The fourth annual World Naked Bike Ride was held in various cities around the globe on June 9, 2007. This is a photo report of that day's event in San Francisco, California.
For more information about the World Naked Bike Ride concept, click here for their Web site; for media coverage of rides in other cities on June 9, click here.
Basically, the purpose underlying the event is three-fold: one, to promote a car-free lifestyle, and decrease our dependence on fossil fuels; two, to freak out the "squares," and to force the public to "step out of its comfort zone"; and three, most controversially, to get a sexual thrill out of being an exhibitionist.
No one will admit to that last motivation for the event, but it was pretty obvious from the kind of people who got naked (some of whom are men active in the "alternative sexualities" scene in San Francisco) why they were doing what they were doing.
The 2007 Naked Bike Ride was remarkably similar to the 2006 Naked Bike Ride; as you can see from my report about that event, many of the participants were the very same people, even riding the very same bikes. But there was some fresh blood, and best of all: sunny and warm weather.
Since many of the images speak for themselves, I'll only give captions below where needed.
***WARNING***: Full frontal nudity to follow. Do not continue reading the page if you don't want to see naked people.
And there was, indeed, plenty of ass to go around that day.
This guy in a San Francisco Giants hat surveyed the scene majestically as the bicyclists milled around, preparing for the ride.
Last year they were campaigning for Gore in '08; this year it's Kucinich. Who will have the dubious dintinction of being next year's favored candidate of the unclothed?
(If you have seen the names of any other presidential candidates written on the bodies of nude protesters, please send the photos to me here.)
Curious as to how all these people were writing slogans on their bodies so clearly, I headed over to a nearby tent and found that professional "body artists" were doing the corporeal graffiti with an airbrush, featuring the customized message of your choice.
One rider was getting a slogan about his soybean-powered car...
...while the other had some advice for Paris Hilton.
Next it was time for the group photo shoot. Someone in a mask loomed close to the photographers, for unknown reasons.
Finally nearly everyone was in place. Say "Sleaze!"
Then folks turned around to show off their back messages.
As the photo shoot broke up, it was announced that the time for pedaling was quickly approaching.
Just because you're nearly naked doesn't mean you can't dress formally!
Sunscreen applied to strategic locations can help avoid a nasty (in all senses of the term) burn later on. (Notice that this guy was -- as were many of the other men there -- wearing a ring around the base of his genitals, to make sure they protruded more noticeably. Proof, if any further proof were needed, that this event was as much about exhibitionism as anything else.)
All three of these participants are well-known local "regulars" at public events like this one, and make a point of showing up naked at as many of them as they can get away with. The fellow on the right is better known to many zombietime readers as "Scrotum Man." On this particular occasion, mercifully, his scrotum was uninflated.
End naked something -- anything -- please!
Needless to say, they were quite popular with the shutterbugs.
Back in the tent, a chest was being primed for some last-minute sloganeering. What will the message be?
By sheer coincidence, a national organization of deaf and hearing-impaired people was having an outdoor convention on the other side of Justin Herman Plaza. Some of the deaf people noticed the cyclists and came over to check out the action.
Despite the announcement of an immediate departure, everyone continued to prepare at their own leisurely pace.
Finally, people began to grab their bikes. Mr. Mask was rarin' to go.
First we rode right through the deaf confab.
The event organizer tried to hand out flyers to passersby, and had no luck whatsoever.
He had to content himself with people reading his sign.
Next, the riders wended their way through the outdoor craft market in front of the Ferry Building, attracting attention from locals and tourists alike.
This guy didn't even bother to bring a bike to the Naked Bike Ride, but opted for skates, a top hat, and "furry" leggings instead.
Here's a short video of the bicyclists in action.
At last, the riders turned onto Market Street, and headed off into downtown San Francisco.
Remember the original message that we started the day with: No gas, just ass.