Saturday, June 16, 2012

World Naked Bike Ride 2012 #Toronto

Update: The 2013 Toronto ride is planned for Saturday, June 15 - gather at noon in waterfront Coronation Park, ride naked at 1pm. See my photos of the 2013 ride here.

It was a parting of the cheeks, as it were, as the clothes free riders plan to mount their bicycles to begin the 2012 World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR). The ride is a planet wide eco-protest against our dependence on oil and apparently clothes, especially clothes made with oil. Gene Dare poses in front of City Hall in the photo at top.

Toronto certainly embraces the annual ride and stops and smiles as the strange site of so many nude bikers riding together through a large metropolitan city. The dress is "Bare as you dare" and many keep on some clothes, while the adventurous and brave ride with far less. We were lucky and Naked Toni, Naked News Correspondent and owner of Oasis Aqua Lounge, attended the event.
Toni gets ready to join the ride

Starting around noon the two wheeled protesters gather at Coronation Park down by the waterfront and across from the Exhibition Place Princes' Gates. As people start to shed their clothes many start to apply body paint. Most of the paint is used to make signs across the bare skin. The signs and the rallying cry is usually something about "green" and "emissions".
It was great to see tourists coming over to the gathering and getting great vacation photos.
Hanging out at the Victory Peace Memorial near the bike path along the water members greet each and get ready for the ride. At 1pm there is usually a group photo and then the crowd heads out to the city's roads. Passing by many of Toronto's greatest downtown landmarks and neighbourhoods including Queen's Park, the Eaton Centre, the Financial District and Kensington Market, riders stop by City Hall and gather for another group photo on the edge of the reflecting pond in Nathan Phillips Square.

See my 2011 WNBR coverage here and my 2010 coverage here.

From the Wiki WNBR website: "Route The clockwise route passes many of Toronto's landmarks and popular areas. Coronation Park on the waterfront has always served us well as a picturesque and practical gathering/staring point - the 2012 ride will be starting from there as usual. At the suggestion of some riders, the tail end of the ride is changed to scoot west across Queens Quay back to the starting point at Coronation Park. There would also be the option for a contingent to "peel off" at the foot of Bay Street, get dressed in the park by the water and head over by ferry to the beautiful Toronto Islands for an evening at Hanlan's clothing optional beach."

Freedom is the message
Coming up to a TTC streetcar
Interviewed by Global TV
Passing Yonge and Dundas and the Eaton Centre
Cheers, smiles and photos were the order of the day for people watching the bikes go by
Arriving at City Hall

You can see more coverage by others at Naughty Toronto Blog.

Here are some more photos, edited to make them safe for work.

Many people showed up to take pictures and pose with the naked bikers - and they loved it.

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