The UK’s World Naked Bike Rides have begun, commencing in Southampton (some edited photos available at the website of the local paper, the Daily Echo)
As ever, we’ll be reporting on it throughout the summer.
No date has been confirmed for Edinburgh as yet, so I don’t know if I will be making my debut ride 🙂
A report of the NZ ride: World Naked Bike Ride in Golden Bay 2018
By Jim W.
For the last few years I’ve been travelling down to Takaka each year for the World Naked Bike Ride event there. This year ex-cyclone Gita hit the area about 10 days before the event causing widespread damage, especially to the road over Takaka Hill. This plus the continued bad weather leading up to the event made getting there more difficult & meant numbers were down this year.
On the Thursday beforehand I joined the queue on the Motueka side of the hill for the 5pm convoy over, however, it was about 8pm by the time I got to my accommodation at the Gazebo Backpackers. The Gazebo is a clothing optional backpackers hostel in Takaka & a previous sponsor of the bike ride, with the owner Paul originally being one of the
organisers. The clientele of the Gazebo is a mix of naturists & travellers who generally quickly become less worried about covering up in the relaxed atmosphere of the backpackers.
Friday was cloudy with rain showers blowing through, so it wasn’t the beach day I had hoped for. However, it was a good chance for a couple of us to head up to the
Mussel Inn, which is a craft beer brewery just north of Takaka.
Saturday was again cloudy & showery, but the forecast was for improvement which it did in time for the ride. Early afternoon we headed out to the start point at Autumn Farm, some riding out there with others taking their bikes out by car. When we got there people had already started body painting, some with slogans & others with artwork. With the inclement weather & difficulties getting over the hill only about 40 people were taking part this time.
Jeremy, the NZNF South Island Vice-President & event organiser, welcomed everyone, gave a quick health & safety briefing, then sent every-one on the way. We headed of through the countryside, with regular stops to regroup, to Motupipi where we stopped for a group photo for the local media reporter. We then carried onto Pohara Beach where we stopped at the reserve by the beach. The sun had come out by that time & most people went in for a swim. I then went with a couple of others across the road to he Penguin Café to buy a beer, while some others went to the dairy to buy ice creams. It was a great example of the laid back attitudes of Golden Bay that no-one cared about people walking around the area naked. After a relaxed stay at the beach it was time for the return trip, with some cycling & others heading back by car.
Back at Autumn Farm a prize-giving was held with giveaways from local sponsors. Most people then headed of as the guests of the resort were having a BBQ that night. I cycled back to Takaka to take my distance to 27km, although the ride itself was only about 9km.
A bush walk had been planned for the Sunday & although it was again cloudy & showery we headed of from the Gazebo hopeful it would clear up as forecast. By the time we got to the Milnthorpe Scenic Reserve north of Takaka the sun was starting to come out. Although there were a few people around we were able to disrobe in the car park & walk
through the bush track around the perimeter of the reserve. With a detour up to a lookout the walk took about 45 minutes before we emerged onto the beach. It was now warm enough to go for a swim & lay in thesun for a while. We then carried on along the beach back around to the car park.
Influenced by Phillip & Robyn doing the INF Congress tramping trip barefoot I’ve since tried to do more walking barefoot & took the opportunity to go without shoes. It was great going for a bush walk, a swim & walk back along the beach over a couple of hours & only taking a sarong wrapped around my wrist & my camera. Although the weather wasn’t the best this year & the numbers were down, it was still a fun weekend enjoying the beautiful Golden Bay.
Source: Wellington Naturist Club, March newsletter
Footnotes ( by G.D.)
The first Golden Bay WNBR was in 2004. The 2018 event was the 15th ride. The first rides were from the Tarakohe cement works to Pohara. In those early years it is important to mention the involvement of the Tui Community, an alternative community closeby. It those years it was more a hippie event than a naturist event. Tui runs a very successful permaculture course, has a balm business and is involved in various educational outreach programmes, Tui was founded in 1984 with Ursus Schwarz (aka Black Bear) who subsequently went on to found SoNNos (below). As for nudity at Tui, it was common on summer afternoons to see the community’s young people playing happy sac naked on the nearby beach.
Autumn Farm is a clothes optional gay intentional community which also provides gay homestay accommodation and various events..
Milnthorpe is to the north of Takaka. The beach is an unofficial nude beach. It is actually a short walk from the road carpark, not 45 mins. The beach is opposite an old hippie community, SoNNos (Spirit of Nature, Nature of Spirit) founded in 1986. It is rather rundown now, but hosted a winter rainbow gathering in June 2017. To mark Matariki (Maori New Year) there was a sweat lodge on the beach, run by a brother knowledgeable on the protocols, a really special time for me. SoNNos has hosted several rainbow gathering themed events (not sanctioned) in the past. It has several permanent residents and Ursus (the founder), living there. It is busiest in summer time with German and French backpackers passing through. I never found out whether it is clothing optional, the rainbow was, even though it was winter !!. The sweat lodge was naked as you would expect. My impression was that SoNNos was not clothing optional. as such. When I was there at the rainbow I did get from a brother, who had previously lived at SoNNos, that the travellers and himself got naked in the afternoons in summer at the beach in the time he was there..
Thank you Gerald 😀