World Naked Bike Ride is in one month. We need it in NYC!

World Naked Bike Ride is a worldwide demonstration promoting cycling as an urban mode of transportation, as well as body acceptance. Riding naked is symbolic and effective way to draw attention to vulnerability of people against the traffic and pollution, and it also shows that being nude is not lewd. That is why we need WNBR so much in New York City, as well as probably any other big city, perhaps with the exception of Berlin, where you can ride your bike wherever you like, and you can be naked even in Tiergarten, Berlin’s equivalent of Central Park. There has a been a stunning improvement in making New York a bike-friendly city, but still, there is no cross-town bike lane in the entire Midtown Manhattan from the 20th to the 90th street, for example. Also, even though it is legal for women to be top-free in public in New York, Felicity from Young Naturists America was arrested for walking topless during an art performance on Wall Street!

This video that went viral a while ago, pretty much summarizes just some of the daily troubles of cyclists in New York City.

WNBR in New York was a big success in 2010.

It gained more momentum as a protest against oil-dependence – it was a year of bp oil spill – and the naked demonstrators did not miss a chance to stop by a bp gas station.

But last year, we did have some issues. First, we had unusually cold and foggy weather on the day of the ride, even though during the week the weather was fine. So the ride was postponed and we only had a after-party-turned-promoparty, which was actually fun.

Then when we had the second date set, there was too much police presence and no one dared to go totally naked for most of the ride.

I opted for a minimalistic jockstrap, as well as many others, and some body paint (it said ‘Green light to bikes’ on my back). I also had a tree fixed in my bike bag, as a symbol of Green.

That cherry bike painted on the back of one of my ride mates was my creation inspired by the logo of Pacha, my favorite dance club in New York. Actually, when I go out there, I do come on my bike 😉

We rode through most of Downtown and Midtown Manhattan,

and made a brief stop at Union Square for some dancing.

Only in the end, when police stopped following us, some finally disrobed totally on Williamsburg Bridge

and arrived to the after-party in Williamsburg just like that 😎

The after-party was at a bike shop, a perfect setting! I was spinning some upbeat electronica in the backyard.

I hope this year we’ll manage to cooperate with police more thoroughly, just like it was at the WNBR in Madrid when I was there in 2009, or as it happens regularly in London, which traditionally gathers the biggest number of naked riders. By the way, I wonder how WNBR will go in London this time, in the summer of the Olympics. But in any case, we need to organize the naked ride in New York, what kind of World Naked Bike Ride will it be without New York City partaking? And so far there is no certain information about WNBR NYC even regarding the date :-/

PS Photos #3 and #5 courtesy of Sheryl.

8 thoughts on “World Naked Bike Ride is in one month. We need it in NYC!

  1. Nudity in artistic performances is legal in New York, so you might want to present it to NYPD that way. I participated in Zeffrey Throwell’s strip poker art project in a storefront in SoHo. Absolutely no problem with the police. Some were actually enjoying the show.

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  2. In Seattle, we have decided to wait until July to hold our first “official” WNBR. There are others that happen earlier, like the Fremont Solstice Parade, Portland OR’s WNBR and the Night Ride with ~13,000 or more last year, Vancouver B.C.’s ride, riding naked in the Pride Parade etc. Some are body paint heavy, others are not. In Seattle we rode in a sleet/snow mix, had wind storms, and very cold nipples until we changed it to July. Our summer really does not usually start to be predictably nice or warmer until after July 4 in any event. Then we sometimes have several rides, a night ride through the nightlife areas downtown, late summer, etc or just the one.
    Also, the key for us, was to “over inform” the police of all our plans and every move. Getting all the proper parade permits for the free speech precedence. Logging the planned route well in advance with the local precinct officer in charge. Telephone contact with the captain from a designated leader of the group, upon starting the ride. Corking of street intersections done by participants, who are a bit more fit and can sprint ahead and stop cars in intersections several times. Or folks can simply rotate to the back after stopping traffic to keep everyone safe. Calling when the ride is complete is also a nice courtesy. Ask them if they want progress reports from the road from you. Thanking any police you see around you, who are there or helping at all, just for “being there to protect us,” is also important. This is true no matter what outward body language they are showing at the time. If there is trouble, having sexy women approach the officers for clarification, and being super polite helps, stating intent but not arguing, helps break the ice. We were lucky in that there was a precedence of the Fremont Solstice Parade streakers for many years, that are wildly popular with all parties concerned. We have been stopped by the police, from time to time in the past, but simple nudity is not illegal for Seattle. If they get many complaints they will ask us to cover up for the rest of the ride, but that covering is pretty skimpy in any event. Response varies from complete police bike corps accompaniment for the whole ride, taking responsibility for corking intersections for us, to completely being ignored in other years. The judges throw any cases out of court, as the police hindering the public’s free speech rights. The last ditch effort they made to take one person from the ride to court, it was thrown out of court “with prejudice.” Meaning, I think: stop bothering the court with these silly and frivolous waste of time cases. But all this took some years to play itself out. Arranging meetings with officials well before hand, and getting all the ducks in a row legally with permits and routes, calms everyone down. Nudity is never required, so it is “bare as you dare.” Maybe the first few years are jock straps and bikini bottoms and pasties. Joyful body painting schemes are just so darned fun too, and add to the theater of the event. It is always such a good time, and such a great event!
    Your Stimulus Package (Seattle)

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    1. thanks a lot for your input! we’ll try our best to get support from NYPD, which I don’t see any reason for them not to provide, but you never know and we have had mixed experiences

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