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Byron Shire
October 19, 2021

Hundreds get naked for north coast’s biggest ever ride

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The streets of Byron Bay were literally swarming with naked people on Sunday afternoon, as the town’s World Naked Bike Ride hit an all-time attendance record.

Earlier in the day, Lismore experienced its first ever exposure to the WNBR experience, with about 40 riders there almost outnumbering onlookers.

Eggs thrown at Nimbin

Saturday saw around 100 people take to Nimbin’s streets but its ninth annual ride was somewhat marred by abuse from the crowd and some egg throwing, at an event that is traditionally as popular with onlookers as participants.

Organiser Mijinberri told Echonetdaily ‘a few people got separated and had bike breakdowns, which saw the group spread out around the route and that’s when the trouble started.’

But he had nothing for praise for some members of the crowd who he said ‘went up and talked to the crazies and eventually made them stop.’

‘This won’t deter us,’ said Mijinberri, who added comments on the group’s Facebook page described the WNBR as ‘uplifting’ and ‘bringing a great spirit back into the town.’

Byron out in front

But it was Byron that carried the flag the highest – and longest – with some 216 people clocked crossing the railway line from the Butler Street Reserve assembly point to the station for a photo opportunity, where 30-40 more were waiting.

Photos Jeff ‘nothing to hide’ Dawson

Really, the whole event was one big photo opportunity, thanks to the tireless work of a few local organisers and one or two whipping up interest in south east Queensland.

It looks to have cemented an annual place on the Byron tourist map.

Despite the extraordinary leaps and bounds that the event has taken under her leadership, organiser Deb Conomy was quick to divert congratulations to her fellow organisers.

Double-lung op gets Paul back on his bike

Paul Beard and his partner at Byron's WNBR just nine weeks after a double lung transplant and triple heart bypass. Photo Paul Beard
Paul Beard and his partner at Byron’s WNBR just nine weeks after a double lung transplant and triple heart bypass. Photo Paul Beard

The event went off without a hitch, with no rain (unlike last year), no police, plenty of enthusiastic onlookers, one motorcyclist joining the throng and honorary mascot Paul Beard, who just two months ago underwent a double-lung transplant and triple-heart bypass surgery.

Paul's WNBR message. Photo Paul Beard
Paul’s WNBR message. Photo Paul Beard

‘I had a little lung condition called IPF (interstitial pulmonary fibrosis) and I had only about 26 per cent of my lungs left. And my darling mother gave me heart disease as well,’ he told Echonetdaily.

‘I was caught between a rock and a hard place: they couldn’t do a lung transplant without fixing my heart and they couldn’t fix my heart without doing the lungs.

‘So they put me on a list last November and on January 2 they called me in and I had a triple bypass and double lung transplant,’ he said.

Paul, who used to have a trouble walking up a flight of stairs, says he is now ‘riding around in lycra’.

He started by walking the block and when friends ‘coerced me into this bike ride’ he began training in earnest.

‘As it turned out I did two whole runs with them, so I was very pleased,’ Paul said.


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11 COMMENTS

  1. The bloke who said he is now ‘riding around in lycra’ is now at greater risk of dying – as a MAMIL – than he had from dodgy lungs and heart!

  2. Good for you, good people!
    Couldn’t happen here in Queensland, riding without helmets? The cops would have a field day.

  3. What’s with the only guy without a bicycle in your main picture..fully naked and fully well endowed..yes, I have good eyesight! I guess the opportunity to get naked in public can be a forum for all kinds of display.
    Margot.

    • If you look closely he is holding a skateboard… Not all participants used bicycles there were skateboards, roller and inline skates also

  4. Thanks for reporting on the great weekend of riding to highlight bike safety in this district.
    Just to clarify, the Nimbin ride wasn’t marred by the actions of a few isolated onlookers. Yes there was some egg throwing and one abusive onlooker, but the overall atmosphere on the street in Nimbin was a celebration of bike riding and the human body.

  5. Thanks to all, esp Deb Conomy, such epic fun with a great group. Had lots of joy thinking of cycling Nimbin nearly naked last year and now have similar great memories downtown Byron. Thought I’d get banned from FB for a rude photo outside old Koda Phytorium (which I reckon would make perfect place for cannabis dispensary) so got bonus of a little activism as well as great day…see you all next year…much love to all.

  6. It was epic! I drove up from the Blue Mountains Saturday morning and participated at Byron then stayed overnight and came back Monday.

    The atmosphere was great, thousands of onlookers (with their mobile phones out recording) cheering us on, can’t wait to do it again, next time my wife has agreed to come too as long as we stay for longer and make it into a holiday rather than a marathon (and exhausting) road trip. 🙂

  7. I timed my trip to Brizzie to coincide with the Nimbin and Byron Bay WNBR’s. Great fun and exposure for various causes ….. and weren’t we lucky with the weather! Special thanks to the organisers who put in a lot of effort to make it work. Last year was great, this time even better and I’ll be back next year.

  8. What’s with the only guy without a bicycle in your main picture..fully naked and fully well endowed..yes, I have good eyesight! I guess the opportunity to get naked in public can be a forum for all kinds of display.

    • What’s with the exact duplicate comment at 5pm and the original at 3:11pm, from another name?

      Anyway, it’s wonderful to see all the brightly coloured bodies of people just having fun!
      Nothing harmful and a great community activity. I wish we had more…

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