I want to take part, but I’m scared of being on TV or identified in public!
You can ride fully anonymously by wearing sunglasses, loads of bodypaint, wigs, masks, fun outfits, and weird and wonderful clothing. Disguise yourself in your own creative way and incorporate messages for your cause while you’re at it! (Read here for some ideas.)
Is this event legal?
In NSW, there are two offences that are traditionally applied to public nudity (so long as not adjacent to a body of water):
1. Obscene Exposure: “A person shall not, in or within view from a public place or a school, wilfully and obscenely expose his or her person.”
2. Offensive Conduct: “A person must not conduct himself or herself in an offensive manner in or near, or within view or hearing from, a public place or a school.”
After three years of discussion and research, it is our position that given this event involves a large number of people being naked in a non-sexual way, and in a peaceful community spirit, and that it is a special event specifically for the purpose of raising awareness for a cause, this particular instance of public nudity is not judged by the reasonable person on the street to be obscene (as relating to the ‘Obscene Exposure’ offence), or offensive (as relating to the ‘Offensive Conduct’ offence), and thus as it relates to those two offences, is in accordance with the law.
We have consulted with experienced NSW criminal law specialists about our position, who are ready to defend it to their highest professional capacity in all situations in which this matter may arise. We 100% stand by our position that this event, as designed and intended, is legal. If any party challenges this position, we will fight it in the courts at the highest level required.
We will not be intimidated by out-of-date law enforcement assumptions that no longer reflect the changing community standards in mainstream Australian society about what is offensive or not. World Naked Bike Ride is loved by street crowds worldwide, including elsewhere in NSW locally, as shown by many YouTube videos of the public cheering on our riders and only having a laugh.
You can feel safe riding at WNBR in Sydney because we’re working with all the parties required (including the police) to make this ride as safe as possible. Safety for the whole community during the ride is the no. 1 priority for both us and any police assisting us (who are reasonable professionals that we respect). The priority is not whether a random minority of prudes on the street are ‘offended’ at our event. Someone will always be offended at something, and the Australian court rules in favour of the majority.
If you are still worried about this issue, feel free to wear something during the ride so that you can hide your “person”.
Notwithstanding: you are responsible for how you conduct yourself in every way during our public community event. Sexual and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated, and we will immediately notify the police if you conduct yourself in this manner.
Fun fact: “Obscene exposure” in NSW doesn’t apply to the female breast! So that part of your beautiful self isn’t as much to worry about.
Is this event family-friendly?
YES. Social nudity has nothing to do with being family-friendly or not, because the culture of naturism proves that kids are actually healthier when they grow up seeing what the human body looks like. So let’s just talk about the NSW rules around cycling. There are no restrictions on children riding their bicycle on the road, and normal cycling road rules apply to them. Use your discretion about how you involve your children in our community event. Our ride marshals will make sure the ride stays in a cohesive group, so that no one will be stranded at any point during the ride.
One great way to involve your kids safely during the ride is to place them in a bicycle-mounted child seat or buggy. Here’s some great info and ideas. Don’t forget to bring helmets for them – that’s still a legal requirement!
If planned well, bringing your children to World Naked Bike Ride Sydney may be an incredibly positive experience for them – especially in regards to body positivity. What message do you want to give to your children? You decide.
Why aren’t you calling this a protest?
We are calling World Naked Bike Ride Sydney a public awareness event. Protest and public awareness often overlap because every cause has an opposing one, and most protests raise awareness for a cause. However, the attitude and feel of the two categories are different, and that’s what’s important to us.
We really do believe that protest is an important human right, freedom, and space that’s needed in our society as a sacred mechanism of free speech and how to improve our society.
But we think it’s time to fight a bigger fight which is that WNBR should be a community event that is accepted and not apologised for by public officials, and to go one step further in achieving big things for our three causes.
We are friends with all other WNBRs around the world, but to explain how we run things here, we hope that clears it up.