The reasons people participate in the World Naked Bike Ride are nearly as diverse as the individuals themselves.

If you’re struggling to understand why thousands of people would ride naked through the streets of Portland, we encourage you to watch this documentary on Portland’s World Naked Bike Ride. We promise you’ll enjoy it.

Bare As You Dare: Portland’s World Naked Bike Ride from Ian McCluskey on Vimeo.

If the video didn’t answer all of your burning questions, then know that the general consensus is that the World Naked Bike Ride originated as a protest against society’s dependency on oil.  Today, especially in Portland, Oregon, many people ride to promote cycling not only as a viable mode of transportation, but a form which should be celebrated!

The World Naked Bike Ride Wiki page, which is shared by rides the world over, lists the following as the most oft-cited reasons for riding:

  • Save the planet! Shifting to a carfree lifestyle is one of the most powerful things a person can do to make a real difference in reducing negative environmental impacts on this planet.
“Our message to the world is one of simplification, human harmony and love. For a future to exist for tomorrows generations, we have to stop wasting the life blood energy of the Earth, stop fighting and killing in the name of consumerist wealth accumulation and learn to love and respect all life on this planet.” – Conrad Schmidt, founder of The Work Less Party and Artists for Peace and WNBR and organizer for WNBR Vancouver, BC
  • It’s time to put a stop to the indecent exposure of people and the planet to cars and the pollution they create. We face automobile traffic with our naked bodies as the best way of defending our dignity and exposing the vulnerability faced by cyclists and pedestrians on our streets as well as the negative consequences we all face due to dependence on oil, and other forms of non-renewable energy.
  • Body image/self awareness. Cycling promotes body awareness, the fact that one can achieve a more healthy lifestyle from the exercise we achive by using self-powered transport
  • Self-sufficiency. Cycling makes us non-renewable energy sources, less dependent oil
  • Think Globally, Act locally. Cycling promotes local cycling businesses and local cycling organizations.
  • Less is more. WNBR strips the complexities from modern transport to a simplified message of cycling. For the vast majority of most peoples’ transport needs, cycles are the right vehicle for the right job. “You don’t need a wheelbarrow to carry a pea”.
  • The unabashed vehicle of the revolution. By cycling naked we declare our confidence in the beauty and individuality of our bodies and the bicycles’s place as a catalyst for change in the future of sustainability, transport, community and recreation.
“Unless we change direction, we are likely to end up where we are heading.”
  • Community-building. Bicycles create public space, enhance street life and build a sense of community
“If you see someone you know while riding, it’s easy to stop and say hello. Bicycles create public space, enhance street life and build a sense of community”– Go By Bicycle
  • Peace of mind. “People are looking for places where they’re not constantly being confronted with cars. It’s just like non-smokers seeking smoke-free space.” – Franziska Eichstaedt-Bohlig, German Green Party