Tonight, amid the rock’n’roll madness of the Republic of Texas Biker Rally, Austin will become home to another annual two-wheeled gathering. Beginning a little before sundown, Austin becomes one of 80 international staging grounds for the World Naked Bike Ride, which is exactly what it sounds like.
In fact, it’s more than it sounds like. The WNBR is street theater: a mass protest built to criticize fossil fuel dependence, combat issues of body image and promote sharing of city streets between cyclists and motorists. There's more info about the ride's history and goals on its Wikipedia page, but don't click that link if you're at work. Just trust us.
Lore indicates that Austin was one of eight stateside cities to participate in the first World Naked Bike Ride in 2004, which, let’s face it, of course we were. A fair percentage of Austinites will take any excuse in the world to get naked, or to protest, or to ride a ton of bikes down the same street together. The WNBR is a triple threat of epic proportions.
According to the validated map, this year’s ride won’t take the group through the heart of Sixth Street like it did in 2010. It will sally south down Navasota, however, past the Texas State Cemetery, wherein the sheer volume of antique conservative congressmen rolling over in their graves might just cause the Earth to tremble.
If you’re game, visit the pre-ride gathering on 5th and Springdale at 7:30 to drop off your streetclothes. Music will be provided, as well as body paint, for those who care to tailor their birthday suits. Admission will run you a measly sawbuck, and a free start point exists at Boggy Creek Park if you can’t scrape together $10.
Share the road! Burn fat, not oil! Less gas, more… er… bikes. Less gas, more bikes. That’s how that one goes.