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Date: June 2009
Time: 4pm MDT
Location: Hawthorn Community Gardens (aka North Boulder Community Gardens)

  • Note that there will be a Denver ride on Saturday 12 July 2008!

Media coverage

2008

2006

Photos

2008 photos

2007 photos

2006 photos

2005 photos

Videos

2009

2008

2006

2004

History

2009

Date: Saturday, June 13, 4:00 PM Location: Hawthorn Community Gardens (aka North Boulder Community Gardens), South Side

The weather, the naysayers, the Police, the prudes, and the minimal organization, did not keep us from having a very nice ride.

We had a decent turnout, all things considered: 37 people at the peak, 3/4 guys. A couple came all the way from Pueblo! (Did the person from Grand Junction make it?) The irony of that didn't go unnoticed.

Police Commander Curtis Johnston was waiting for us at the start, and made sure that we all knew the rules (we did). The Faux News reporter had a hard time finding someone willing to talk in front of his camera. Other media were there as well, of course (how titillating for their readers!) Steele gave the cameras a full performance, expressing his heartfelt message.

We visited the usual places: 13th st, downtown, the creek path, 29th st. An observation was that the crowd on the mall has fewer surprised tourists and more people who seemed to have come down on purpose, just to see us. The chanting was more forceful than in the past: we took Robin's exhortation to heart, and chanted our lungs out: "More ass, less gas", "Burn fat, not gas", "My ass is clean, is your gasoline."

It only rained once, for 10 minutes; We had shelter, and it was warm, so it was not a problem at all.

We saw quite a few police cars all along, far more than usual. One or 2 policemen on bikes followed us all along. Weenies were safely tucked away the whole time. One wonders if the cost of that Police presence was worth it to satisfy those who requested that the Police do something about our "offensive behavior". As we were heading back to the starting point, Curtis (that is, "Commander Johnston") pulled besides me and Scott and thanked us in a heartfelt way. We kind of felt bad for the cops...they could have been at a barbecue instead.

I would say that the consensus was that the cool weather was actually better for such a ride, that the turnout was surprisingly good, that no-one saw any negative reaction on the part of the crowd (quite the contrary!), and that the environmental message got through (as the focus on the nudity was lower than in the past, and the chanting was more effective).


2008

Date: Saturday, June 14, 4:00 PM Location: Hawthorn Community Gardens (aka North Boulder Community Gardens), South Side

Excellent weather, excellent time, great people.

  • The ride lasted 2 hours.
  • From the gardens down 13th, a couple of loops around the Downtown mall, then East to the 29th st Mall, through the Mall, through Scott Carpenter Park, a dip in Boulder Creek, then up the Boulder Creek path back to Downtown, and back to the gardens.
  • At the start there were 56 riders, and we picked up a few more along the way (can you imagine people on the sidewalk dropping their bike and taking off their clothes? It's a sight!). The number peaked at slightly above 60.
  • We met at S.'s house beforehand to get "dressed" and painted. The landlord was doing concrete work on the drive, and had no idea what was going on in the back yard. I can't imagine what he must have thought as we all left in various states of undress. I hope S. still has a lease when he gets back!
  • There were hardly any observers at the start. Two TV cameras were there: Ch2 and Ch9.
  • The CH 9 News crew followed us for a fair portion of it, with the crazy the camerawoman running along and causing more traffic jams than the bikers did.
  • During the ride, at two different times, two women fell, and, being completely naked, they really got scraped-up (never saw a bleeding nipple before).
  • The creek was cold, but not too bad after a while. More people shed clothes for the ocasion.
  • The same creepy homeowner as two years ago kept on photographing us with a telephoto lens, as we were dipping in the creek across from his house.
  • Chants included:
    • Burn fat, not oil!
    • Drop pants, not bombs!
    • More ass, less gas!
  • We rode along the Banjo Billy bus, giving the tourists an extra, unscheduled glimpse at how weird Boulder can be.
  • By the Millennium hotel, on the path, a mom ordered her kid (on a bike!) to close her eyes. And the girl nearly fell.
  • We never encountered the police
  • We ended back at S.'s house (the landlord was now gone) for a self-congratulatory party.

All and all it was a peaceful, fun, though uneventful ride.

2007

Date: Saturday, June 16, 4:00 PM Location: Hawthorn Community Gardens (aka North Boulder Community Gardens), South Side

Once more, the ride was postponed by a week to accommodate people who planned to attend Apogea on the 9th of June. A big downpour at 3:00 PM was a concern, but, by 4:00 PM., people started gathering at the meeting point. About 54 people took part. Most people were nude or nearly so, with just 2 or three people fully dressed. There were no media nor spectators at the start, unlike past years. Because of the rain, few people were about around town, and the Downtown Mall wasn't crowded. Mostly, participants spent more time enjoying the ride and waving at well-wishers, and less time chanting slogans. The mood seemed rather relaxed, as there was an understanding that, as long as we didn't break any traffic rules, the cops would leave us alone. A cop did stop to tell us not to stop in parks with children, and not to be photographed with children; fair enough. A highlight of the ride was when we ran into a wedding party at Eben G Fine park; the naked riders formed an arch on either side of the sidewalk, and the wedding party marched through it, a bit of uneasy perhaps, but certainly in good nature (that will make one interesting wedding video!). By 6:00 PM, the riders had returned to the starting point, happy to have successfully completed the 4th annual World Naked Bike Ride in Boulder.

Photographer's note: Actually the wedding party encounter was not at all uneasy. I talked to them prior to their procession and they seemed to really enjoy the opportunity and had a good time with it. It was truly a great and memorable WNBR-Boulder moment.

BoulderWeddingParty.jpg

Photo by Brett Amole: http://www.amolephoto.com/

2006

Date: Saturday, June 17, 4:00 PM Location: Hawthorn Community Gardens (aka North Boulder Community Gardens), South Side

The ride was postponed by a week to accommodate people who planned to attend other like-minded events on 10 June. Again, about 60 people took part. There was more nudity, as participants had become more comfortable with it. This year the Media were absent at the start, though a few reporters simply rode with us (clothed). The ride included a plunge in the Boulder Creek, which gave an excuse for the shyer ones to finally shed their clothes. Unfortunately, a few people quit the ride at the end, and went to a liquor store, where two of them were arrested. The circumstances are under dispute. Here are two sides of the story:

2005

Date: Saturday, June 11, 4:00 PM Location: Hawthorn Community Gardens (aka North Boulder Community Gardens), South Side

Three generations of men and women, in various states of undress, on bikes, a skateboard and a Segway, converged at 4:00 PM to the designated rendez vous place: the Community Gardens. They were shocked to see tens of curious onlookers already there, tipped off by a well orchestrated publicity campaign. It was immediately a festive scene, with riders and onlookers alike checking out the costumes, signs, and get-ups, people snapping pictures with anything from cell-phones to broadcast TV cameras. A neighbor excitedly came by with a basked of candies to help the riders celebrate. (It was a far cry from the previous year, when barely a dozen of embarrassed, cold riders met and tried to encourage each other in the otherwise empty gardens.) So emboldened, the group headed into the residential streets. The plan was to head east on deserted paths to give people time to gain courage. That plan was spoiled by the Boulder Police. Within five minutes, a police cruiser arrived and stopped the group. They had received a complaint (such incredible fast responsiveness!) and wanted to check everyone's IDs. Half the group said the heck with it, turned around and was led by Robin (whose nipples doubled as the noses of two cute drawn mice). That group headed straight downtown (no further emboldening needed), screaming chants such as ("More Ass / Less Gas", "My ass is clean / How about your gasoline") to the great cheers of onlooker. Mostly. One onlooker was a young man holding a baby in his arm, covering the baby's eyes (!); when told that seeing a few naked bodies wouldn't harm the child, the man, stopped covering the child's eyes just long enough to flip the riders the bird. In the meanwhile, the police let the other group go after finishing the perfunctory action of taking some names, to allow them to tell the concerned citizens that they had taken action. This group headed east, according to the previous plan, and went by the local community station, KGNU, where an amused DJ interviewed a few of them. Through that radio interview, the first group found out where the second group was, and a plan was made to rendez vous along the Boulder Creek. By now the reunited group numbered around 50, a very heartening turnout, for a relatively small city such as Boulder! After one more lap through the downtown area, interrupting buskers and shocking out-of town visitors, the group headed back to the starting point, the home of one of the organizers, for cheering, marry making, group photos, and eventually revert to what by now felt like a very cumbersome custom: wearing clothes.

2004

Date: Saturday, June 12, 4:00 PM Location: Hawthorn Community Gardens (aka North Boulder Community Gardens), South Side

About 15 people, not much full nudity.

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