Tuesday, June 16, 2009

World Naked Bike Ride Protests Indecent Exposure to Auto Pollution

Last Saturday, June 13 2009, was World Naked Bike Day (the same day as the Queen's Birthday Parade, Trooping the Colour). In cities around the world people rode naked in peaceful protest against oil dependency and the dominance of car culture.

The ride is an imaginative way to demonstrate the vulnerability of cyclists on the road, and to comment on our "indecent exposure" to pollution generated by motor vehicles.

The first World Naked Bike Ride was held on 12 June 2004, when 58 cyclists rode naked through London's Hyde Park. The police were tolerant, there were no arrests, and viewers – no surprise here – found the event to be an enjoyable spectator sport. Remember the hysteria over Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction"? This event offers a nice counterweight regarding views of the human body. There's some great use of body paint and self decoration.

This event has continued to grow, drawing over 1,000 riders in the 2008 London ride. Now there is a wiki where people in cities around the world can plan their own rides. Nothing in the Twin Cities yet, or Bloomington, Indiana, or Pittsburgh: still time to get the wheels rolling for 2010. Here's a WordPress blog with links to posts about the ride in various cities.

World Naked Bike Ride has its own film, World Naked B,
a "movie about people, suspense, intrigue, love and the potential of environmental catastrophic collapse." Here is what the filmmakers say:

Our group of highly entertaining movie makers has set upon a world wide mission to interview as many of the WNBR organizers as possible and uncover their personal motives and ambitions for world domination. You can help us with this project by helping us release this movie in your home town.

$20 + $3 shipping. This includes full public or television screening rights, as well as the right to copy and distribute an unlimited quantity of the original. These can be sold as a fundraiser for local rides.

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