The World Naked Bike Ride, where participants cycle naked through city streets to raise not just eyebrows, but also awareness for sustainable energy, is taking off again. This week sees naked riders in Belgium.
The naked ride in Brussels goes this Saturday, June 23. The purpose of the rides vary, with organizers often citing different reasons for doing it in their cities. All rides, however, are at least in part about making a pitch for other ways of getting around besides cars, and raising awareness of sustainable energy issues.
World Naked Bike Ride: Clothed in fun
Naturally, given folks are whipping around on bikes without clothing, there's an element of humor as they make their point. One ride in Auckland, New Zealand saw the nude participants, before beginning, gather round a sign that read "Stop Indecent Exposure - to vehicle emissions."
Some organizers also talk of doing their bit for creating a more positive view of the naked body. Not everyone rides totally without clothes, some prefer something over their privates, presumably so as not to make them totally public, while others wear body paint. For the most part, however, riders, of all ages, shapes and degrees of fitness, are buck naked.
Last week a ride in Portland had somewhere between 8,000 and 10,000 riders start at 10 in the evening, the largest naked ride DJ was able to discover. There were also rides in L.A. and Toronto last weekend, among other cities. The rides have been going since 2004, though their history is hard to pin down, and there's no coordination of when cities ride.
In addition to this week's ride in Brussels the list of rides on the Naked Bike Rides website says there is yet another in Portland, where clearly citizens enjoy the wind on their (naked) backs. If you're not now in either city but plan to ride in one of them, remember to pack light.