This is just another bike post–but it’s not like my normal bike posts. Be advised that there will be some nudity in this article so those that get offended easily should go no further.
Last year I wrote an article on “Bare-Naked Birding“. You can find that post here. You can see from reading that post that bare-naked birding is a totally different concept then what I’m about to write about.
In January of this year I wrote about the, “No Pants Subway Ride“. You can find that post here.
I had thought that that would be as far as I would go on this issue in this blog. I was wrong!
First let’s start with the fully clothed part of this story. I was aware of mass bike rides in various cities around the world but an event in Montréal, Canada, impressed me.
“2 weeks ago, Montréal held its Tour de l’Île, a cycling event that has been held annually since 1984, making this year’s edition the 30th. Roads around the island of Montréal are closed to car traffic and around 25,000 cyclists join in the fun, riding on either the 25km, 50km, or for the more ambitious ones, the 100km versions of the tour.”
It was actually held on June 1st, so it was more than 2 weeks ago. I first read about it in this Treehugger article.
Screen capture SF
I had wanted to include some video of this event in this post but could only find Vimeo videos (will have to sign-up one of these days). You will have to go to the link above to watch them. There’s also the night tour, Tour la Nuit where you can glow in the dark and dress up in crazy costumes.
It should be noted that in almost all of the pictures and videos that I looked at, the bike riders had their helmets on. A very safe event.
From this point in the blog, caution should be taken because the following pictures and videos show bike riders without helmets-or very little else.
IMAGE: LEON NEAL/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
“Thousands of bikers took to the streets this weekend (week of June 14th) to ride their bikes in the buff, as part of the annual World Naked Bike Ride event. The clothing-optional bike rides has taken place in at least 70 cities and 20 countries around the world.
The event dates back to 2004, and carries the motto “Bare as you dare.” The purpose? Organizers say it is to demonstrate “the vulnerability of cyclists on the road” and to “protest against oil dependency.””
I first read about this event in this mashable.com Blog. I must be living under a rock because this is the first time I’ve heard of this worldwide event. Portland’s World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) attracted over 9,000 riders. It started in 2004 with 125 riders and has grown every year. You can read about Portland’s WNBR at this blog.
Portland’s riders say the main reason for riding naked through the streets of Portland is to:
“Save the planet! Shifting to a carfree lifestyle is one of the most powerful things a person can do to make a real difference in reducing negative environmental impacts on this planet”.
Another reason is:
“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.”
I’ve researched the WNBR a little and came upon a documentary film (award winning, Philadelphia Festival of Film and Technology, USA; Wildscreen Festival UK) by High Altitude Films. It documents the organizing of the London WNBR. I’m going to embed the film in this blog and hope that you will take a look. It’s an excellent environmental film about the hazards of climate change, our car and oil dependencies and the problems with urban planning. It doesn’t get real naked until about 3/4th of the way.
What are your thoughts on this debate?
Some of mine are–people seem to have more fun in big cities, to keep people from borrowing your bike, ride in a World Naked Bike Ride event, and do whatever it takes to get the message out that biking is better for the planet. Would I ever ride naked? Not likely! But if I was in the middle of 9,000 naked riders, who knows.
The “Care to Join the Debate” theme is a new one for this blog. This is the second one and I have several others planned.
This post is dedicated to a friend of mine who just retired from the Chico Post Office. I’m not sure what he will think about the subject but he is a bike rider. Congratulation Mike, for surviving your years at the old P.O. and living to tell about it.