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The World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) is an international clothing-optional bike ride in which participants plan, meet and ride together en masse on human-powered transport (the vast majority on bicycles, but some on skateboards and inline skates), to "deliver a vision of a cleaner, safer, body-positive world."[1][better source needed]

World Naked Bike Ride
World naked bike ride 6.jpg
Participants in the 2007 World Naked Bike Ride in London.
Genremanifestation, bicycle ride
InauguratedJune 2004; 15 years ago (2004-06)

The dress code motto is "bare as you dare".[2][better source needed] Full or partial nudity is encouraged, but not mandatory.[citation needed] Creative expression is also encouraged to generate a fun and immersive atmosphere during the ride, capture the attention and imagination of the public and media, and make the experience more personalized and fulfilling for the riders. Body art, such as body painting, are common forms of creative expression, as well as costumes, art bikes, portable sound reinforcement systems (such as public address systems, bullhorns and boomboxes) and musical instruments or other types of noisemakers.[citation needed]

Pre- and post-ride parties for WNBRs have become events unto themselves, often featuring musical bands, DJs, body painting, temporary structures/installation art, political tabling, and catering. In addition to simply being able to ride clothes-free on community streets, some rides have established precedent by having body-painting parties, often involving numbers of naked riders and artists in high-visibility municipal parks.[citation needed]

This distinctive form of Critical Mass is variously described as a form of political protest, street theatre, party-on-wheels, streaking, public nudity and clothing-optional recreation, and thus attracts a wide range of participants.[citation needed]


A woman of Indian descent at World Naked Bike Ride, London, 2017.

In 2003, Conrad Schmidt conceived the World Naked Bike Ride after organising the Naked Bike Rides of the group Artists for Peace/Artists Against War (AFP/AAW).[3][better source needed] Initially, the message of the WNBR was protesting against oil dependency and celebrating the power and individuality of the human body. In 2006, there was a shift towards simplifying the message and focusing on cycling advocacy.[citation needed]

The 2004 WNBR saw events in 28 cities, in ten countries on four continents.[1][better source needed] By 2010, WNBR had expanded to stage rides in 74 cities, in 17 countries, from the United States to the United Kingdom and Hungary to Paraguay.[1][better source needed]

Zaragoza and Vancouver hosted the first NBR. Pictured are participants in the 2009 WNBR in the Spanish city.

Two male riders were arrested during the 2005 WNBR in North Conway, New Hampshire, and charged with "indecent exposure and lewdness". The two riders agreed to having the charges reduced to "disorderly conduct" and paid a $300 fine, the majority of which was paid for by the WNBR Legal Defense Fund.[4][better source needed] Six male riders were charged with public indecency during the 2005 WNBR Chicago ride and later prosecuted with sentences ranging from fines and non-expungeable conviction to three months of court supervision.[citation needed] In 2007, during the first World Naked Bike ride in Denver, Colorado police surrounded the bike riders and wrote several people tickets.[5] During the WNBR held on June 12, 2010, two males were arrested by campus police at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.[6] Two riders were arrested in New York City in 2014 for "lewdness and indecent exposure".[7][better source needed]

Simon Oosterman, the organizer of the 2005 WNBR in Auckland, and the first to be arrested during a WNBR event, is credited with going further and refocusing the issue on oil-dependency. He urged: "Stop the indecent exposure to vehicle emissions."[8][better source needed]

Issues and stancesEdit

Demonstrators gathered outside a courthouse on 17 February 2005 to protest against the arrest of Simon Oosterman (second from left), Auckland's 2005 WNBR organiser

WNBR aims to promote bicycle transportation, renewable energy, recreation, walkable communities, and environmentally responsible, sustainable solutions to living in the 21st century. Participants celebrate the many benefits of a car-free lifestyle: reduced emissions, free parking, and overall a greater feeling of freedom. WNBR promotes body positivity.[citation needed]

Issues with the World Naked Bike Ride include: Traffic congestion, the perceived offensiveness of public nudity, the illegality of public nudity in some jurisdictions, and the belief that WNBR trivializes serious matters.[citation needed]


The Brighton edition of the 2011 World Naked Bike Ride.
  • "World Naked Bike Ride Thessaloniki Greece" (Βγήκαμε από τα Ρούχα Μας; 27' Greece, 2009) Greek language with English subtitles, won the Audience Award at 11th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival 2009[9]
  • "World Naked Bike Ride: The Documentary" (Toronto) 4 minute short
  • World Naked Bike Ride (31 minutes, UK, 2006) directed by Johnny Zapatos of High Altitude Films, narrated by Jon Snow
  • Indecent Exposure to Cars: The Story of the World Naked Bike Ride, produced by Conrad Schmidt[10]
  • Bare As You Dare: Portland's World Naked Bike Ride (Portland, OR) Directed by Ian McCluskey[11]

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ a b c Official WNBR global web site circa June 2004
  2. ^ Artists for Peace/Artists Against War, a non-profit group in Vancouver popularized the motto "Bare as you Dare" and "Naked Bicycle people power" during their Naked Bike Rides Archived 2005-10-31 at the Wayback Machine in 2003 that led up to and became early models for WNBR.
  3. ^ Artists for Peace/Artists Against War's archived web page is currently hosted by The Work Less Party of British Columbia
  4. ^ More information about the case can be found at WNBR North Conway website Archived 2005-12-18 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Preston-Watson, Crystal (11 June 2007). "World Naked Bike Ride - Denver".
  6. ^ "Whatcom County Jail Report". Bellingham Herald.[dead link]
  7. ^ Shepard, Benjamin (13 June 2014). "play and ideas: A Hard Rains Gonna Fall: Vision zero clothing ride 2014". Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  8. ^ Simon Oosterman printed this on a protest banner as documented on Enzyme's WNBR web site Archived 2005-12-14 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Διεθνής Γυμνή Ποδηλατοδρομία (22 May 2012). "1st World Naked Bike Ride Thessaloniki Greece - Documentary Trailer". Retrieved 29 September 2016 – via YouTube.
  10. ^ "The World Naked Bike Ride Movie". Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  11. ^ McCluskey, Ian. "Bare As You Dare: Portland's World Naked Bike Ride"

Further reading

External linksEdit


Videos and images