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November 29, 2022

No nudes is bad news for Byron

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Chris Dobney

Melbourne has one, Sydney sort of has one, Nimbin definitely has one, but for the first time in eight years the World Naked Bike Ride may be about to bypass Byron Bay.

It would be tempting to say that our Rainbow Region has officially become completely beige.

Naturists, of course, have always been an easy target, and never more so than in an era when the horrors of child sexual abuse (albeit often from generations past) are daily in the headlines. It’s oh-so-easy for wowsers to equate public nudity with public sex and public sex with the usually very private horrors of child abuse.

After the attempt last year by National Parks to close the carpark at Kings Beach – surely one of the most beautiful clothing-optional beaches in the world – and moves within Byron Shire Council itself to remove the clothing-optional status of Tyagarah, it hardly even seems surprising that no-one can be found to co-ordinate the Byron ride.

There is a picture in The Echo office of the assembled staff from many years past – all of them wearing only a smile. There is nothing erotic or even risqué about it; in fact it looks like perfectly innocent fun.

How much has our region changed that these days an international event, which demonstrates that nudity does not equate to pornography, can no longer get a quorum in Byron Bay?

Plenty of people like to watch of course (so far almost 6,000 have viewed our video of the 2013 ride), substantially fewer want to participate (about 30 or so last year) but when the previous organiser decided it was time to pass on the baton, no-one put up their hand to take it.

It’s still not too late to save the Byron ride, which is due to take place on Sunday March 9 (one day after Nimbin’s on March 8).

According Mijimberi, co-ordinator of the Nimbin ride, all it takes is one or two volunteers and a bunch of body paints to get the wheels turning again.

‘Ideally it would be great if we could get a gender diverse group of people of all ages,’ he says. ‘It would certainly help the appeal of the event.’

‘I and the other Nimbin co-ordinator are happy to offer support,’ he adds, ‘but we just can’t organise the two events back-to-back by ourselves.’

Mijimberi says one of the main aims of the World Naked Bike Ride is to highlight the vulnerability of cyclists, who are forced to share the roads with cars.

‘Another important one is to remind the world of our addiction to fossil fuels. Last year we had numerous anti-CSG slogans painted on bodies, flags and bikes. With the return of Metgasco to our region this week, the need to reinforce that message hasn’t gone away,’ he says.

Anyone who would like to offer a small amount of time and a large amount of skin to ensuring the World Naked Bike Ride continues in Byron Bay is encouraged to email [email protected].

Meanwhile, the Nimbin ride will proceed as usual, with riders encouraged to meet at the Bush Theatre on Saturday March 8 from 10am.

And just in case you are feeling in need of any more inspiration, check out this video of recent Nimbin rides.


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1 COMMENT

  1. We are all n-yood under our clothes. Society seems obsessed by n-yoodity. Most of us can’t even pronounce it correctly any more choosing the crankyanker (US TV show) or UK Cockney etc. way instead! I believe if there a bit more natural flesh flashed it would take some of the mystery away and we’d have fewer warped minds around. It’s what you can’t see which causes the mystery. Let’s face we come into & go out of the World n-yood. I’m 75 and have never been a prude peeping tom. I enjoy all human bodies because they are all different. G’donya Nimbin/Byron/World n-yood bicyclists!!!!

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