Why I (as a Naturist) stopped hosting the WNBR | The Naturist Page

Although the intent for the World Naked Bike Ride is for the right reasons by promoting a greener future by reducing the use of gas and oil dependencies. as well as promoting body acceptance and of others by getting noticed by drivers that we as a cyclist are very vulnerable to cars and trucks; by getting people to use their bikes more and cars less.

I co-organized the Montreal WNBR for 3 years and in that three years it was a complete success. However, I could not help notice the same pattern each year within myself when it came to the general public who were not taking part in the event. The media are one thing — but the amount of others with all the camera *click* *click* *click*… people focusing on bits alone with cameras not taking photos of us for the event, but rather for the body parts. I felt like I was no longer co-organizing a World Naked Bike Ride, but rather a voyeurism event where it was like, “Ohh hey, come gather around and snap photos of the genitals!” Which was not the idea behind the WNBR at all.

In my first year of doing the WNBR we had nearly 200 people for the event. I first for Montreal to have so many participants involved. Then as the years went by the number had dropped significantly. By the 3rd year we were floating around 20-25 people. The reason that I believe is because of all these other people just snapping away and making the women and men feel uncomfortable to participate in the event by making them feel like objects. I no longer felt like I wanted to be a co-organizer for the WNBR with the feeling of being a responsible for in my mind, supporting all this voyeurism like behaviour with the non-participants. As a Naturist, I’ve never supported this kind of behaviour. So for that reason I’ve stopped co-organizing The Word Naked Bike Ride.

It’s one thing being part of the event and snapping photos to remember the day one took part in the WNBR. That’s fine. Just as long as you’re not being an ass by taking photos for the wrong reasons. It’s another when you’re not in the event. I will still participate in the World Naked Bike Ride, that’s for sure! I just don’t feel like as a Naturist that I should co-organize one with that been said.

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21 thoughts on “Why I (as a Naturist) stopped hosting the WNBR | The Naturist Page”

  1. An older blog but good reading. I come down on the side of having enough nude events (e.g. WNBR) that folks will get just plain bored with taking nudie photos. Maybe then they can start paying attention to the point of the whole thing!

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  2. I participated only in Brussels. There, none of the incidental bystanders expect naked riders, but since years everyone has a mobile or smartphone camera at hand. They are however not artistic photographers. They just want to be able to show their friends and acquaintances the for many unique, in a busy city even unbelievable, witnessed event. Of course they need photos that prove riders to be truly stark-naked. Therefore, uncensored genitals must get clearly in their picture. Occupational sensationalism may be a bit of a perversion but those surprised trigger-happy opportunists are definitely no more perverted than the bravely demonstrating joyous volunteers.

    As usually only a few dozen of the 50 to 150 riders are that much nude, I knew beforehand not to escape from all those snapshots. But certainly no-one held a lens at a mere metre from my saddle. Hence there were no real close-ups and a digital zoom would simply enlarge the vagueness. Any 'pervert' can get a lot better from the internet. Frankly, if some poor soul would hang a photo of my so-called private parts above his/her bed, what would I care? I confidently defy animistic transferral of my power to a shaman in possession of such mere representational replica. All WNBR aka Cyclonudista photos of me on the multiple reporting websites that I ever found, show me in at least nearly full body view and most often with several others. Further pictures graced by my companions do not seem less tasteful.

    In fact, only a few prove my nudity in the most undeniable way, and actually only one —taken at my first WNBR by a professional during a that year midway press conference— offers the sharp details of my face and small potatoes: A really good picture of the body-painted young woman at my side and yours truly. Not many will have their fairly composed documentary nude photo of that technical quality with by most Belgians easily recognized background. I don't lead my friends to it and one 7 o'clock news at a major TV channel would have needed more than their average attention to spot me. They all know very well that I'm a naturist and several also about my World Naked Bike Riding but I don't want to push it too much in their face. None of them seems to have noticed any of those nude photos or videos, unless perhaps a few simply haven't given it another thought.

    By the way, also at least one film was taken by a pro camera on tripod from a parked police van through its wide open doors, of all oncoming riders repeatedly circling a large roundabout. It was still before the City had officially permitted a WNBR. I never got to see the result. 😉

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    • This is, I think, the best attitude to take. You can't control what others may want to use the photos for, so don't worry about it. Make nudity so commonplace that it's boring, and people will stop thinking of it as a sexual display.

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  3. Maybe the solution is to host monthly, or even weekly, naked bike rides. After all, if it's legal to do once a year, it's legal to do everyday. If they become commonplace, the perv factor should be greatly reduced. That also helps the naturist goal of getting the general public used to seeing naked people. Of course, nothing is free – once people start to ignore it, it won't be so effective for its original purpose: calling attention to petroleum use and alternative power sources.

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  4. I can see your point Scott, although it had not occurred to me before. I went on a WNBR many years ago and luckily there were over 100 supporters taking part. While we were stopped at one point a man nearby taking pic's called out "PERVERTS", I smiled back and said "But aren't you the one taking photo's of naked people you don't know?"
    He backed into the crowds and vanished. Even after that I hadn't considered that we were like a 'peep show' or an open event for perv's.

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  5. This is exactly why I no longer attend public nude events that are not for naturist. I attended a WNBR event years ago. While I have been to naturist resorts and nude camping with a few people, this was my first public nude event. I was disappointed as the event felt like voyeurism. There were many people there just to watch and gawk and random strangers snapping pics away. I was very uncomfortable and so was my buddy. We had yet to take our clothes off and we both agreed to leave. I do not mind being nude in public, where appropriate, and I do not mind being nude around others BUT I do not like to be made to feel like a zoo animal for other people's entertainment. Over the years I have received invites to other events and I just pass as I know I am not around like minded naturists.

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  6. Seeing a human being is so rare for most people that an opportunity to see naked riders is perhaps a "once in a lifetime" experience. The way to change that is to make it more common. Make seeing a human body into a once a month or once a week experience. Novelty wears off rapidly. Do it more rather than less. Make it common. And advocate for making it legal to ride naked every day.

    The reason I don't ride in the Seattle WNBR is because the organizers are hard core bike riders who think a fast 20 miles is getting warmed up. I'm like an occasional bike rider who can do 5 miles if its flat with few hills. If it were more about being naked and less about a 30 mile bike ride it would attract a lot more naked people.

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    • that's absolutely right Bob, I think Scott has highlighted the draw backs to WNBR and its snap-happy pavement photographers. If it were legal & possible to walk or cycle anywhere at all, I agree that the majority of 'bystanders' or 'onlookers' would soon grow weary of snapping social nudists. One day I hope it will be possible to go naked anywhere at all! (heart)

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