The World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) is one of the world's best-known naturist events, in which cyclists ride naked to draw attention to social issues, principally the world's dependence on petrol. It has been held for 20 years in various locations around the world.
An international event for naturists
The very first World Naked Bike Ride took place in Vancouver, Canada, in June 2004. Prior to that date, only Canada and Spain were home to associations organising similar events to protest against petrol dependency. The first event was a collaboration between Artists for Peace in Canada and Manifestación Ciclonudista in Spain.
Since 2004, the World Naked Bike Ride has spread to many other countries, and almost 148 cities can boast of having hosted at least one stage of the event. Countries where the event has been held include the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, New Zealand and others.
Occasionally, however, the nature of the event means that some towns refuse to welcome cyclists or cancel their visit. Fortunately, these occurrences are generally quite rare.
A way of promoting social messages
At the time it was created, the World Naked Bike Ride was intended to raise awareness among participants and the general public of the overdevelopment of urban traffic and the dependence of many countries on oil sources. Today, the message hasn't changed, but it has been broadened.
The event is no longer just about petrol resources, but about environmental issues in general. The WNBR aims to draw attention to other issues such as air pollution and the need for more sustainable modes of transport, such as cycling. Through the event, participants can highlight the importance of cycling infrastructure in cities.
In some cases, WNBR participants use the event to highlight political issues that are sometimes sidelined, but always linked to the environment. But the protests are always peaceful, as the WNBR is a community of individuals who share similar beliefs about the environment, sustainability and other social issues. The aim is to foster camaraderie and solidarity among participants.
Why take part in the World Naked Bike Ride?
First and foremost, anyone can register for the World Naked Bike Ride. So you can take part, even if you're not a naturist or just want an experience off the beaten track.
The main motivation for taking part is obviously to raise awareness of environmental issues and the world's dependence on fossil fuels, but these are not the only reasons.
- Promoting the use of bicycles: protesting against fossil fuels means proposing a viable alternative means of transport. The WNBR aims to encourage cycling as an environmentally friendly, healthy and economical means of transport. The race helps to draw attention to the importance of cycling infrastructure and the safety of cyclists on the roads;
- Feeling at ease with your body: the WNBR embraces the values of naturism and allows participants to discover the diversity of the human body so they can feel a little better about their own. For some people, this helps them to feel less self-conscious and to accept themselves better, while at the same time acting for a good cause;
- Enjoy the community spirit: for many, WNBR is a social and community experience. It can provide a sense of belonging to a community that shares similar ideas about the environment, sustainable mobility and other social issues.