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Byron nude bike ride strikes a blow for equality

Splashing on the body paint before the World Nude Bike Ride in Byron Bay. Photo Jeff 'Threadbare' Dawson

Splashing on the body paint before the World Nude Bike Ride in Byron Bay. Photo Jeff ‘Threadbare’ Dawson

Chris Dobney

This year’s Byron Bay leg of the World Naked Bike Ride seemed jinxed from the start.

First of all, last year’s co-ordinator had retired and for a while no one could be found to  replace him.

Responding to an article in Echonetdaily, two young Mullumbimby women, Naomi and Natalie, put up their hands, and veteran body artist Zen offered his brushes and paints.

The two women wanted to see a more gender balanced ride, and posed for some beautiful pictures by Jeff Dawson but, alas, the Echo got the date wrong.

WNBR20140309131.jdSunday (the correct date) dawned grey and as we were driving into Byron around 11 the skies opened up like they hadn’t done for months.

It had all the hallmarks of a washout when we walked onto the station and found eight artists and two people, still dressed standing by their bicycles looking somewhat forlorn.

But by 12.30pm the rain had stopped sky had cleared and the sun was blazing.

Out came the paints, off came the clothes and soon people and their bikes were streaming onto the platform.

WNBR20140309202In memory of the tragic cycle accident on Byron’s roads just weeks ago, I had a Give Way sign painted to my back.

Soon after 2pm some 50-odd illustrated bodies took to the streets with (nothing but) bells on.

In the event I needn’t have worried, all of the traffic willingly stopped to gawk.

The best bits: the sheer numbers; the diversity of ages and genders; the enthusiastic response to the cyclists by the Byron crowd (some of whom didn’t exactly embrace the concept of making cycling safer in driving past holding their cameras out of the window to get a shot); and the poor lone police woman stuck in a car as we cycled past her doing her very best to avert her eyes.

Everyone was loudly wondering afterwards why the ride isn’t a weekly, or even daily, event – which considering how close it came to not happening at all, was very refreshing.

Here’s to a bigger and better WNB next year.

This video by Claire Mason and Nicky McLaughlin fleshes out the reasons behind the rally. More photos follow.

Photos Jeff Dawson

 

Related video:

Nimbin nude bike ride pushes benefits of pedal power

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7 responses to “Byron nude bike ride strikes a blow for equality”

  1. I knew there was a reason why I shouldn’t sell my bike!. I might see you on next year’s ride if I get to 76.

  2. Ana says:

    This event was so not jinxed!! It was so successful and what great sunny colourful pix from Jeff! Well done everyone who participated in promoting equality on many different levels.

  3. Christie says:

    It amazes me how this type of public nudity is allowed, but the moment a bar was opened behind closed doors where YOU choose to enter or not to see burlesque style waitresses, the mayor and all the other yuppies have a problem with it. Good work Byron, you guys really know how to condridict yourselves!!!

  4. Jon says:

    Good comment Christie. You gotta wonder!!!!!!

  5. Ben morrisey says:

    Hey Chris,

    A fun, well written article in which the reporter was able to indulge! Encourages me to reminisce over the Spencer Tutnik photo shoot I participated in Melbourne nearly a decade ago. However, I’m worried the Echo is losing touch with the topical news as seen on the front page of the Byron Shire News and 3rd page of the Northern News today!!! All the best.

    Christie – Your comment demonstrates a lack of insight and intelligence. Particularly, your inability to distinguish between an environment of equality and freedom, and one of subjugation and exploitation.

    Ben – ex Mullum Madava yogi

  6. Bulldog says:

    Go back to sleep Jon, it’s not about csg or being poisoned by fluoride……………………….

  7. Paul says:

    This was a most excellent day and the most fun i have had in ages. Big congratulations to the beautiful ladies for organizing this and to Zen for his paint and art director. You truely come alive (and so does Byron) when you can have fun in your own skin. Three Cheers.

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