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Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

Police stop one naked bike ride, help another

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It was a tale of two cities on Sunday: just hours after a Lismore police officer put a halt to that town’s World Naked Bike ride, two Byron Bay coppers stopped traffic to allow 200-odd riders onto the road.

Jeff Dawson’s photos of the Byron Bay World Naked Bike Ride

Nimbin was the first of the three Northern Rivers rides to run over the weekend, with its Saturday cycle attracting about 60 entrants and scores of onlookers.

Organiser Mij said there was ‘cheering and adoration’ for the cyclists. We got our message across about sharing the road with lots of flags and signs’.

‘People come from all over Australia – a guy flew down from Rockhampton, hired a car, bought a bike & did all three rides,’ he said.

He added that, ‘we’ve never involved the police in Nimbin and in 11 years we’ve never seen the police’.

That was not the case in Lismore, however, where Sunday morning’s ride, with a contingent of about 30, was stopped by a lone police officer.

Lismore organiser Tommy Mu said the group were told ‘to cover our genitals and women to cover their breasts’.

‘He threatened us with offensive behaviour fines if we didn’t comply.’

‘After I explained that we didn’t have our clothes with us, we eventually were permitted to ride back to our starting place without any charges.

Tommy said he felt, ‘disappointed and poorly treated by Lismore police because this whole idea of discretion seems to be driven by personal bias’.

In Byron Bay, where organisers have always had a good relationship with police, the cops stepped in to do traffic duty in bumper-to-bumper Jonson Street on Sunday afternoon.

Organiser Debra Lee Conomy said 229 people crossed the railway line from Butler Street Reserve, where they painted up.

‘Police were fantastic – it was great to see them actively involved after hearing about Lismore.

‘A lot of riders were very distraught and looking forward to doing all three rides.

‘It was fantastic weather and great to see the riders and spectators have truly accepted the event as part of Byron culture,’ she said.

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  1. Disappointed typical Lismore Cops, always trying to prove themselves. Don’t give up LISMORE obviously the line cop needs to go to the coast and learn how to conduct himself.
    Unprofessional personal bias.

  2. We all know Ben Franklin never misses an opportunity to show up to a community event, but I cannot spot him in any of these photos.

    Where were you Ben ?

  3. I understand that the officer in Lismore possibly though he was just doing his job upholding the law but I can’t help but think he was following a higher directive to halt the ride. Time to change the laws to allow non sexual inoffensive public nudity like they did in the UK.

    • couldn’t agree more so lets Push Lismore for next year and get the numbers way up, As I understood its not illegal in NSW to be naked in public as long as your not doing anything silly or sexual. I think its time we ddi push the UK Law to enable inoffensive public nudity. As you can see the folk of Byron Bay didn’t have a problem with it at all, Participants and the general Public including the police themselves.

  4. If people want to ride their bikes naked let them.
    Long ago when I visited resorts in Russia all kids up to about 16 swam naked as the Communist Bathers Factory only made adult sizes. You quickly got use to seeing naked youths.

  5. Disgraceful conduct by the Lismore Policeman. It appears that he considers ordinary nudity to be either erotic or dirty, a point of view that that I do not subscribe to. Some people would consider a Police Uniform to be overtly erotic so I think he should remove his uniform which I consider distasteful and he should return it to Sexyland where he bought them including the handcuffs.

  6. Hopefully the Lismore ride can go ahead next year. Great, gusty stuff by all those that participated in all three rides, especially the one in the Bay. Great to see issues such as cyclist safety and oil dependency given the fore as well as normalising social nudity and body image positivity …and it didn’t rain!


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