’ll top 20K next year…). Just keeps getting better every year! And mad props to the popo for keeping those intersections clear for us!

Marcus Griffith
Guest
Marcus Griffith

I volunteered during the ride and had a few flying monkies take clicker counts at the gate and give a brief demographic survey. After getting sleep (I just got home), I can crunch the numbers.

Overall the ride went very well. Many of the problems that arose last year were avoided. The crowd was pretty fun loving and mellow.

teresa mcgrath and nat kim
Guest
teresa mcgrath and nat kim

totally amazing ride, and kudos to the organizers, drummers, police corking, and spectators cheering us on, thx a lot.

Borgbike
Guest

I was surprised by the increase in spectators. Yes there were the usual giant crowds who poured out of bars as the ride went by. But it seemed like a huge number of people went out of their way to drive to the event, get out of their cars and gawk at people. This was evidenced by the huge crowds of bystanders at the beginning of the ride. Maybe there was a 6 o’clock news story on it or something? It was no biggie just maybe that these people seemed kind of pathetic.

Also, hey, turn off your car when you’re waiting for the ride to go by.

My group had a blast. Huge smiles on everyone’s face. There were four new WNB riders in my group. These folks were all glad to do there part toward spreading the joy of naked bike riding awesomeness.

Huge props to all the organizers and volunteers. Thanks for making the sacrifice so me and my friends could have so much fun.

David
Guest
David

It was my first time, and the ride was amazing! Never done anything even remotely similar before. There were a few spots that required walking for a few blocks, but with 13,000 people it’s bound to happen. Overall, amazing!

Does anybody know what happened to the cyclist that got hit head-on by a car that pulled into the route on SE Hawthorne though? The woman’s windshield was smashed up, but the cyclist was conscious. Is he ok?

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

*Awesome* job on the organizing this year. Last time I went I felt unsafe being part of a roving mob with no real plan. This time, with a planned route and uniformed officers taking care of the automobile-control, I didn’t have to worry about any of that, and could just enjoy the ride.

Kyle
Guest
Kyle

I wish next year it won’t be on the same weekend as gay pride. I’d go if it wasn’t.

John Lascurettes
Guest

Thank you to the organizers for the route. It was perfect. I very much appreciate hitting new territory an spending so much time on the east side.

browse
Guest
browse

Of the three years I’ve ridden in the WNBR in PDX, this ride was the best, by far! The route allowed for actual riding and I never felt claustrophobic from the crushing crowd. And the police corking at the intersections was excellent! My congratulations and gratitude to the ride organizers and the PPD.

DT
Guest
DT

I stood at the corner of Burnside and Broadway, right where the ride was turning to go north onto Broadway, and I timed 22 minutes for the entire ride to go by (10:24-10:46pm), flanked by police escorts. Having ridden the last 2 years (and not being aware of the WNBR prior to that), I have to say that I like the ride much more as a participant than a spectator. I agree with the ogling vibe and saw many men around me with cameras and one with a video camera. I only saw one person acting like a d*ck (no pun intended), who was trying to retaliate against people who buzzed him for being too far out into the road as he attempted to grope people – he kept trying to kick people’s back tires as they went by. Fortunately he walked off with his friends after a few attempts (As a chick, I was hoping not to get into an altercation with a drunk guy, but I was getting ready to if he continued because it made me so angry.).

Overall, there were nothing but smiles from the participants, and I hope everyone had a blast. We had family visiting this weekend, so we chose to be spectators instead, but we’ll be back out there next year! Maybe this will get bigger than the Bridge Pedal!!!

Kara
Guest
Kara

I didn’t participate for the first time in a very long time. Instead I was busy trying to raise money for charity. I had put it on this specific Saturday to avoid the WNBR, but things conspired against us. Ended up with almost no people coming and many of them couldn’t get there because Weidler was blocked off by cops for the WNBR. My friend, who helped put on the event, got messages from folks that they couldn’t get to the event. It was really, really frustrating honestly.

VelvetAckbar
Guest
VelvetAckbar

People: my ass was slapped twice. I think next time I ride, I am going to stop, snag a bunch of photos and post them on CL and Youtube, or at least threaten to. Terribly rude.

More than once, idiots in cars told the companions I were riding with that they “weren’t showing their tits” — they weren’t. One was wearing a BP protest shirt and the other was wearing a fur-suit. Apparently people don’t understand the nature of the protest.

The lookie lous on the outside I understand, but can we restrict the drinking lookie lous inside the gates? They were taking up a fair amount of space just to watch naked people. i love the “your bike is your ticket” idea. It was just difficult to get to the bathroom.

Lastly: Some moron photog was taking picture of a bikini clad gal standing on cars over on Stark, listening to the car roof POP! This caused neighbors to come out of their homes to protect their cars.

The route: FUN! I missed going on NW 23rd, but it was an awesome route. nice to spread the love into SE!

Afterparties: Cartopia is where we headed and it was AWESOME fun! so many people, so many naked folks!

Thank you very very very much to the organizers and to the Portland Police for corking for us.

Alex
Guest
Alex

It was a great ride, my first. It was refreshing to see so many people out riding and working so well with the police and each other. Sadly coming down Hawthorn a car pulled out into the ride and hit a rider. I don’t know how they are but an ambulance was called and the cars windshield was smashed.

TTom
Guest
TTom

I initially came down to just check it out as I had only learned of the event earlier in the day. Thousands – I couldn’t believe it. Next thing I know I was dropping my clothes and mounting my bike for the ride of my life. That’s something to say now age 53 and having held six world speed records in cycling.

This was a joy; I was laughing, invigorated, ALIVE! The spontaneous singing of our national anthem at the start was so perfect… Land of the FREE and home of the BRAVE.”

PDX Police did a great job and service, very professional. Caring riders took assisted with falls our flats. Most crowds were great with the occasional camera pervs one might expect, but small in percentage. I expect some drivers caught off guard with real needs to get somewhere I expect were frustrated. Most spectators seemed to be having as much fun as the riders.

At any age this event can help you find your youth and freedom with a great bunch of people. THANK YOU to the organizers and to Portland – I love this town!

Marcus Griffith
Guest
Marcus Griffith

Here is the numbers and reasoning that support the 13,000 estimate:

http://www.vanvoice.com/blogentry/21105-dare+bare+estimate+2010+portland+naked+bike+ride

Despite the use of click-counters and attempts to reduce error, the estimate is far from robust. But, I think its accurate enough for planning purposes. I look forward to getting a formal and official world record count in place someday. I am pretty sure Portland is heads and shoulders above any other city.

PS: To the cute girl on the bike (the nude one with body paint), you were really cute and I would have gladly joined you and your friends, but I was working the gate during the ride. Sorry.

peejay
Guest
peejay

Cool ride. I loved the more relaxed feel of it. I did miss the lack of an official after-party, because too many people dissipated toward the end too quickly. Although, our mystery ride at midnight was awesome fun. It was great to be a volunteer and also to provide music to my surrounding riders, but I’m gonna have to rebuild the sound system next year to have more LOUD in it.

H K
Guest
H K

AWESOME RIDE! Even the late afternoon rain couldn’t keep us away! There were a lot of fully dressed non-cycling bystanders in the gated area. Not sure what they were doing.

Sam
Guest
Sam

Terrific overall and simply an amazing event.
The Portland Police corking was better this year, often stopping traffic a block or half block short of the intersection. This extra buffer was innovative and did well for the ride.
I’m glad we rode the east side. Hawthorne was enthusiastic.
If the route included a large park in which we could circle for five minutes, it would help keep the “train” compact.
Thank you participants, organizers, and Portland Police! Portland forever.

Sam
Guest
Sam

Here is the route – 7 1/2 miles – as I remember it:
http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3821656

CJD
Guest
CJD

Awesome night! It was my second ride, and this one was for sure way more relaxed and fun than last year, this time bringing along two WNBR virgins. Coolest parts:
-The back of the group singing a very patriotic Star Spangled Banner before we began
– The little girl on the tag-along with no pants on
– The woman with the broken arm being towed in a trailer
– Awesome police corking for us
– Lots of glow sticks and friendliness from everyone.

Keep it up Portland!

CJD
Guest
CJD

I also wanted to say that I hope the people on Hawthorne who went down and needed ambulances (I saw 2-3)are OK. It was great to see so many people immediately stop to help. Glad we have bike riding EMTs and nurses out there!

Tony Columbo
Guest
Tony Columbo

Thankyou for the slide show documenting the lack of safety exhibited by the riders. Few helmets and even fewer running lights but the drinking of beer while riding was the highlight.

David
Guest
David

re: TTom (#15)

Your post perfectly captured the spirit of the event! Pretty awesome. I’ve saved this post for inspiration. Thank you!

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

Had a lot of fun! A lot more than the last two rides I participated in. 13,000 WOW!!! It actually felt a lot smaller, perhaps because there was so little time spent walking (compared to last year). There were so many cheering people out there! I’m afraid to find out how many pictures exist of my “BP SUCKS” belly message.

I did witness a few crashes (where the people just bounced back up unhurt)(one at the streetcar tracks), and passed by one crash that had an ambulance dispatched. Hope the fellow rider’s OK.

I can’t wait for my next WNBR! I just hope there’s less of me to display 😉

Pete
Guest
Pete

Sam #20: Neat site; here’s my recollection:
http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3821656
I know we went out to 39th; I’m not quite positive about the last few blocks.

Re: #23: Please don’t feed the trolls

jacob
Guest
jacob

Take off your pants & jacket .

Donovan
Guest
Donovan

I missed out on this last year or it would have been my second one. All I can say is that this was utter joy. I smiled ( as did everyone) and I couldn’t help but think that I wish every day was like today. This was the most awesome thing I’ve ever done and would recommend this to anyone. Put it on your bucket list, then after you’ve done that, you’ll keep wanting to return.

John Lascurettes
Guest

Sam,
You forgot Belmont and 39th (Caesar Chavez). Here’s my recollection: http://tinyurl.com/29gqw7o (9mi).

Tony Columbo,
Take a chill pill. And don’t lump me in with your judgmentally sweeping statement.

SamH
Guest
SamH

@Sam

that route is almost correct. we actually turned on belmont at 28th and went down to 39th cesar chavez turned right down to hawthorne then turned on hawthorne all the way down. So just a little more added on.

Nothing else like it. It was all simply amazing.

Erin
Guest
Erin

Sam- your route doesn’t include going up Stark to 30 something and then Belmont to 39th…

dutch
Guest
dutch

Thanks to all the volunteers, and everyone else who came out and made the ride a smashing success!!

Props goes out to the zoobomb for teaching us how to do it better, as well as such a large number of the volunteers being zoobombers.

remember, this is the kind of event that only works because people step up to make it happen. Next year, the same group probably won’t do it, which means its up to people like you to DO IT BETTER!

BicycleDave
Guest
BicycleDave

It was the smoothest flowing, but chilliest WNBR out of 4 for me. Thanks to everyone involved!

Hart
Guest

VOTE FOR BUSH!!!

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

Here’s the link to my GPS report of the route:

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/37585746

It has about 9 miles of the ride, and a little extra from the pre/post wandering.

mya
Guest
mya

This was my first bike ride and i didn’t do it naked. But i had so much fun. The roads were blocked off for us. There was a LOT of people. we of course started the ride with the national anthem. Unfortunately there was an accident on the way when a BMW (go figure) tried to push its way through. I hope everyone got out ok. It was painful to see some bike riders fall. Overall it was great.

Albert
Guest
Albert

I got a flat at 20th and Hawthorne and saw the wreck where the driver turned East onto Hawthorne and smashed into several cyclists. One was hurt and down but still conscious and another put the front wheel back on his bike and continued the ride. The driver of the car stated that she had no prior knowledge of an event going on and assumed the East-bound side of the Hawthorne was open to cars.

A few minutes before the accident a car on the opposite side of Hawthorne was revving its engine trying to get across the bike mass to also go East on Hawthorne, but gave up after being yelled at by several cyclists. Maybe next year someone can think of a way to handle these side streets that are too small for the police to staff.

Soren
Guest
Soren

13,000?! It seemed smaller to me this year as well. Perhaps I was much further off the front than I thought. There were not more than a thousand or so people at the finish. Cold temps and no central after party responsible for riders quickly leaving the scene. That and seeing so many crashes were the only downers for me. I counted at least three crashes that resulted in emergency responses.
The demon unicycle never went down however. That guy was amazing.

I loved the naked dude running in flip flops. He did most, maybe all of the route.

I think there were more people sans all clothes this year than in the past. It was a very naked ride. Yippee! One bystander entered the middle of the road somewhere near Belmont, pulled is pants down, and high-fived the bikers. A naked gal riding next to me said that was too gratuitous for her. Funny.

Generally we were a great throng of high spirited, friendly, naked bikers. The east side crowds were more tame than the club hoppers down town, which is a good thing. I recall more west side observers stripping naked last year in support though.

Thanks police and volunteers. I hope I can do it again next year.

jo
Guest

this was my second year and i agree with everyone on the new route. it was organized sooo much better than the last ride i went on. i cant believe 11-13,000 people showed up this year!! over all tho, the energy from both the riders and the crowd was amazing. i cant wait until next year!

less gas, more ass!!!!

dsaxena
Guest
dsaxena

Next year…take over the I-5 bridge? 🙂

trail user
Guest
trail user

Some men were showing their anus to motorists at intersections by lifting their legs. I hoped they wiped.

The red devil on a unicycle’s twig and berries were pointing right at you at eye level. He could have poked an eye out.

At the very front of the pack towards the end of the ride, a motorcycle cop accelerated hard on the sidewalk and caught air jumping the curb back on the street to redirect bicyclists. It was simply awesome.

West Cougar
Guest
West Cougar

Hmm, the BridgePedal is 15-20,000? I’m not sure this ride felt like it was within a percentage of that. It was generally denser than BridgePedal, but just a fraction of the length.

I don’t have enough experience with sizing large crowds to call the number wrong, but based on my experience with BridgePedal, I am a little skeptical.

Marcus Griffith
Guest
Marcus Griffith

West Couger: Your skepticism is well placed. The estimate is far from robust. But its the best ‘guess’ that I could make with the raw numbers I was provided by the designated counters (those that volunteered to be counters, thank you again).

The HD video along the route would have been amazing in getting an accurate and reliable count. Also, with video counts, one can go back and re-count from the film later. Not something that can be done with manual click-counters.

One of the reasons I posted the method that produced the estimate was to facilitate feedback. There is always room for improvement and I am sure my approach was far from perfect.

Maybe next year, a better system can be put into place or even an official count can be made. But sometimes, you just have to work with imperfect numbers.

As for the return trip, at least a few thousand made it back. I went horse last night trying to keep the main road and intersection clear.

Regardless of how many or how few actually turned out, the even was a huge success.

Ed
Guest
Ed

I wanna live in Portland! Show me the way to go home!!

kernel
Guest

Nice to hear all the good reports.

The day ride went 20 naked miles with over 50 riders; all afternoon! NE, N, NW, SW, SE, NE.
We had 80+ the week before on sunnyday part one.
And no cartoppers.

pt 3, post-mcbf?

Red Five
Guest
Red Five

men showing anus in PDX? I’m shocked.

elena
Guest
elena

This was my first year and it was amazing!

I agree about the blatant spectators inside the fenced lot at the beginning..I know a statement can’t be a statement without an audience, but I think a bit more could be done to control the creep factor. I think the “bike is your ticket” concept, at least at the beginning, is a fantastic idea.

Thank you, Portland, for reaffirming every single day why I love living here!

Ian
Guest
Ian

I take issue with some of your wording– that “they allow this to take place.” Fuck what they allow. We can thank them for helping, but people would have done it even if the police condemned it.

West Cougar
Guest
West Cougar

Thanks Marcus. I wasn’t trying to call you out. I agree you did the best you could with the resources you had. I just thought of offering a different perspective as a “reality check”.

Actually I thought wow, what if this does double in size again next year, hey, that’s bigger than BridgePedal! Then I thought, wait a minute, this didn’t seem within striking distance of BridgePedal. As much as I think it would be AWESOME to have the WNBR be bigger than BridgePedal, BridgePedal is an enormous ride.

Briana
Guest

Ive always heard about this event, more so online and last night I got to experience it first hand!!!
I was at the right place at the right time, and caught it off guard!!! Ive never seen so many naked people in my life!
Will def check it out next year, perhaps ride sometime!!