Last week, Rebel Metropolis took a look at the haters trolling online coverage of Portland’s World Naked Bike Ride. Every year, these self-righteous naysayers infest the interwebs with their condemnation of bikes, nudity, and the people who cherish both. Try as they might, however, this verbally-challenged minority cannot stop thousands of riders from stripping bare and mounting their iron horses for a few hours of nakedly ambitious bike fun.
This year’s WNBR was staged further east than recent years, apparently to mitigate the thousands more people who pack the streets purely as spectators. Personally, I love the spectators, and enjoy exchanging high fives as I pass. Seemingly, almost all onlookers relish this momentary interaction with people riding by, over and over. Many even strip down themselves while cheering us on. Hopefully they’ll join the ride next year.
While I haven’t heard an official head count yet, it felt like 2014’s WNBR was far bigger than before. In prior years, the staging ground where riders met up was a single vacant city block with a second for spill-over that rarely filled up. This year, the staging grounds were two adjoining baseball fields in Normandale park – roughly equivalent to four of Portland’s downtown city blocks – and they were packed!