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World Naked Bike Ride 2023 in Portland

How to attract attention to dependence on pollution-based transport? The naked bike ride is an answer from Portland

Dates: August 12, 2023

World Naked Bike Ride
World Naked Bike Ride
World Naked Bike Ride
World Naked Bike Ride
World Naked Bike Ride

The Portland WNBR (World Naked Bike Ride) is an annual, global event that aims to promote cycling and combat oil dependence in transportation. Free and open to everyone, the ride is a joyful celebration with cyclists participating for various personal reasons, often displayed on their bare backs. By embracing nudity, the event highlights the vulnerability of cyclists, skaters, and pedestrians while drawing attention to the environmental and social issues associated with oil dependency.

Schedule and Location

The exact location of the Portland WNBR is kept secret until a few weeks before the event, and the route remains undisclosed to discourage large crowds of onlookers. As the event grows, typically attracting around 10,000 participants annually, it tends to move further from the center of Portland. Last year, the starting point was Irving Park. Ten different ride groups departed the park at sunset, following four routes that eventually merged.

Rules of the Ride

Every participant of the Portland WNBR can choose the level of nudity they are comfortable with. Some riders go topless, others dress in funky costumes or underwear, embodying the event's motto: "Bare as you dare." Participants are urged not to ride drunk and to remain sober throughout the event. Each rider should be cautious, ride at their own risk, and always be aware of their surroundings to prevent accidents.

The event is inclusive, welcoming all forms of human-powered transportation. This includes skateboarders, rollerbladers, roller skaters, people on scooters, wheelchairs, and other mobility devices, and joggers. To comply with legal requirements, bikes must have a white headlight in front and a red reflector or red light at the rear. For group riding, lights should be set to steady mode rather than flashing.

History of World Naked Bike Ride

The state of Oregon has had a law since 1985 allowing public nudity as a form of protest. In the early 2000s, Critical Mass spontaneous rides started to gather crowds of cyclists in Portland. In 2004, the World Naked Bike Ride was held here for the first time.

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Authors: Sophia Andrus