Video of the Byron ride courtesy Duncan James
Despite the wet weather, three World Naked Bike rides took off around the Northern Rivers over the weekend without a hitch and without a stitch – albeit with somewhat fewer participants than in more clement years.
It was very much an event for the hardy and the hardened this year.
Photos by Jeff Dawson
Byron Bay organiser Debra Lee Conomy said that after a week of rain it was unsurprising the ride didn’t meet its goal of beating last year’s record (270) crowd.
Numbers were about half that, but on the bright side were the bodies, which were fabulously adorned – and the fact that the sun shone throughout the ride meant the paint stayed on.
‘We were happy the ride proceeded without any problems – especially as there have been quite a number of arrests of skinny dippers and naturists on Byron’s beaches in recent months,’ she told Echonetdaily.
Rides in Nimbin and Lismore were similarly lucky, with riders able to ‘do their thing’ between showers.
Nimbin organiser Mij told Echonetdaily the group did something special to celebrate its 10th birthday ride.
‘The Bush Theatre made a delicious gluten free birthday cake for us before we set off on the ride.
‘We had about 70 people, maybe a bit fewer than last year. We waited until a fine patch and we dashed up the street – but as we came downhill the heavens opened and it poured down. But it was good knowing we were on the homeward stretch.
‘There were no incidents – and there’s always a good reception in Nimbin, although it was a bit quieter too because of the wet,’ Mij said.
For Lismore’s third ever WNBR there was a ‘small but passionate and dedicated group of mostly naked cyclists riding around the CBD on a mostly sunny Sunday morning’ organiser Tommy Brogden said.
Tommy said they still had work to do to boost awareness of the ride, which is somewhat overshadowed by the other two more established events.
‘Most people went off to the Byron ride and I did see a few of them at Nimbin also – maybe half of them were Lismore locals.
‘It’s still very much off people’s radar – so we just need to keep doing it to get on people’s radar.’
What’s it all about?
The World Naked Bike Ride takes place annually in at least 74 cities across 17 countries, although not all on the same date.
The message of the WNBR is protesting against oil dependency and celebrating the power and individuality of the human body.
While the ride does include and appeal to participants from social nudity circles, it is not focused on promoting social nudity directly as much as cycling.