Portland’s annual love affair with cyling sans clothing once again swept through the city tonight as thousands of people took part in the tenth World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR).
The ride started in Normandale Park in northeast Portland, and local residents showed up in force to watch the spectacle unfold. Some people stood silently, fully clothed, in the middle of all the nakedness. Others had set up lawn chairs and had a cold drink in hand. Despite some concerns that a few disgruntled folks would protest, (or spread tacks on the ground, which was a rumor I’d heard), everything seemed to go smoothly. The park was teeming with people as the hour of nine o’clock rolled around.
Love Bomb Go-Go Marching Band danced and played while people painted their bodies, met up with friends, and wait for the start. Volunteers roamed through the fleshy crowd selling official WNBR seat covers, stickers (used as pasties), and asking for donations.
The people who came to ride were from all walks of biking life. They were young and old and every shape and size you can imagine. And everyone was happy.
Here are more scenes from the park…
Once we got rolling, there was a strong (yet not overbearing) and coordinated presence from the Portland Police Bureau. They expertly escorted the ride, corked the streets, and made sure everyone had a good time (thanks PPB!).
Unlike past years, the route didn’t go through downtown. The closest thing we had to that ambience was when the ride rolled down NE Alberta Street. The bars and cafes emptied out as we came through and huge cheers erupted. I’m always amazed at how much joy riding bicycle naked brings to people — both those doing it and those watching it (except for that one guy who was yelling “REPENT SINNERS!” from his porch).
You’d think riding naked with strangers would make you feel vulnerable and shy, but once you get rolling it actually makes you feel more alive, confident, and powerful.
Here are some scenes from the ride…
Thanks for checking out our photos. View the entire gallery here.
The Naked Bike Ride is part of Pedalpalooza, which is just getting started. View the online calendar for more bike fun and stay tuned for more coverage.