|the fabulous poster art from PDXWNBR.ORG|
Following the rides in Los Angeles and Portland its worth getting some first hand accounts from the people who actually showed up and put some skin in the game.
|photo by larameeee|
Portland's ride gathered in Cathedral Park under the St. John's Bridge in North Portland at 8pm and depared at 9. Of course when you have more then ten thousand people departing it takes a while to disperse. Thankfully there was music by the High Step Society and the sidewalks were lined with countless enthusiastic supporters and a few people that were worried their clothes might not make it to the afterlife.
|even naked bikers have their haters|
There are some insightful comments on Bike Portland (and some obnoxious ones)
and some photos from
Apparently both I-5 traffic and ICE were invited to eat naked biker ass.
Now we move our attentions down the west coast a thousand miles to Los Angeles, where about 400 people joined in two daytime, naked celebratory protests of a different, uh flavor.
We met in an industrial corridor of downtown LA at 9am, just across the train tracks from the skyline. A friend visiting from Phoenix joined me. We were some of the first to arrive, and when we did, at first it definitely had a very SoCal ex-hippy naturist vibe to it.
As it began to fill in, the group became much more diverse in age, race, and gender expression. Everyone was very welcoming and friendly, and we all took pictures with each other. It felt very relaxed and supportive. There were a couple taco trucks, body paint lead by the teenage daughter of one of the organizers, and overall had a very kid-friendly vibe. Very diverse in terms of age range.
At 10:30 we began the first leg of the ride.
LA WNBR is technically split into two shorter rides. The first leg it the political part and goes through the downtown municipal buildings boldly stating our messages: freedom from fuel and legal toplessness for everyone. We rode past the highway then headed back to the starting point.
Then we geared up for the second leg of the trip, where we were joined by many more riders totaling about 350 at its peak. The organizers provided water for the riders, and people were able to buy food at the trucks. There were also a few different groups tabling: naturalists, LA history buffs, and WNBR organizers mainly.
We left for the second leg of the ride, and rode through downtown, through Chinatown, and down the LA River Path. It was beautiful. People came out of shops and restaurants and cheered us on, smiling and saying they'd join us next year.
It was an extremely welcoming ride, I think having it during the day gives it a very different feel.
We stopped at a restaurant that was located just off the River Path, the restaurant let us use the bathrooms and order food and drinks and we were very well received by staff and patrons.
Then we headed back through the neighborhoods, and eventually wound around to the starting point again. People hung out and talked and networked when we got back, then it eventually dispersed at about 5:30pm.
It was very fun to experience WNBR in a new city for my 10th year doing it. I plan on getting involved with the organizers next year. It is a smaller ride, but it is mighty, and I think it is doing some really wonderful things.
(Pic below: me and part of the LA skyline.)
This weekend Vancouver and Victoria, BC host their WNBRs!
Find them! Support them! Join them! As bare as you dare!!
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