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North Portland hosts thousands for annual Naked Bike Ride

Posted by on June 24th, 2018 at 10:38 am

By all accounts last night’s World Naked Bike Ride was a huge success. The (rather short) route started in Cathedral Park under the St. Johns Bridge (which by the way is spotless this morning, nice job organizers and volunteers!) and stayed on the bluff along Willamette Blvd before working its way over to the end point at Woodlawn Park.

We’ve heard from several readers who said it was a great night of protest, partying and carfree fun.

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And today Willamette Blvd will once again be closed to driving for Sunday Parkways. What a weekend!

Were you there last night? How did it go for you?

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Jeff
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Jeff

What a blast! Even though I’ve been in PDX for 6 years, this was my first WNBR. The biggest takeaway for me was how totally chill it was! Everyone was so friendly and nice, you hardly had a reason to think about being naked.

I definitely learned some things about logistics that I will prepare better for next year (bring food, decorate more, and don’t rush to get there on time), but man, what a great night!

Teddy
Guest
Teddy

Sure was a fun ride and I saw minimal crashes as well as minimal cars driving on the bike route. Was amusing how parts of the ride were the World Naked Bike Walk and some people deliniated from the route either by going into University of Portland or down Greeley instead of Willamette. People flashing the I-5 traffic passing under Ainsworth was probably one of the funnier occurances of the night though covering your face while doing it is just silly.

Matthew in PDX
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Matthew in PDX

I was there, the amphitheater was great with the live music. There was a good crowd, too much pot smoke for my taste, but everyone was relaxed. One woman attempting to ride a brakeless bike managed to crash into my bike while I was wheeling it – it was a case of her being unable to control her bike, and me using my bike as a shield (it was way to crowded to eacape). No real damage done.

The route was short, and there were several bottlenecks where we had to dismount and walk, but overall good fun. I didn’t go to any of the after parties so can’t comment on those.

I was at the park again this morning, ostensibly to help clean up. The Park was spotlessly clean – the night crew volunteers did a very thorough job.

I rode around the Sunday Parkways route this morning – there was some detritus that may have been from WNBR riders (some pizza boxes and glitter), but overall very clean.

There were people of all ages and body sizes, so I wasn’t the thinnest, fattest, oldest, youngest, fittest, or any other superlative. PPB did a good job.

q
Guest
q

Sounds like biking got a lot of good exposure.

TonyH
Guest
TonyH

A great ride, as usual! It is impossible to sum up how incredibly ALIVE this ride makes you feel. What a joyful, wonderful event. Do it next year!

Pinot
Guest
Pinot

I wish it was about 3x as long. I miss riding through downtown and over the river.

William Wallace
Guest

The people organizing it really f’d the route planning up. I ended up directing traffic on Baltimore and Edison for like 45 minutes, which was fun to do in blue warpaint naked; but when drivers really started to not get that trying to get through 1000 naked people in a bottleneck would be impossible, it was kinda another story. I had to really help people out, and outside of the enjoyment factor, the ride was logistically lacking.

I’m just saying that I think it was lucky that no one got hurt on that intersection.

Tom Hardy
Guest
Tom Hardy

Did anyone bother to make an official/unofficial count this year? Like one at the start, or when the ride got to Willamette and later as it passed Columbia park on Willamette, or as it went past Greely?

Robert Alan Ping
Guest

Cathedral Park was a beautiful starting point, under the bridge, perfect weather, river to jump in, Forest Park in the distance. The route was great along the bluff, the ride was inspiring as usual. It was just too short. Thanks for putting on this ride, organizers and volunteers! We need the bonding protest events like this and Sunday Parkways and March for Our Lives and more in this particular day and age…

Doug Towsley
Guest

Can anyone tell me the name of the band that performed at the park?? They were great! I took a video of them as well. But was hoping to track down who they were. When I got there, they had just launched into straycat strut, it fit the mood perfectly,, and I thought…”This is going to be a great ride!”.
As to the Police, EVERYONE should be very nice and thankful, The event has gotten so large there is a risk of losing the rights to do it, They long ago stopped counting when some events got over 10,000 and WNBR used to chart its growth,, not anymore. I am involved in some charity rides for kids and motorcycles and I can tell you its challenging to hold an event in PDX now, thanks to OTHER events taking up resources. How traffic control and corking works,, at least in the Motorcycle events is the Police ride ahead with flashing lights,, Then they cork an intersection, a volunteer follows and steps in and controls the traffic, The police officer leap frogs ahead and does again, again again etc.
So, not only THANK the volunteers and organizers but consider a nice letter to County/city government telling them how much you appreciate the event and the co-operation with the cops. Its a tough job and if you want cool events to continue,, step up! let them know!
I realize not everyone is terribly happy with the police in general, but look at the situation from the other side. In 30+ years with the charity events,, The police pulling permits and support left us in the lurch, so a little appreciation would go a long ways.