The Worst Day of the Year Ride is February 11th

2011 Naked Bike Ride: Details, poster revealed, cops and sponsors weigh in

Posted by on June 8th, 2011 at 12:12 pm

World Naked Bike Ride - Portland-17

June 18th.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Thanks to a group of devoted volunteers working on a shoestring budget so that 10,000 people can enjoy a naked bike ride through the streets (not to mention all the people who enjoy it without even being there or participating), the Portland edition of the 2011 World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) is all set for June 18th.

Behold the poster (might be NSFW, depending on where you work)…

Art by Alexandra Becker Black. Layout by Gabriel Amadeus

Last year the ride saw immense crowds the likes of which hadn’t been seen at any naked ride anywhere in the world. Ever. It’s hard to even estimate just how many people will show up this time around. 15,000? 20,000 (that’s Bridge Pedal territory)? Suffice it to say, it’s a major undertaking to put it all together.

But, like Pedalpalooza (the 17 day extravaganza of over 200 rides and events) itself, the Naked Bike Ride comes out relatively smoothly every year. This is thanks to local volunteers with Shift (and with the backing of non-profit group Umbrella).

World Naked Bike Ride 2007

While Shift provides the energy, creativity and spirit for (naked) bike fun to thrive in Portland, they get a major assist from the Portland Police Bureau. And this year, they’ve even signed up a title sponsor and several smaller sponsors to help offset event costs.

Who’s the title sponsor? The Southeast Portland based law firm Berkshire Ginsberg LLC. They’ve even come up with a fun tagline, “When you’re naked, we’ve got you covered.”

Why would a respected law firm be so closely associated with naked bike riding? I asked attorney Mark Ginsberg…

“As you know, riders are vulnerable and naked rides point that out. Our firm helps as many cyclist as we can and we also have a sense of humor, so it was a very good fit. The event is a fun, positive event, that welcomes all type of cyclists, and we welcome the opportunity to be supportive of creative, cycling community events.”

It takes more than financial support and volunteers to make sure thousands of happy and naked people make their way safely through a large city without major incidents. That’s where the police come in.

World Naked Bike Ride - Portland-45

PPB officers keeping a helpful eye
on the action.

Thanks to years of relationship building with the Portland Police Bureau, I’m happy to report that there is a true sense of partnership and cooperation that exists between them and Naked Bike Ride organizers.

I received this notice from PPB Traffic Division Lieutenant Eric Schober this morning:

“The Portland Police Bureau, specifically the Traffic Division will be on scene to assist in facilitating this event. Our goal is for all participants to arrive and leave the event safely and lawfully. Once the ride begins, the Police Bureau will be facilitating the route controlling vehicular traffic at the major intersections along the route.”

WNBR volunteer Meghan Sinnott said their favorite response from participants is along the lines of,

“At first I thought the police were there to arrest us for being naked. Turns out that’s legal in Oregon! They were just there to make sure that people weren’t drinking and that we got through intersections safely!”

Sinnott also shared some other fun tidbits about this year’s ride:

  • The theme is Carnival (as in Brazil, not clowns),
  • The gorgeous poster was based on a painting by Alexandra Becker Black and the layout was done by Gabriel Amadeus Tiller. Plans are to print a version without sponsor logos to sell and raise money for ride.
  • At the ride, there will be an artist air-brushing bodies for tips.
  • Portland’s “Femaly-friendly sex toy boutique” SheBop is also sponsoring the event.

Volunteer organizer Carl Larson reminds us that they still volunteers. If you’d like to help, fill out a form online and someone will get in touch with you. If you’d like more info about donating to the event, check out

The ride gathers at 9:00 pm and rolls out at 10:00 pm on Saturday June 18th at SE Water and Salmon Streets. Remember, it’s only “bare as you dare” so don’t let the fully naked idea keep you away (although I’ll warn you you might end up that way).

See you out there!

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. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Forseti June 8, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    If only they all looked like the girl on the poster…

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    • John Lascurettes June 8, 2011 at 2:58 pm

      … That’d be a pretty boring world. People come in all shapes, sizes and persuasions.

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      • April June 8, 2011 at 11:04 pm

        Yes!! Part of the whole point of the WNBR is to celebrate *all* bodies.

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  • GreggB June 8, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    What a positive and constructive way to support this event. I hope the city of Amity Oregon is taking notes.

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  • Steve B June 8, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Gorgeous poster! Definitely getting one.

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  • 9watts June 8, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    “If only they all looked like the girl on the poster…”

    I’m going to have to disagree with you. The fun for me was precisely the opposite: that all shapes and sizes and ages were well represented.

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  • matt picio June 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Forseti – why should that matter? One of the points of the World Naked Bike Ride is that there’s nothing wrong with being naked – and a celebration of the human form. It’s a very body-positive event. If you don’t like a particular naked visage, don’t look. I’m glad they don’t all look like the girl on the poster, or her theoretical male counterpart – there are many aspects of beauty – only some of them are Size 6. (or 2, or 8, or whatever)

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  • Matthew June 8, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Is there a map of the route available online somewhere?

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    • matt picio June 8, 2011 at 1:16 pm

      Matthew – unless the route gets leaked again, no. Generally the WNBR volunteers keep the route secret to discourage those members of the public who make ride participants feel uncomfortable. (i.e. “The Creepy Set”)

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      • Matthew June 8, 2011 at 1:18 pm

        Ahh, that makes sense. Thanks! I was just wondering if it’d be rolling by my apartment again.

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      • Deedlebug June 8, 2011 at 2:12 pm

        But the creepiest part of the “creepy set” are the ones that congregate to watch the cyclists strip at the staging area. Is there a way to clear them out? (not by force, mind you, but…). It’s really intimidating to be stationary for that long with guys hooting, hollering, and snapping photos. Not such a biggie when we’re pedaling and they’re stationary. Agreed on the all shapes and sizes thing. I actually wish the poster weren’t so model-esque, but oh well.

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        • Matthew June 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm

          Ugh, I got creeped out just reading that.

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        • matthew vilhauer June 8, 2011 at 2:20 pm

          i simply tell them “take your clothes of you pervert”.

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        • fool June 8, 2011 at 2:44 pm

          we are attempting to wrap the gatheing area in opaque covering, and we do not allow cameras inside the covered area.

          it’s an expensive proposition though, and we don’t have a lot of excess funding. we’re still searching for donated material (we need more than 6’x1000′ feet of it), so hey, if you have a source, let us know!

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          • Uncle Muscles June 8, 2011 at 4:44 pm

            Really? You’re going to parade around the streets of Portland naked, screaming and begging for attention but get upset when certain people you’ve deemed as creepy look at you? If you’re going to ride around public streets naked and make a show of it, you should have no problem with all the creepers in the world watching you.

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        • A.K. June 8, 2011 at 3:27 pm

          Creepy indeed. Especially in Portland, where there is no shortage of establishments where for the cost of a PBR you can sit back and watch naked women for as long as you like.

          I understand the people who run out of the bars downtown to watch, as it’s a fun spectacle and everyone riding should expect that, but to hang out at the staging area is just gross.

          The one year I participated (two years ago), the start location was at some warehouse up in NW in the industrial area, which seemed to keep the random creepers to a minimum.

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          • BrianM June 8, 2011 at 3:42 pm

            The establishments in question usually require a bit more than a beer purchase; the going rate is a buck a song. Strippers don’t strip for free; they deserve tips.

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        • dmc June 8, 2011 at 9:58 pm

          I can see your concerns and I agree with your comments.

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    • fool June 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm

      nope, and there won’t be before the ride. the organizers keep the route secret so that creeps with cameras can’t easily know where to camp out and watch.

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  • BrianM June 8, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Where can we get a copy of the poster?

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  • Marcus Griffith June 8, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Is a way to get a copy of the WNBR poster with the rider wearing a helmet? There could be some humor in posting such a piece in Vancouver.

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    • dmc June 8, 2011 at 9:53 pm

      lol. +1

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  • A.K. June 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    The establishments in question usually require a bit more than a beer purchase; the going rate is a buck a song. Strippers don’t strip for free; they deserve tips.

    OK, well yes if you want to get technical. I’ve never seen anyone kicked out of said establishments for sitting all the way in the back nursing a beer.

    Regardless, I think my point still stands – there are legitimate outlets (nay, basically a whole culture unto itself here in good ‘ol PDX) if you want to watch naked people without being a leering creep, or at least not one out in public. 🙂

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  • tim June 8, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    I love the focus of a naked female for the poster, is there a male one available?

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  • rev June 9, 2011 at 4:17 am

    thanks for recognizing some of the volunteers. It is a big deal

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  • dwainedibbly June 9, 2011 at 4:34 am

    I don’t mind sponsor logos on an event poster (which I define as a poster that includes the dates, location, etc). They’re part of the event history and they remind me who helped make the event possible. Removing them is almost revisionistic.

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  • Paul Tay June 9, 2011 at 6:53 am

    The extremist left-wing faction of Westboro Baptist will be on hand to protest. God HATES spandex!

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  • Matthew L. June 10, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Okay, I live down int eh SF Bay Area and would love a copy of this poster. How do I go about getting one?

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  • joe-ji June 10, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Re the poster…The art, in and of itself, is skilled. To have it as a focal point of naked bike ride poster demonstrates who is organizing it — straight guys whose ideal ride participant the poster depicts. It is their fantasy, and a pretty retro depiction at that. In ye olden days, it was called “the male gaze.” I was planning on attending ride, but then I saw this — makes me think not all the creeps are will be standing on the sidelines.

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    • Dee June 10, 2011 at 11:36 pm

      Oh please don’t let the poster dissuade you (I agree with your take on it and hope next year’s will be more inclusive). But I’ve gone on this ride twice before, and it really is a fantastic, body-positive experience. Plenty of rainbow flags around, creative costumes and nakedness of all sorts around, and I never once felt creeped out by another rider. Don’t let the fear of feeling excluded exclude you. Please join us!

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  • S June 11, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Why do they make a poster that sexualizes the event in this way? I wish the representation of the event was publicized in a more neutral way.

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  • Kris June 12, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    I would love a copy or two of this poster, but I live in Minneapolis where great events like this don’t happen. Is there any way for us out-of-towners to get copies of the poster?

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  • Mike June 15, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Why can’t they do the event in the day time when it’s warmer? I don’t think I want to be naked with it’s 50F outside. That’s when cloths make alot of sense. Instead, I’d much rather be naked with 70F and sunny. I like being naked outside and I like biking but I think I’ll go to one of Oregon’s clothing optional beaches instead. I’m in Seattle and I wish we have legal public places to go clothing free too! Ok, I’m jealous. Also I really could careless about if someone gets turned on by looking at me naked; I don’t pretend to read minds and could careless what they are thinking. If someone told me I looked sexy, I’d say thanks. But I suppose if they are whistling and yelling stuff then I would just think they are rude.

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  • John June 19, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    I too would love a copy or two of this poster, if there is a way for us out-of-towners to get copies of the poster, please let me know. Thanks!

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  • Jimmyjames June 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Best. Ride. Ever.
    Best After-party. Ever. (at the Crystal)

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  • Karen June 20, 2011 at 3:54 am

    I love Portland and I love the freedom of this ride. I am a bit too buttoned down to paticipate, plus I had to be at work while the ride was happening, but just knowing that all of you were out there having a blast and making a statement for bicyclists everywhere makes my day (or night!)

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