LA World Naked Bike Ride 2016
On June 11, naturists and nudists from the Los Angeles area and beyond participated in the local installment of World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR), the annual event held every June in over 100 cities across the globe. Participants celebrated bike culture, advocating for “alternative transportation and a cleaner, safer, body-positive world.”
An estimated 450 riders gathered near Chinatown, at a location not emailed to the participants until the day before the event to prevent gawkers and unwanted photographers. The organizers also invited body painters, a bike rental company, and several food wagons to the gathering spot. The ride was the largest ever for Los Angeles, beating last year’s totals by about 50 riders.
While the sky remained overcast and cool most of the day, the participants seemed in a festive mood as they stripped off as “bare as you dare” to start the event. Several motorcycle police officers led the parade and a trailing cruiser flashed its lights to alert drivers to stay back and give the bicyclists room to spread out across traffic lanes during the 18-mile route. Several spotter cars also followed the cyclists to pick up stragglers or those with flat tire, broken chains, etc.
As it was last year, the ride was divided into two parts — one around downtown through Chinatown, and a longer one up the LA River Bike Path to Silver Lake, down Sunset Blvd, around Echo Park and back to the downtown area. Riders were met along the way by many pedestrian onlookers, who all seemed surprised then happy to see us. Cell phones came out everywhere to record the mile-long procession of naked people. Several onlookers were seen suddenly dropping their pants or lifting their tops in solidarity with the riders.
Near the end of the ride, the cyclists encountered an estimated 9,000 people at the world famous Mexican marketplace at El Pueblo / Olvera Street park where they were hosting their annual Tacolandia food competition event. The Cyclists were definitely amused as the foodies turned almost simultaneously while whipping out their cell phones to record the naked people riding by.
A big thank you to the police officers who directed traffic at the assembly area and kept things moving during the parade.