World Naked Bike Ride

This from the website of the Sydney World Naked Bike Ride, all photos by a Parisian photographer in Sydney, Florent Vidal. And here’s a video of the London version. World headquarters of the movement here, and Wikipedia’s earnest take on things here.

This phenomenon is in fact part of a non-violence with links to the death today of Slobodan Milosevic. For it was CANVAS‘s predecessor Otpor (Serbian for resistance) which brought about a non-violent coup against Slob in Serbia, using a very carefully constructed political humour, a tough test indeed for non-violence. Grandmothers greeted police with homebaked treats, and little girls offered flowers. But for the fact the police were won over and the state overthrown after enduring four wars and a Nato bombing campaign, it would sound like naively mawkish sentimental claptrap. Its spokesman, Srdja Popovic, was on Radio National’s Late Night Live last week, and has been visiting Melbourne recently. You can listen to the program here, after scrolling down to 8 March 2006.

Not exactly new stuff, I suppose, since the rather dour looking bespectacled Jewish feminist anarchist Emma Goldman said a while ago now “If I can’t dance I don’t want to be part of your revolution” (or as she explained in Living My Life (1931)):

At the dances I was one of the most untiring and gayest. One evening a cousin of Sasha, a young boy, took me aside. With a grave face, as if he were about to announce the death of a dear comrade, he whispered to me that it did not behove an agitator to dance. Certainly not with such reckless abandon, anyway. It was undignified for one who was on the way to become a force in the anarchist movement. My frivolity would only hurt the Cause.
I grew furious at the impudent interference of the boy. I told him to mind his own business. I was tired of having the Cause constantly thrown into my face. I did not believe that a Cause which stood for a beautiful ideal, for anarchism, for release and freedom from convention and prejudice, should demand the denial of life and joy. I insisted that our Cause could not expect me to become a nun and that the movement would not be turned into a cloister. If it meant that, I did not want it. “I want freedom, the right to self-expression, everybody’s right to beautiful, radiant things.” Anarchism meant that to me, and I would live it in spite of the whole world— prisons, persecution, everything. Yes, even in spite of the condemnation of my own closest comrades I would live my beautiful ideal.

And before you go, I just want to give you a link to the naked rambler, a man who walked naked from Lands End to John O’Groats. Twice, the second time with his girlfriend. It was always going to be hard to get him past the strict strict relevance protocols for this publication, but there you go, I did it.

3 Replies to “World Naked Bike Ride”

    MELBOURNE 2008

    On the weekend of 8th and 9th of March, cities across the world will experience the joy of the World Naked Bike Ride 2008: the world’s largest naked protest against oil dependency with hundreds of riders participating and protesting…it is a beautiful way to be seen and heard and such a delightful enriching experience for participants and onlookers alike and the perfect opportunity to BE THE CHANGE WE ARE LOOKING FOR. By riding naked we make ourselves vulnerable….a truly blissful, non-threatening, peaceful way to show the world we care.

    Rides are planned here in Australia in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Byron Bay on Saturday March 8th and in Newcastle and Melbourne on Sunday March the 9th.

    “The WNBR message addresses the world wide issue of sustainable transport and advocates more environmentally friendly cycling and less polluting cars and trucks. It is an annual clothing-optional protest ride for Naturism, Environmentalism, Peace and the rights of cyclists to use the road safely.

    “The World Naked Bike Ride is the longest running and largest global protest that has no money backers, and is run by volunteers around the world. Last year’s ride included over 5,000 people.”

    “With the ever-increasing awareness about the benefits of healthy, fit bodies and less pollution and congestion on our roads, we expect a big turnout to this year’s rides”.

    Though the dress code for the ride is “Go as bare as you dare!”, nudity is not compulsory. It is not a ride promoting overtly sexual behaviour in public.

    Many people still struggle to distinguish between concepts of non-sexual nudity and pornography. The WNBR encourages society’s need for a body-positive mentality, and protests against environmental damage caused by motorised vehicles.

    Excessive burning of fossil fuels has instigated environmental damage in the forms of climate change, air pollution, and acid rain and water pollution.

    From the onset of pollution and cancer, to obesity – the burning of fossil fuels and car-addicted lifestyles are causing serious health problems, many of which are affecting humans on a widespread scale.

    Violence stemming from wars fought over oil and road rage results in the deaths and injuries to innocent civilians from the former, and pedestrians and cyclists from the latter.

    The WNBR is an active social movement for a peaceful and gentler world, which includes our roads.

    “We face automobile traffic with our naked bodies as the best way of defending our dignity and exposing the unique dangers faced by cyclists and pedestrians plus all the negative effects of oil, cars, war, consumerism and non-renewable energy”, reads the WNBR mission statement.

    The WNBR group was created by Conrad Schmidt (of Vancouver, Canada) in 2004 to help coordinate a large international naked bike ride between many different activist groups across the World. Since then, the WNBR has spread to over 50 cites in about 20 countries with the participation of thousands of riders.

    Riders will gather to paint and decorate themselves and their bikes at Edinburgh Gardens at the Rotunda in North Fitzroy at 4pm on Sunday, 9th March, and depart at 5pm. The route will pass through Fitzroy, into the city and back via Carlton ending with an after-party in the Edinburgh Gardens.

    For more information see:

    For enquiries contact: Heidi Hill

  2. The Sydney site is actually another similar event about body art….The upcoming Melbourne rid is a peaceful and blissful protest against oil dependency. Please Melbourne people especially you Abbotsford groovers …..come along for the ride…it is truly an experience you will never forget nd your teenage children will hate you forever. Sydney ride had hundreds of participants as does brisbane and Newcastle…I want to put melbourne on the Nude Bike Riding map this year…What a hoot….to ride in the nud down brunswick and Lygon street…Truly a positive and joyful event celebrating the utter beauty and innocence of our delightful natural state..Naked and protest in our vulnerabilty and have a bloody good time…SEE YOU THERE…
    For the Love of Mother Earth…
    Heidi Hill

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *