When the World Naked Bike Ride in London (WNBR London), was called off because of lockdown and social distancing advice, the organisers felt that the campaign needed to take on a new form. A programme of #NotTheWorldNakedBikeRide activities was developed and supporters took up the challenge.
The 2020 WNBR London ride had been planned for Saturday 13th June, so the alternative activities were planned for the same day. The focal point of the day was the Zoom-In, timed to run at the same time riders had originally been expecting to be out on the streets of London. 331 people signed up to attend the online gathering, which featured discussion and debate from eminent special guests as well as the opportunity for supporters to show what they had been doing in place of the ride.
Later in the day a Zoom-In afterparty celebrated the ride’s achievements over the years. Organisers from other rides around the world joined WNBR UK people to reminisce, chat about the campaign, and enjoy good company. Several people told tales of the origin of the ride back in 2004. Visitors from USA, South Africa and Mexico talked about their rides, including Portland Oregon where the ride has around 10,000 cyclists.
During the day, supporters had been asked to do something safe, relevant and whacky instead of the mass ride. WNBR London regularly has over 1,000 riders, and a further concern was the large crowds of spectators that usually line the streets. Many participants shared photos or videos on the WNBR London website (https://WNBRLondon.UK) and on social media with the hashtags #NotTheWorldNakedBikeRide or #notwnbr.
The main Zoom-In featured some excellent guest speakers in discussion with the WNBR panellists, as well as contributions from supporters, live bodypainting and a look at some favourite WNBR videos.
From British Naturism (BN), Mark Walsh (Events Manager) and Pam Fraser (Youth Ambassador) talked about the growth in popularity and activities of BN. They discussed the legality of nakedness including BN’s campaigning, which was instrumental in shaping the 2003 laws that establish it is not a crime to be naked.
Dr Victoria Bateman from Cambridge University and Dr Keon West from Goldsmiths were joined by naked video maker Lucy Muse in a segment that delved deeply into issues such as the social benefits of nudity, body confidence, feminism, women’s rights over their own bodies, male attitudes to women, diverse cultural responses to the human body, and, of course, the merits of the World Naked Bike Ride.
In the final segment, several activists from the original WNBR campaign in 2004 discussed the origins of the ride, with its themes of ecology and wellbeing, manifested in campaigns against oil dependency and car culture, alongside the promotion of safe cycling, healthy lifestyles and good behaviours.
Participants were delighted with the day’s activities and concluded – “we should do this more often”. Organiser, Cy Wol, said “a great learning point from lockdown is that we could achieve so much more, using far fewer natural resource, reducing pollution, cutting risks, and including a broader community if we work online instead of meeting face-to-face. WNBR London’s planning meetings will stay online – it’s the new normal”.
WNBR London confirmed that no decision has yet been made about rescheduling the ride for later in 2020. The situation is reviewed at every meeting, based upon current evidence and advice. The key issue is whether a ride would be wise – not whether it would be permitted. The planned date for 2021 is Saturday 12th June.
Esther and Steve’s #NotTheWorldNakedBikeRide
Esther and Steve went on an epic #NotTheWorldNakedBikeRide, which Steve documented in his blog. You can see the full story with video and photos at https://steveritterlife.com/2020/06/10/bmnbr2020/.
Videos played in full or in part during the Zoom-Ins
|WNBR London Vimeo Channel||https://vimeo.com/wnbrlondon|
|WNBR London2019 flypast||https://vimeo.com/342049038||06:20|
|WNBR London 2014 highlights||https://vimeo.com/426208046||04:10|
|30 second WNBR London trailer||https://vimeo.com/288711952||00:30|
|WNBR London 2005 by Keith Roberson||https://vimeo.com/425922380||05:07|
|High Altitude WNBR Documentary||https://vimeo.com/141076742||30:50|
|Brexit Leaves Britain Naked by Victoria Bateman||https://vimeo.com/301100028||02:13|
|Brexit: The Naked Truth by Dr Victoria Bateman||https://vimeo.com/314265471||31:40|
|BN’s Pam Fraser on ITV’s This Morning||https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjMGvn8Nscs||11:39|
|WNBR London 2019 highlights||https://vimeo.com/397785815||05:00|
|Lucy Muse’s WNBR London Documentary (2018)||https://vimeo.com/274694220||19:30|
|Lucy Muse Vimeo Channel||https://vimeo.com/thomasandmuse|
|vivrenu-tv Documentary (2017)||https://vimeo.com/277821688||07:54|
Our programme of free activities on 13th June 2020
All day, every day: WNBR London Quiz – an online quiz about WNBR London and its campaign themes
10:00 to 17:30: Exercise and surprise – safe cycling and other forms of activity people can do instead of being on the ride, either at home or safely in isolation outside. Participants are encouraged to Zoom-In or share photos – go on, surprise!
10:00 to 22:00: #NotTheWorldNakedBikeRide photo submission & prize competition – where people share photos of what they’ve been doing in place of riding with WNBR
16:00 and 17:00: WNBR London Watchathons – during the Zoom-In, supporters will be encouraged to watch and discuss excellent films of WNBR London
19:00 to 21:00: #NotTheWorldNakedBikeRide Afterparty – an online afterparty session just for fun! (you need to pre-register for the Zoom-Ins)
All activities will be clothing optional and we’d love to see some body painting, fancy dress, bike decorations and flags – just like the real thing.
So, what are you going to be doing for #NotTheWorldNakedBikeRide on 13th June 2020?
Make sure it’s safe and follow social distancing advice. If you are on your own in public, don’t take the risk of being naked. Although it’s legal you might encounter problems.
Please send in your photos and/or join us on the Zoom-In!
Some guidance about #NotTheWorldNakedBikeRide activities:
Activities are clothing optional, as bare as you dare. We will not tolerate bad behaviour – you will be blocked for life! That means no overtly sexual or obscene language, behaviour or imagery. Although we will try to prevent photography, just like the real ride, you can bet someone will be watching and maybe trying to get a photo – so don’t do anything you might regret later.