Monday, May 15, 2023

World Naked Bike Ride Toronto 2023 coming in June

Are you ready for the annual two-wheeled, gas-free mobile protest that is one of Toronto's most unusual public events? Well WNBR is scheduled for Saturday, June 10, 2023 so here are top ten things you need to know to prepare for the bike ride.

1. Transportation and parking. WNBR Toronto starts in Coronation Park along Lake Shore, just south of Prince's Gates at Exhibition Place, in the war memorial next to the giant flag. Parking on site is limited so try biking to the park or look for parking at nearby Ontario Place, Exhibition Place or nearby Queens Quay area.

2. Gathering starts early on from around 10am so that participants can socialize, prep and decorate bikes, apply body paints and get any costumes ready. You can also meet ride organizer Gene Dare wearing the big, red hat who is usually on site by 9am. There will be plenty of visitors watching and taking photos, both in the park and along the route of the ride, so wear a mask if you are uncomfortable with this. There will probably be a body painter on site but they might be busy so bring some of your own paints to use and share.

3. This is a clothing optional event, be as bare as you dare from fancy suits to your birthday suit. As Gene explains this is a legal, clothing free protest and the police often show up to touch base with Gene or even occasionally providing police bicycle escorts. Gene notifies and liaisons with Toronto Police and news organizations so they are aware of the ride. Media crews might visit during prep to interview and film the bikers and we will take group photos before the ride begins.

4. It is important to bring sunscreen and liquid refreshments, apply both liberally as you don't want sunburns on delicate body parts or dehydrate on the ride.

5. You don't need to use a bicycle. Any gas free, auto free mode of personal transport is welcome. We see scooters, roller blades and skateboards being used and consider the bike share bicycles if you don't own, or can't get their own bike to site - although a seat cover is definitely suggested (good for all bikes).

6. The actual ride starts at approximately 1pm as hundreds of people mount their bikes and head out of the park, led by route guides and traffic wardens protecting the cyclists at intersections. WNBR Toronto is a rain or shine event so try to use waterproof paints if it is raining. Weather almost always has been nice for the ride, so hopefully this will continue in 2023.

7. The ride takes approximately 3 to 4 hours and takes us through or by some of Toronto's most famous landmarks or neighborhoods including Trinity Bellwoods Park, Kensington Market, the University of Toronto campus, Yorkville, Queen's Park, Allan Gardens, around Yonge-Dundas Square and Toronto City Hall, near Steam Whistle Brewing for the CN Tower picture as well as Queen's Quay and H2O and Sugar Beaches. The pace is relatively moderate so the large group of riders keeps together as best as possible.

8. WNBR Toronto stops for photos and rest at Queen's Park, Allan Gardens, Toronto City Hall / Nathan Phillips Square and the Toronto Ferry port CN Tower.

9. Public reaction is generally very favourable with many lining the street as WNBR people cry out the name of the ride or shout out "less gas, more ass". Surprisingly many people don't know of the ride, or that it was happening that day so they are a little bit surprised to see so much naked flesh passing by. They smile, laugh and wave while almost everyone pulls out their phones to document the ride, otherwise people might not believe them. There are some that make fun of the rider's bodies or tell them to put in clothes, but they are mean, small in numbers and the ride is also about body positivity.

10. You can stay with the group till the end of drop out whenever you feel like it, otherwise we head back to the starting point at Coronation Park. Don't forget to put on clothes when you leave the ride! The majority of people might stop at the Toronto Ferry port where they either quit the ride, head over to the clothing free beach at Hanlan's Point on the Islands or return to Coronation Park. The choice is yours. Have fun and be a positive force towards improving the planet!

Now you are ready to do something outside the box and remember to have fun and enjoy the physical workout.

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