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March 21, 2023

Get on ya bike – naked that is

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Crowds gather in front of Byron Bay train station ahead of the 2018 World Naked Bike Ride.

What possibly persuades people to take of their clothes and get on a pushbike – isn’t it rather dangerous?

Well, possibly, but that’s kind of the point as far as World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) organisers are concerned.

Whether you are clad or not, cycling among cars, buses and trucks can be a brutal business – and WNBR is partly there to remind people to keep an eye out for the poor cyclist. Of course, when they’re naked you’re more likely to see them – especially if they’re covered in body paint!


Historically World Naked Bike Rides came out of the Critical Mass cycling rallies of the early ‘naughties’, which were about showing that bike riding was real alternative to commuting by car and burning all that fossil fuels in the process.

And, as they quickly discovered, if enough cyclists get together they can cause traffic chaos of their own– and have a lot of fun.

Why would you want to join in? Well, honestly, why wouldn’t you? Regular participants report a wonderful feeling of camaraderie and support, not to mention the cheers and applause of onlookers.

For those with body image issues, there’s nothing better than tackling them head on, especially with a heap of fellow riders and a few pots of body paint to support you.

The first recorded WNBR was in Zaragoza, Spain, in 2002. By 2007 there were 32 cities around the world hosting naked rides and last year there were 43. Surprise, surprise, three of them were in the Northern Rivers.

Local rides

The first local nude ride was Byron Bay in 2008, followed by Nimbin in 2009. Lismore hosted its first ride in 2017.

One year the Byron police insisted that all riders must paint their genitals. From memory, the fluoro paint ran out that year.

All three towns will be hosting rides again this year, kicking off with Nimbin on Saturday (March 9). Meet at the Bush Theatre from 10am to strip off and paint up.

Lismore is next on the list from 10am on Sunday (March 10). Meet at 23 Newbridge Street, South Lismore.

And to round out the weekend, Byron Bay WNBR will meet up at Butler Street Reserve from 1.30pm Sunday for paint-up, with the ride kicking off at 3pm sharp.

So what are you waiting for? Pump up those tyres!

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  1. It’s BRILLIANT to be able to get out and about with others completely care free, genitals in the fresh air and to make such a special event of our lifestyle choices, sadly where I live it just doesn’t happen.

    Thus seeing the success of it all makes me wonder if someone there could talk to my Bendigo council to show the positive aspects of holding such an event, or provide me with materials, to use to do similar.

    Life here is hot, and dry through summer, or wet and freezingly gloomy in winter. So there can be no better way to bring out those hidden away in the community, for just as much fun, issue raising, and income in someway raised by the even also.

    I really hope this is speaks volumes and I get to hear from someone there with some intrest enough about us way down here…

    Cheers on a great event and many more successes… AjH.

    • There is also a World Naked Bike Ride in Melbourne on 16th March 2019, much closer to Bendigo. Why not go to that one?

  2. A Harvey, if you would perhaps like to organise a Bendigo WNBR, the Melbourne Organiser Michael James can be contacted through either their FB page or their Website.
    Michael has attended Northern Rivers WNBR, this year being his 3rd as well as extensively traveling Europe mid year.
    I’m sure he’d be happy to help.
    Debra Conomy
    WNBR Byron Bay


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