Friday, March 04, 2011

On Your Bikes, Downunder!

The coming March 5-6 weekend marks the opening of this year's round of World Naked Bike Rides. Since a measure of warmth is needed to appear on the streets without clothes, the Southern Hemisphere will be the first to start off the activities.
The major Australian city of Melbourne will host a ride this Sunday, March 6, but both this and the weekend after, several locations in Australia, New Zealand and Brazil are expected to form the stage for naked cyclists.
The movement is not just about cycling in the nude, and not all participants have to be completely naked.
The first World Naked Bike Ride started in the Spanish city of Zaragoza in 2001, and then as now, the main aim is to defend the weaker road users against irresponsible car drivers, the waste of energy, pollution, and related 'green' or environmentalist topics.
You know my stance on using naked bodies to protest - I think nobody should feel offended, so that might take away the purpose and effectiveness of a protest. While I do think speed limits should be respected and energy should not be wasted, I also believe that cars can be beautiful design items that should not be demonized, while under public pressure, carmakers are already looking for alternatives to oil.
Having said that, the World Naked Bike Rides could be one of the most effective ways to have
the naked human body be accepted by the public at large. The participants are not all completely naked, and many of them are covered in bright paint, making the rides a carnival-like event full of smiles and beauty.
Some countries are still touchy about allowing naked or semi-naked men and women ride bicycles in city centers in broad daylight, but on the whole, the World Naked Bike Rides have been well received and have been spreading around the world.
Once the cold of winter and spring subsides, early June will see the World Naked Bike Rides fan over across the Northern Hemisphere, with major events taking place in some of the world's most famous locations in North America and Europe.
For the time being, if you are a naturist in the southern half of the world, it's time for you to get nude and get on your bikes!

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