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Body paint & costume highlights from the World Naked Bike Ride, plus a bonus video

Body paint & costume highlights from the World Naked Bike Ride, plus a bonus video

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(Photos: Michelle Wilkinson)

Many of these photos may not be safe for work.

Before we turn the page on the 2016 World Naked Bike Ride, we wanted to share some fun photos from Michelle Wilkinson, a local freelancer I met during the World Naked Bike Ride setup who offered to share some of her favorite costumes and body paint here on the site.

Also, for those who’ve wondered what it might feel like to be part of the ride, we’ve also shared a video shot Saturday by longtime participant Tom Hardy. Check it out below.

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— Photos by Michelle Wilkinson. You can reach her for freelance photography work at 407-963-5034.

Bonus: Here’s a video from the ride shot by Tom Hardy, a BikePortland reader who’s been rolling with WNBR for 9 years. It shows the first few minutes of Saturday’s ride as it got rolling out of Mount Scott Park, just after 9 p.m.

That should complete our coverage of the biggest ride of the annual Pedalpalooza bike festival. Thanks for checking it out — now back to your regularly scheduled (but slightly more serious) local bike news.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org

Our work is supported by subscribers. Please become one today.

The post Body paint & costume highlights from the World Naked Bike Ride, plus a bonus video appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Portland’s invisible machine: Behind the scenes at the World Naked Bike Ride

Portland’s invisible machine: Behind the scenes at the World Naked Bike Ride

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Who’s asking? A traffic cone at 52nd and Woodstock gives a subtle tip of the show to come.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Some of the images in this post are not safe for work. Obviously.

There it stood in the middle of SE Woodstock Boulevard, a 42-inch-tall orange breadcrumb surrounded by a bustling commercial district.

The Beaverton 17-year-old who’d leapt out the rolling door of a blue minivan to drop it confidently into place in front of the east curb of a traffic median didn’t tell anyone what he was doing or why. No one asked. Maybe no one even looked twice as he hopped back in the minivan to ride to the next stop, well out of eyeshot.

Seven hours earlier, the boy in question — his first name is Evan — wouldn’t have looked twice at something like that, either. That was before he found out that he was about to receive what was, just for that day, maybe the most closely guarded secret in Portland, Oregon: the route of that evening’s World Naked Bike Ride.

———
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Kevin R., Leslie Cormier, Marie Conkel and others prepare signs to sell WNBR swag Saturday.

The approximately 168 volunteers who made the most famous recreational bike ride in the United States happen last night have learned a lot of things from their predecessors, who learned a lot of things from theirs. One of the first things the WNBR team learned after the ride’s official founding in 2004 was that if you want several thousand naked people of every age and shape to have a fun, safe ride that ends at a fun, safe destination, you can’t tell anyone where that destination is.

Even to the people on the ride, the location of the finish line needs to be a secret.

Even to the people on the ride, the location of the finish line needs to be a secret until the moment the first few of them cross it.

But because this is the WNBR, a ride that exists in the glare of the media and survives by the grace of the Portland Police Bureau, there are a few tasks that need to be done beforehand.

That was how Evan and his sister Marie wound up cruising down Woodstock late Saturday afternoon in a borrowed van, retracing the secret route backwards from its even more secret destination. As they drove, they followed a detailed sheet of instructions to drop a dozen cones at seemingly random intersections around southeast Portland — cones that would in a few hours be perfectly understood for the hazard warnings they were when a sea of scantily clad smiling people parted smoothly to either side of them.

———
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Luna, the 2016 WNBR volunteer coordinator.

Evan and Marie had been drafted into service Saturday by their mother. It was retaliation, in a way, for the way they’d drafted her into being involved with the ride in the first place.

Their mother Luna, a 50-year-old real estate worker who lives in Beaverton, hadn’t known about any naked bike rides four years ago when she and her two sons moved to the metro area where her daughter had already attended college. But the 2012 ride, which happened to be the last one that drew fewer than 8,000 participants, had made it into her youngest son Evan’s media orbit.

“I grew up in the country, so my skills dealing with anybody were — none,” Evan recalled Saturday. “Growing up I was always bullied, I was always outcast. And it was all about my appearance. I’ve always been a pretty slim kid.”

Luna asked her daughter if she knew anything about the naked bike ride. “She said, ‘Oh god, yes.’”

When the then-14-year-old heard that every June in his new city, thousands of people met for a sunset bicycle ride to take off most or all of their clothes and celebrate the diversity of their bodies, he wanted in. So he asked his mom.

Luna, who said she can no longer bike herself due to a hip condition, passed the question to her daughter Marie, then in her 20s.

“I asked her if she knew about the bike ride,” Luna recalled. “She said, ‘Oh god, yes.’”

Luna said Evan could attend (wearing his purple Speedo) if Marie would help escort him. A close friend of Evan’s joined, too, and so did his older brother. And, starting in 2014, Luna began volunteering for the ride that her children were enjoying so much.

“It was more crowded than I expected it to be, and more artistic,” Luna recalled Saturday of her first visit to the gathering point. “After I volunteered the first year, I said ‘That was too much fun.’”

Luna said that because Evan’s friend was out of town on military duty and couldn’t get leave, her son had initially planned to skip Saturday’s ride for the first time since moving to Beaverton.

“But then he was like, ‘It’s my thing. I’ve just got to do it. It’s my family thing.’”

———
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During a rare break in Luna’s action Saturday, her daughter stopped her to offer a muffin from a nearby bakery. “I’m trying to feed her,” Marie explained.

It was 5 p.m., four hours before start time, and Luna was wondering (wishfully, it would soon turn out) whether her first year of service as the World Naked Bike Ride’s volunteer coordinator might be more or less done.

“I’m hoping it’s on autopilot,” she said, standing in front of the volunteer tent at Mount Scott Park, the gathering point for the 2016 ride.

Six weeks earlier, Luna had seen a Facebook post from the WNBR team, asking if anyone would like to serve as a volunteer coordinator. Luna, who specializes in planning and organizing home showings in her day job, said she could do it. Meghan Sinnott, the veteran WNBR organizer who runs the ride’s social media operation, emailed her almost immediately to see if she could attend the meeting coming up in a few days.

“They all knew each other already,” Luna said. But she got along perfectly. “It was immediate. It just clicked, and you fit right in with everybody. It’s awesome. They’re very organized. I like ’em like that.”

About once a day for the next month, Luna said, someone would type their information into WNBR’s volunteering page, and an automated email would pop into Luna’s inbox. She corresponded with each and built a massive spreadsheet to track them all, sorting them into categories by skill and interest: merchandise sellers, donation collectors, body painters, ride marshals, mechanics, medics.

Four days before the ride, Luna’s daughter Marie was coming home from a year teaching in Qingdao, China. Luna recruited her to a top-secret job: van driver.

“We communicate well,” Marie said of her mother Saturday as she headed to a cone location. “I understand her when she’s vague.”

———
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Evan Ross, left, with Sgt. Bret Barnum, special events coordinator for the Portland Police Bureau’s traffic division and a longtime friend to WNBR.

On Saturday afternoon Marie and Evan met up with Evan Ross, the tall, angular bike-tour entrepreneur in his first year as WNBR’s route manager and Portland Police Bureau liaison.

Ross was inheriting that role from Carl Larson, who has served as the main planner of WNBR routes for years. This is Larson’s last Pedalpalooza as a Portlander; he’s moving to upstate New York later this year. (Another veteran WNBR organizer, Halley Weaver, moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on Friday.)

On Thursday night, Ross had gone out for one final test ride along the secret 5.7-mile route he and Larson had chosen from Mount Scott Park west on Woodstock, past Reed College and across the new Sellwood Bridge to Willamette Park. But when he got almost to the end of the meticulously planned route that he’d tested a month before, Ross saw two surprises: first, an unfinished joint on the Sellwood Bridge that was the perfect size to catch bike tires; and second, several thick steel plates in the park (which has been closed for months during bridge construction) that ran across the entire width of the path.

On Thursday and Friday, Ross and the WNBR team tensely discussed whether to make the ride’s first-ever last-minute route change.

“The original timeline from the county was that the route was supposed to be finished,” Ross said. But it wasn’t. On Thursday and Friday, Ross and the core WNBR team tensely discussed whether to make the ride’s first-ever last-minute route change.

“We were looking at building a plywood ramp,” Ross said. On Friday night with 24 hours to spare, Ross finally decided to scrap that plan and change the route to end at Sellwood Park instead, a shorter trip but a safer one and one that would let people finishing the ride drift naturally up the Springwater Corridor toward the inevitable string of riverside afterparties.

“I had to make a call,” Ross said.

———
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Tom Tyler and Kathy Buss at the volunteer coordination table.

Back at Mount Scott Park, it was three hours to start time and nobody knew any of those details. Tom Tyler, a Portlander of several years who has never joined the ride himself but volunteered for the first time this year, was distributing red cloth shoulder sashes labeled “WNBR” to people who had been assigned merchandise sales or donation solicitation.

“If Luna says we have a sash person, I’m rustling in your sash stash,” he told Eric Almeida, the second-year volunteer manning the table with him.

Collecting the sash was Tom Hardy, who said he’d seen a naked bike ride in Portland for the first time in 1962, gathering in Coe Circle at NE 39th Avenue and Glisan, when he was 17.

“It was never organized per se, but everybody knew about it,” he said. “I would go over to a friend of mine’s place. We had just graduated from Benson. … We got an eyeful.”

Hardy smiled.

He said he’d heard about the newly aboveboard WNBR in 2008 and ridden it every year since.

“I just think it’s fun that those barriers that kept us from organizing transparently have fallen away. Some of them, but not all of them.”
— Kathy Buss

Another man approached the table to ask which direction the ride was heading.

“I don’t know,” Tyler said.

Kathy Buss, another volunteer coordinator sitting with Tyler and Almeida, chimed in to support Hardy’s extended history of pre-WNBR naked bike rides in Portland.

“It would just seem like it was a random summer night and you would just see people riding past,” she said, her cane briefly slipping off her lap as she gestured excitedly. “Like, ‘What the hell?’ … I just think it’s fun that those barriers that kept us from organizing transparently have fallen away. Some of them, but not all of them.”

A soft-spoken gray-haired woman, already naked, approached the table with a question. She had a disability, she explained, and was worried about being able to make it back to Mount Scott Park if the ride was very long. Where is the destination, she wondered?

“I don’t know,” Buss said.

———
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Ken Marshall at work.

Around the park, the energy was picking up. Ken Marshall, who described himself as the 2015 California state mountain-bike racing champion, applied body paint in exchange for donations to support the ride. He said he’d driven 14 hours from Pasadena with a friend to make this year’s WNBR. He also explained that they’d constructed lampshades to wear during the ride.

“It’s like being a kid again,” said Marshall, adding that he was 71 years old. “No inhibitions. Everybody’s happy and it’s just, like, fun.”

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Nearby, two young men who said they couldn’t give their names decorated each other with matching face paint. One said they’d driven from Boise to join the ride for the third year in a row after checking the ride out on a whim in 2014.

“We expected to enjoy, but nothing like this,” he said.

I asked if there was anything like this in Idaho.

“Nudity is illegal in Boise in any form,” he answered, seeming maybe less sad than frustrated.

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As the start time got closer, more and more people were applying body paint.

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Some onlookers seemed more confused than others.

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Across the park, a naked couple (one painted almost entirely in gold) enjoyed jumping through cascades of bubbles that a man was blowing.

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Bill Chin, an IT project manager in his day job and a man who very likely holds the world record for most Pedalpalooza rides in a single year, was in his first year as overall project manager for this year’s WNBR. With his daughter hovering nearby and waiting for his boyfriend to arrive, Chin stood for a mostly naked media interview with David Ashton of East Portland News. Elsewhere, a documentary team visiting from abroad worked the crowd.

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Bill Chin and David Ashton.

Russ, a gray-moustached security guard working WNBR for the first time, arrived early to his evening gig carrying a styrofoam box of General Tso’s chicken that he said was left over from dinner at his favorite Chinese restaurant in Troutdale.

“I did Ben Harper last night at Edgewood,” he said. “I had another gig this morning — I did the gun show down at the Expo Center. Then I went to my mom’s and took a nap.”

On Sunday, Russ said, he’ll be working a drag show at Washington Park.

“It’s my favorite part of the job, because I’m always doing something different,” he said.

———
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Evan Ross briefs the mobile volunteers just before WNBR rolls out.

At 8:30, just as a van rolled up blasting music, Ross gathered WNBR’s mobile volunteers — medics, mechanics and ride marshals — in the park’s empty tennis court. Solemnly, he passed around a stack of maps of the still-secret destination, Sellwood Park.

“You look so dour!” one woman said.

“Wooo!” Ross replied obediently, raising his arms. Then he was back to business.

“When we get to the park and we see people starting to slow down, your biggest goal is to say ‘Keep going, keep going,’” Ross explained. “Use exaggerated arm motions.”

When the briefing was over, Ross headed to his own bike.

“I’m basically concentrating on getting painted and taking my clothes off,” he told another organizer.

———
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Finally it was almost time to roll. Precisely at 8:45, the row of police motorcycles lined up neatly in the southwest corner of Mount Scott Park became a row of police officers, then peeled out of formation and headed west on Woodstock.

Immediately south of the park, another officer backed his car into the middle of an intersection and began directing westbound cars to turn south on 73rd. The night’s automotive detours had begun.

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One mile west, at 52nd and Woodstock, the orange cone Evan had set in the middle of the road a few hours before was still sitting there unsuspiciously. But the jig was up. When police motorcycles arrived at each intersection along Woodstock, residents started to poke their heads out of doors. One couple, riding their own scooter up from the South Waterfront in search of the fun, spotted the police, deduced the route and staked out the parking lot at 7-Eleven.

A few minutes after 9 p.m., people on bikes were still converging on the park. Most were still clothed, but — to the delight of two young children from a quartet of families who had set up along Woodstock as soon as they saw the police arrive — one man was headed there already naked.

“We’re going to see naked people!” one child squealed.

“We got one!” one of the men shouted.

Across the street, a man tried to convince his tiny, yapping dog to sit as the woman he was with looked eastward, waiting.

“The anticipation is palpable,” the woman, Krista Bruun, said in a stage whisper.

Then, led by a flashing squad car, they were there.

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Thousands of them were there.

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Some were on skateboards or longboards. Some were jogging. A few were on rollerblades. A few were in wheelchairs.

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They hollered. They jingled. They jiggled.

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More than anything else, they smiled.

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Then they came to Evan’s orange cone, marking the spot where the center curb began. And then, effortlessly, they parted.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org

Our work is supported by subscribers. Please become one today.

The World Naked Bike Ride costs $5,000 to $7,000 per year, is funded entirely by donations, and is staffed entirely by volunteers. If you’d like, you can donate here or buy swag here to make next year’s ride happen. You can also help out by volunteering for next year’s ride here.

The post Portland’s invisible machine: Behind the scenes at the World Naked Bike Ride appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Five things to know about tonight’s World Naked Bike Ride

Five things to know about tonight’s World Naked Bike Ride

(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

1) It’s not about sex. The WNBR is about loving your body, loving low-car or car-free life, demonstrating the power of bikes in mass motion, metaphorically conveying the vulnerability of people on bikes, experiencing the city in a new way and loving the friends and new friends you’ll see before, during and after. And although all of those things are almost certainly good for your sex life, you’ll be surprised how much fun nudity (or near-nudity) is without sex.

2) Nobody cares that your body is not perfect. Nobody’s body is perfect, so for one night, everybody’s body gets to be perfect.

3) Read the fine print. We did a post on Thursday with the details. The official WNBR FAQ is also excellent.







4) It’s okay to not be into naked bike riding. WNBR is not everybody’s thing and you should not feel bad if it’s not your thing. But you definitely shouldn’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

5) Events this big are only possible because the participants make them possible. The naked ride doesn’t happen by magic. As The Oregonian wrote this week, it’ll only survive if its culture remains mostly healthy and safe and supportive. Be the ride you want to love.

Have fun, everybody. BikePortland’s coverage begins very early tomorrow morning.

(Did this post ring a bell? That’s because it’s an annual tradition in these parts.)

The post Five things to know about tonight’s World Naked Bike Ride appeared first on BikePortland.org.

It’s looking like a dry, warm evening for Saturday’s World Naked Bike Ride

It’s looking like a dry, warm evening for Saturday’s World Naked Bike Ride

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Celebrations before the 2014 ride. It usually rolls around sundown.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Oregon’s biggest pay-what-you-will group ride of the year is three days away. Maybe you’ve heard of it.

Portland’s World Naked Bike Ride will start rolling at 9 p.m. Saturday from Mt. Scott City Park, SE 74th Ave and Knight St., in what’s currently forecast to be a rain-free night after a warm day, with late-evening temperatures in the high 60s and a low of 54 degrees by early morning.

As always since its local origin in 2002, the ride is being organized by volunteers, and the $5,000 to $7,000 cost of the permits, port-a-potties and liability insurance is covered by donations and merchandise sales.







This year’s project manager, Bill Chin, said in an interview last week that the ride’s cash reserves have been exhausted as of this month, so next year’s ride will be funded largely by voluntary donations and sales this weekend.

If you’d like to help keep the tradition rolling, you can chip in online, bring some cash to Saturday’s event (volunteers in shoulder sashes are collecting donations and are typically easy to find) or buy some WNBR bags, fanny packs, stickers or posters.

As usual, expect a one-way ride of about six miles. To minimize disruptions from spectators, the route is always secret, closely guarded by organizers and the police support donated by the city.

The naked ride gets a lot of national notoriety, maybe too much. But it only became notorious because it’s so big — expect a few thousand riders at the least — and it only became big because at its best, it’s truly a wonderful time. WNBR lovers all have their own reasons for loving it. For me, it’s the complete acceptance of the infinite number of ways to have a body.

We’ll be covering, of course — though from a slightly different angle than we usually have. See you there.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org

Our work is supported by subscribers. Please become one today.

The post It’s looking like a dry, warm evening for Saturday’s World Naked Bike Ride appeared first on BikePortland.org.

How was the Naked Ride for you? (I’m hoping you can fill me in)

How was the Naked Ride for you? (I’m hoping you can fill me in)

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Cycling = flying. Portland’s World Naked Bike Ride. pic.twitter.com/s49Ot0fYjg

— Carlton Reid (@carltonreid) June 28, 2015


I missed the World Naked Bike Ride this year so I’m hoping you can fill me in.

There are not many things that would keep me away from this ride. It’s not only one of the most fun and inspiring nights of the year for me personally, but the recap and photos I usually post are by far the most popular of the entire year (by a mile).

(Don’t feel sorry for me not being there, I was at another event where love, celebration and optimism filled the warm night sky — the wedding of your favorite bike journalist Michael Andersen to his wonderful partner Maureen Young!)

So… How’d it go?

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I’ve heard different takes on it from various people and have read some of the coverage in the local media (who seemed to be doing blanket coverage of it this year); but I’d love to know more about how it went from you, my trusted friends and readers.

Here’s what I’ve heard so far:

  • It was huge (no official estimate yet).
  • There was a big bottleneck at the start that required quite a bit of walking.
  • There were a lot of people on the ride who didn’t seem to have ever biked before, or hadn’t biked in many years.
  • There were quite a few people who lacked respect for others. David Boerner wrote about a few of them, as did Elly Blue (FB).
  • The route was lined with enthusiastic crowds.
  • The party at the end was amazing and epic and full of the very best kind of debauchery.

OK, what else?

I’d love to keep my perfect record of World Naked Bike Ride recaps (since 2005!) alive here on the site. But this year I need your help to do it. Thanks in advance for sharing your experiences and takeaways…

And if you had fun, please consider donating to the organizers for next year!


The post How was the Naked Ride for you? (I’m hoping you can fill me in) appeared first on BikePortland.org.

‘Critical Mastectomy’: Post-op women will roll together in World Naked Bike Ride

‘Critical Mastectomy’: Post-op women will roll together in World Naked Bike Ride

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Barb Grover soon after her double
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(Photo: Barbara Hart)

Barb Grover doesn’t have breasts any more, and doesn’t mind who knows it.

As part of her cancer treatment, the Portland woman had a double mastectomy one year ago next week. On Saturday, to celebrate, she’ll be joining thousands of other people to ride through the streets of Portland with nothing on.

She’s invited other post-mastectomy women and their supporters to join her at whatever level of clothing they wish. She’s dubbed it “Critical Mastectomy.”

“Once the treatment is over, we go about our lives and look like we’re assuming a normal day to day,” Grover, 54, said in an interview Thursday. “And most of us have scars. That doesn’t get talked about a lot in public. We see Angelina Jolie and she looks like her old self again. But that’s not the path that a lot of women choose, or can choose. … This is what it really looks like, people; this is what it’s really like. It’s not awful. It’s just different. We just need to be a little more open about it.”

That’s what makes it a perfect fit for Oregon’s largest pay-what-you-will ride of the year, which starts rolling at 9 p.m. Saturday in Colonel Summers Park.

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“It’s not awful. It’s just different. We just need to be a little more open about it.”
— Barb Grover

“The World Naked Bike Ride to me is about inclusivity,” said Grover, who is also the owner, with her husband Joel, of Southeast Portland cargo bike shop Splendid Cycles. “That’s saying bikes need to be included in things, but also all these different bodies, all these different journeys. … That’s the protest side of why I want to do it. it’s also selfish. I haven’t been naked in public with my new look, and I wanted to do that, maybe with some support from other people that understood, and maybe giving some support for other people who want to do the same.”

Grover said she’s doing so even though she didn’t disclose her cancer diagnosis to many people who know her. “Making people worry was harder than taking care of myself,” she said. But she decided this month that she was willing to break that “code of privacy” in order to help herself and others feel good about their post-mastectomy bodies.

“It’s just something that occurred to me to do and I came up with a name and that told me I had to do it,” Grover said with a laugh.

Her way of thinking about her cancer has been a little unconventional, she said.

“The way I talk about it is that I partnered with it last year to change my life, and it changed it in a lot of really positive ways,” she said. “I’m a lot more active and proactive, and willing to stand up for things. I’m more willing to do crazy things like this.”

Any people who’ve had mastectomies or other forms of cancer are welcome, Grover says. So are their fans, friends and supporters. The Critical Mastectomy ride will meet at 8 p.m. in the basketball court at SE 17th and Taylor; Grover will be holding a small sign.


The post ‘Critical Mastectomy’: Post-op women will roll together in World Naked Bike Ride appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Portland’s 2015 World Naked Bike Ride starts June 27 in Colonel Summers Park

Portland’s 2015 World Naked Bike Ride starts June 27 in Colonel Summers Park

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Gearing up in Normandale Park in 2014.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s annual Pedalpalooza festival starts on Thursday and will wrap up June 27 with Oregon’s biggest pay-what-you-will bike ride of the year, which also happens to be the largest clothing-optional bike ride in the world.

The 2015 edition of Portland’s World Naked Bike Ride will begin gathering in Colonel Summers Park, at Southeast 17th Avenue and Taylor Street, at 8 p.m. The roll-out will start at 9 p.m. and the ride is so big it usually takes an hour or more before all of the participants are moving.

Carl Larson, one of the ride’s organizers, said in an email that this year’s route (which is secret as usual, to minimize disruptions) is “not a loop but the endpoint is only a mile away.”

We rely on financial support from readers like you.


Last year’s ride drew an estimated 9,000 mostly unclothed participants, which probably made it the biggest in the ride’s history.

You can learn more on the Facebook event for this year’s ride and the WNBR’s official web site.

The WNBR is, of course, the biggest single ride in Pedalpalooza, Portland’s annual festival of bike fun. The festival consists entirely of rides and other events submitted by ordinary bike users, and though the printed version of the calendar will be included in this week’s Portland Mercury, anyone can still add to the online version for free. So don’t hold back — create your own fun this summer and watch your city join in.

Interested in helping make the WNBR the body-positive, all-welcoming, safe-and-fun event it needs to remain? The unpaid organizers are always looking for volunteers. You can sign up here.


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Thousands of Portlanders roll free on the Naked Bike Ride (gallery)

Thousands of Portlanders roll free on the Naked Bike Ride (gallery)

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(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s annual love affair with cyling sans clothing once again swept through the city tonight as thousands of people took part in the tenth World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR).

The ride started in Normandale Park in northeast Portland, and local residents showed up in force to watch the spectacle unfold. Some people stood silently, fully clothed, in the middle of all the nakedness. Others had set up lawn chairs and had a cold drink in hand. Despite some concerns that a few disgruntled folks would protest, (or spread tacks on the ground, which was a rumor I’d heard), everything seemed to go smoothly. The park was teeming with people as the hour of nine o’clock rolled around.

Love Bomb Go-Go Marching Band danced and played while people painted their bodies, met up with friends, and wait for the start. Volunteers roamed through the fleshy crowd selling official WNBR seat covers, stickers (used as pasties), and asking for donations.

The people who came to ride were from all walks of biking life. They were young and old and every shape and size you can imagine. And everyone was happy.

Here are more scenes from the park…

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This is 92-year-old Mary Fitzgerald from Hood River. Her daughter set her up in a pedicab so she could be a part of the ride.
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I should have told them they’d have much more fun without clothes on. Oh well.
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Once we got rolling, there was a strong (yet not overbearing) and coordinated presence from the Portland Police Bureau. They expertly escorted the ride, corked the streets, and made sure everyone had a good time (thanks PPB!).

Unlike past years, the route didn’t go through downtown. The closest thing we had to that ambience was when the ride rolled down NE Alberta Street. The bars and cafes emptied out as we came through and huge cheers erupted. I’m always amazed at how much joy riding bicycle naked brings to people — both those doing it and those watching it (except for that one guy who was yelling “REPENT SINNERS!” from his porch).

You’d think riding naked with strangers would make you feel vulnerable and shy, but once you get rolling it actually makes you feel more alive, confident, and powerful.

Here are some scenes from the ride…

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Papa Smurf!
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Thanks for checking out our photos. View the entire gallery here.

The Naked Bike Ride is part of Pedalpalooza, which is just getting started. View the online calendar for more bike fun and stay tuned for more coverage.

The post Thousands of Portlanders roll free on the Naked Bike Ride (gallery) appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Five things to know about tonight’s World Naked Bike Ride

Five things to know about tonight’s World Naked Bike Ride

(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

1) It’s not about sex. The WNBR is about loving your body, loving low-car or car-free life, demonstrating the power of bikes in mass motion, metaphorically conveying the vulnerability of people on bikes, experiencing the city in a new way and loving the friends and new friends you’ll see before, during and after. And although all of those things are almost certainly good for your sex life, you’ll be surprised how much fun nudity (or near-nudity) is without sex.

2) Nobody cares that your body is not perfect. Nobody’s body is perfect, so for one night, everybody’s body gets to be perfect.

3) Read the fine print. We did a post on Wednesday with all the details. The official WNBR FAQ is also excellent.

4) It’s okay to not be into naked bike riding. WNBR is not everybody’s thing and you should not feel bad if it’s not your thing. But you definitely shouldn’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

5) This thing is going to be off the chain. You couldn’t ask for better weather than we’ll have tonight.

Have fun, everybody. BikePortland’s coverage begins very early tomorrow morning.

(Did this post ring a bell? We ran it last year too — it’s a new tradition.)

The post Five things to know about tonight’s World Naked Bike Ride appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Full details about Saturday’s World Naked Bike Ride

Full details about Saturday’s World Naked Bike Ride

The video created by Stay Wild Magazine and Alin Draguilin for this Saturday’s World Naked Bike Ride is terrific. It’s also slightly (though not extremely) unsafe for the workplace.

As for this year’s ride itself, here’s what you need to know:

Bring your stuff on the ride. The ride meets at Normandale Park, 5700 NE Halsey, at 8 pm on Saturday, June 7, but it won’t finish at the same location. (The route is, as always, top secret … but it’s a safe bet that it won’t be too far from the Portland Mercury’s official afterparty at 2410 N. Mississippi Ave.)

By bike, the best approaches to Normandale Park are Cully/57th Avenue from the north; the 53rd and 60th Avenue bridges across Interstate 84 from the south; and the Tillamook/Hancock neighborhood greenway from east and west. (Turn south at 57th or 53rd to reach the park.) By public transit, your best bets are the Red/Blue/Green MAX lines, all of which stop at the nearby 60th Avenue station, and the #77 and #71 buses (neither of which are frequent service).

Don’t arrive in a car. That’s just not cool in this situation.

However you get there, the ride will start rolling around 9 pm but will probably take quite a while to roll out. Last year’s record-settingly huge ride got off to a slow start from the middle of downtown, and this year’s will be starting in an area with narrower streets.

Bring a few bucks to support the ride. The WNBR is the largest organized pay-what-you-will ride in Oregon and probably one of the largest such in the world. But it costs the volunteer organizers money: for event permits, port-a-potties and so on. Bring a little cash and give it to one of the sash-wearing volunteers. For a donation of $5 to $10, you can take home an official WNBR saddle cover:

seat cover

You can also order these online for $10 each.

World Naked Bike Ride 2007

Dress code, as always: bare as you dare. Many are naked except for shoes and helmet, but a few items are fine. You’ll feel out of place with much more.
(Photo by J.Maus/BikePortland)

The weather is looking fantastic so far. Here’s the extended forecast for the area — at this writing, 60 to 70 degrees between 9 p.m. and midnight, with a gentle breeze and only a 10 percent chance of rain.

More questions? Check out the WNBR’s excellent official FAQ page.

The post Full details about Saturday’s World Naked Bike Ride appeared first on BikePortland.org.