The World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) is an international, summer, clothing-optional cycling event that usually takes place in as many as 80 cities across 20 countries.
This year was no exception, however due to the coronavirus and lockdown restrictions in many locations, the 2020 version saw a more modest turnout.
“This year, in order to stay within coronavirus social distancing guidelines, the revealing cyclists traveled the city in small packs,” reported the Times Picayune about the ride in New Orleans in June. “Many wore face masks and at least one rider took the opportunity to express allegiance with the Black Lives Matter movement.”
Virtual And Irreverent
London, which every year hosts one of the most popular naked bike rides, opted for a virtual edition that included discussions by zoom, photo contests and even an online after-party.
Toronto which also held a smaller version of the event, featured its ride under an irreverent logo: “Less Gas, More Ass.”
The Spanish logo in Madrid this year was ”Naked before traffic.”
What To Wear, Do Not Fear
Participants in the annual Naked Bike Ride strip off their clothes to symbolize the vulnerability of cyclists on the road, to celebrate freedom and to protest car culture. Or, as the organizers explain, “to put a stop to the ‘indecent’ exposure of people and the planet to cars, pollution, and violence.”
What to wear? Do not fear, advise the organizers: “The World Naked Bike Ride, dress code is “As Bare As You Dare” and it can include people riding skateboards, roller skates or running. “How bare is that? How dare is that? It’s all up to you. You decide what you are comfortable with. No one is excluded or discriminated against based on levels of clothing, body paint, or anything else for that matter!”
These are the objectives of the World Naked Bike Ride #WorldNakedBikeRide movement in the words of the organizers:
- It’s time to put a stop to the indecent exposure of people and the planet to cars and the pollution they create. We face automobile traffic with our naked bodies as the best way of defending our dignity and exposing the vulnerability faced by cyclists and pedestrians on our streets as well as the negative consequences we all face due to dependence on oil, and other forms of non-renewable energy.
- Breathe easier. If you stand in a closed garage with a running car, you will die in a matter of minutes. Hundreds of thousands of cars in our cities create dirty, unhealthy air.
- Body image/self awareness. Cycling promotes body awareness, the fact that one can achieve a more healthy lifestyle from the exercise and by using self-powered transport.
- Self-sufficiency. Cycling makes us non-renewable energy sources, less oil dependent.
- Think Globally, Act locally. Cycling promotes local cycling businesses and local cycling organizations.
- Less is more. WNBR strips the complexities from modern transport to a simplified message of cycling. For the vast majority of most peoples’ transport needs, cycles are the right vehicle for the right job. ‘You don’t need a wheelbarrow to carry a pea.’
- The unabashed vehicle of the revolution. By cycling naked we declare our confidence in the beauty and individuality of our bodies and the bicycle’s place as a catalyst for change in the future of sustainability, transport, community and recreation.
- Community-building. Bicycles create public space, enhance street life and build a sense of community. “If you see someone you know while riding, it’s easy to stop and say hello. Bicycles create public space, enhance street life and build a sense of community” (Go by Bicycle)