This weekend’s forecast: naked people on bikes

Enjoy riding your bicycle with others? Love going around in your birthday suit? Stuck for ideas for your next Tinder date?

You’re in luck: this Saturday, August 28 is the 11th edition of the World Naked Bike Ride in Amsterdam.

Yes, you read that correctly. Bikes, boobs, and balls on the Amsterdam streets and all for a worthy cause: protesting car traffic. 🚲

What’s it all about?

The World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) is an annual demonstration held in major cities and capitals around the world. Activist Conrad Schmidt started the World Naked Bike Ride in 2004.

However, those with a Spanish background may have come across its inspiration: the Spanish Ciclonudista which was first held in 2001 in Zaragoza with the idea of reclaiming the street for the people living there and commuting with non-motorized forms of traffic.

But why Amsterdam?

You may, at this point, be wondering why this would need to be demonstrated in a country (and city) that has a normally brilliant cycling infrastructure and culture? In the organizers’ own words on their website (translated):

“The street does not have to be ‘conquered’ from the motorist here, as in Seattle, Vancouver, Auckland or Lisbon. Amsterdam is a bicycle city par excellence, that is absolutely true. We focus on other aspects: cycling is healthy, good for the environment, and very pleasant for the wallet.”

“But even in the bicycle-friendly Netherlands, cyclists are vulnerable and motorists intrusive. With our action we say: we are literally and figuratively naked, be careful with us.”

A message and statement of body positivity

The organisers continue by saying that nudity can also bring people together.

“So you have a belly. So what. Accept yourself! Be proud of the strength of your own body! Moreover, we believe that participating can be a way to overcome uncertainty. It’s very liberating.”

There may be more balls at this event than in a juggler’s supply closet but it’s a positive, healthy sentiment that should apply to everyone.

“Everyone” is exactly who the organisers are aiming for with those involved being very implicit about their wish for inclusivity. They write:

“Everyone can ride along, singles, couples, families, but also people with disabilities can ride along and not unimportantly, we are LGBTI+ friendly.”

How do I get involved?

The first thing to point out is that if naked cyclists are not your thing and you were planning a nice family picnic in Amsterdam there may be a few places or parks to steer clear of on Saturday.

Between 12:00 and 1:00 PM, event traffic controllers will be accompanying those taking part from the meeting point at Amsterdam Amstel station to the starting line at Park Frankendael (or you can meet them there).

The ride starts at 2:00 PM and will end in Vondel Park around 4:00, after which you are allowed to stay in the nude until 5:30 PM (how kind) 🍑.

The event is free to attend, but fair warning: you do have to be over 18.

Will you be stripping down and hopping on (your bike)? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: Stijn Nieuwendijk/Flickr/CC2.0

James Bogué
An Englishman fascinated by Homo sapiens and their cultures, and by extension the influence of politics, history, and psychology. But his absolute favourite? The perils of miscommunication (four words that accurately describe his journey with the Dutch language). Besides writing, he enjoys running, cycling and thinking about his next meals; and aspires to write a bestseller and speak at least ten languages.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Is the covid 19 situation no longer a concern in The Netherlands? Is there no longer a fear of spreading the virus and it’s variants? I would think that people would do better to continue social distancing, wearing masks, and practicing what seems like plain common sense. You can’t just pretend everything’s okay and expect it to be so!

  2. (We ride our bicycles without masks on every single day.) Only this time the cyclist will not wear clothing. This event is controlled by the protest police (you should know that)…so the standard distancing etc will always be respected. Plus it’s an amazing way to free your mind and body!!!👍

  3. How long has this been a thing? I was stationed in the Netherlands for 2 years (’75-’76) and never heard a thing about it. I’ve found another reason to applaud the Dutch, such great people that they are!

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