Saturday, June 09, 2018

World Naked Bike Ride Toronto 2018

Toronto once again joins the worldwide protest against global oil dependency with an impact that can only be made by hundreds of naked bike riders grouped together, winding through city streets to the delight of thousands of onlookers. The World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) starts at 1pm on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Coronation Park, just south of Exhibition Place’s Princes’ Gates, and proceeds north, passing through some of Toronto’s most famous landmarks and tourist attractions. Ride marshals help keep the group safe as they come to busy intersections and bikers try to be as careful as they can – especially around the ttc streetcar tracks which can prove treacherous to bicycles, and the clothes free protest stops occasionally for group photo opportunities. The next ride is June 8, 2019.
WNBR Toronto map 2018
Gene Dare

Co-organizer Gene Dare arrives early at Coronation Park and greets the riders as they begin to show up around 10:30am. Body painters will take orders for artwork framed on the nude canvass (Sydney Desnoyers; small $5, Medium and sparkle nipples for $10 and large for $20) and riders will socialize and pose for pictures with visitors, friends and the many photographers that welcome the peaceful protest. The gathering place is the large military memorial just steps from the edge of Lake Ontario, shaped like the hull of a ship, in the shadow of the large flagpole beside the memorial.
Candice Blake gets body paint applied

‘Less gas, more ass’ is one of the slogans that is popular with those that want body paint and people can bring their own paints to apply to one another. The dress code for the ride is ‘as bare as you dare’ and people are encouraged to join the ride – in or out of clothes, and on bikes, roller blades, skateboards or even just run along. You can join from the beginning or wait for the group to meet you, disrobe and join the group along the way. The weather is supposed to be nice and Gene has spent a lot of time promoting WNBR through posters and working with the media so there should be a record number of participants in 2018. If you don’t have your own bike there is always the Bike Share Toronto bicycles spread throughout the city.

Several special locations are special to the ride including the ride along Queen Street West, Kensington Market, University of Toronto (maybe they will be in more wedding photos this year), Church and Wellesley Village and the ride later down Yonge Street past the Eaton Centre. In the past we have stopped in Allan Gardens to support other protests and the route changes depending on the circumstances (ie construction or major events). Major stops are planned for Queen’s Park and the reflecting pond at Toronto City Hall where group photos are planned. Other places of interest that the ride passes through are Yorkville (the Mink Mile loves the ride), Trinity Bellwoods Park (sometimes missed due to a large market in the park), Ryerson University and Yonge-Dundas Square. Gene plans to go twice around the square which will be fun as there is the Session Toronto kickoff to Craft Beer Week event going on at the time.

After the ride goes down Bay Street in the Financial District it arrives at the Toronto Islands Ferry Docks where many of the riders join the weekend crowds and journey to Hanlan’s Point Nude Beach. Many of the riders return to the start point at Coronation Park to successfully complete the WNBR for another year.

See more of the WNBR after the jump.

You can see my collection of WNBR photos on my flickr photo stream (you will have to be signed in) and in the WNBR album. And here is my youtube video of some of the highlights.

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