So, two weeks ago it happened after all! I was really worried about how the NYC edition of the World Naked Bike Ride would go, as last year, more-than-necessary police presence scared the participants, so no one even dared to get naked. This year was quite an improvement in this respect, even though only several tens of people of showed up. For whatever reason, there was no intervention whatsoever, and the ride went totally smooth.
It started with some speeches from the organizers with the iconic Manhattan skyline on the background.
I couldn’t believe it, but right after we took off, one guy disrobed totally. Obviously, I couldn’t help doing the same. He turned out to be from Portland, where WNBR attracts thousands and most of participants are naked, so he rightfully pointed out that was actually why it was called ‘naked bike ride’.
Well, yeah, maybe in Portland and most of the Western world, but I had to explain that NYC was somewhat difficult. But there I was, riding naked through the streets of New York.
Soon, the leader joined the naked team,
and even more people followed.
After Williamsburg, we headed to East Village,
and Lower East Side. We weren’t as many as we’d like to, but we still filled the road for about half of the block. And we definitely attracted a lot of attention from the crowd!
When we stopped at the crossings,
or even while riding, we were asked by pedestrians and drivers alike what it was all about. I tried to explain in two words, but hopefully many did their search online afterwards so that awareness about cycling in the city would spread.
One of the important points was stopping by BP gas station, still symbolic as one of the major pollutants after the spill in Mexican Gulf.
Unfortunately, we didn’t go through main sights of New York City, like most of the naked rides do in other cities, but we did encounter some sightseeing buses, and I bet it the highlight of their tour.
Well, I hope next year we’ll cover more areas of Manhattan – to get more people involved, interested, alerted – but also for the fun of it. Isn’t it just awesome to have a group bike tour through NYC, and on tope of it in the buff?
Before heading out to the after party, we had one last naked stop in the park. I wish we could have a party in the park like it was in Madrid, but I feel that would be too risky in NYC.
PS thanks to the reporter from Village Voice for nice coverage (and yes, he was fully covered). I’ve used some of his photos.