Oregon’s biggest pay-what-you-will group ride of the year is three days away. Maybe you’ve heard of it.
Portland’s World Naked Bike Ride will start rolling at 9 p.m. Saturday from Mt. Scott City Park, SE 74th Ave and Knight St., in what’s currently forecast to be a rain-free night after a warm day, with late-evening temperatures in the high 60s and a low of 54 degrees by early morning.
As always since its local origin in 2002, the ride is being organized by volunteers, and the $5,000 to $7,000 cost of the permits, port-a-potties and liability insurance is covered by donations and merchandise sales.
This year’s project manager, Bill Chin, said in an interview last week that the ride’s cash reserves have been exhausted as of this month, so next year’s ride will be funded largely by voluntary donations and sales this weekend.
If you’d like to help keep the tradition rolling, you can chip in online, bring some cash to Saturday’s event (volunteers in shoulder sashes are collecting donations and are typically easy to find) or buy some WNBR bags, fanny packs, stickers or posters.
As usual, expect a one-way ride of about six miles. To minimize disruptions from spectators, the route is always secret, closely guarded by organizers and the police support donated by the city.
The naked ride gets a lot of national notoriety, maybe too much. But it only became notorious because it’s so big — expect a few thousand riders at the least — and it only became big because at its best, it’s truly a wonderful time. WNBR lovers all have their own reasons for loving it. For me, it’s the complete acceptance of the infinite number of ways to have a body.
We’ll be covering, of course — though from a slightly different angle than we usually have. See you there.
— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – firstname.lastname@example.org
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