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June 27, 2012

Los Angeles World Naked Bike Ride - my photos

I have all my photos from the Los Angeles World Naked Bike Ride uploaded now, and they are here. They're on Flickr, and if you've used Flickr before you know the hoops you need to jump through to see photos that include nudity. There are a couple (literally two - but maybe more) that include no nudity.

World Naked Bike Ride - Los Angeles (1769A)World Naked Bike Ride - Los Angeles (2690)

In that set you'll find photos shot with three different cameras. First are shots with my Canon D10, a pocket camera, and those begin here with a few shots of us at the starting point, and then several shots along the way. Then you come to shots with the GoPro Hero camera. I set it to automatically shoot a photo every few seconds. Initially it was shooting one every two seconds, but before long I saw that I was up to nearly 500 shots and we were still just hanging out at the starting point, so that was clearly way too many. I adjusted the interval to one every five seconds and mounted the camera on my helmet facing backwards, so that you could see the riders' bright and shiny faces. I had no control over what was being photographed and never even saw what I had shot until I went through and edited them. There were some surprises. It's an 11 megapixel still camera, but that doesn't mean the quality is anywhere near that of an 11 mp DSLR. It's very wide angle, so the sun was often hitting the lens, creating some haze. You'll see too that sometimes a gap opened up behind me, so that the riders got further and further away from me. I did a lot of cropping, but data is data, and it's limited and sometimes noisy. I found the streetscape scenes that resulted from the GoPro Hero almost as interesting as the bike riders themselves. We went through a lot of neighborhoods at various economic levels.

The GoPro Hero shots begin here. Every other World Naked Bike Ride seems to start in a nice park, but in L.A. we were in the dusty backyard (with code violations galore) of a residential house that had been converted to commercial use. The actual ride begins about here as we head out onto Alvarado. The ride was done on an extra-legal basis, and by that I mean outside the law. The organizers had spoken with the LAPD and they had unofficially said that as long as everyone stayed together on the route and there was no lewd behavior and no excessive complaints, then we would have no trouble from them. But we know the LAPD is always friendly and benevolent like that. Simple public nudity such as this is illegal in Los Angeles, unlike San Francisco.

Here is where we enter the 2nd Street Tunnel.

Here we turn on the new green bike lane on Spring Street.

This photo is where we start down Skid Row.

Here we have reached City Hall but you have to advance through several photos before I get far enough away to get the whole building in a shot. It was along about here that some of the ride leaders began to encourage us to continue rolling through red lights. There were a couple hundred of us (less than half of us naked, I'd say). Early in the ride we would sometimes sit through a green light cycle to allow riders to regroup, but downtown we began to encounter more lights and more congestion. It was critical to keep all the riders together, thus the red light running.

The post office at Union Station. It was about here that one young skateboarder who was rolling with us dropped his glass pipe, which shattered on the pavement. His friend on a bicycle exclaimed, "Dude, how we gonna get high now?!" Then they both dropped to their knees and began cleaning up the glass shards. There had been a surprising quantity of liquid and herbal courage consumed at the starting point. How exciting this will be, I thought, to be racing naked through the streets of Los Angeles, encountering hostile drivers and sidewalk prudes, all with a bunch of other mostly inexperienced bikers, a goodly number of which are a bit zonky in the head. Even so, I saw only a couple of single-cyclist falls. No injuries to speak of.


And then we began traveling in areas I couldn't identify. But eventually we ended up in this residential area; a route choice I considered ill advised. This is where you're going to get complaints, I suspect. And then when we rolled past two playgrounds full of kids, I was pretty sure phones were being picked up.

Here's the official map. If we followed that exactly I couldn't say.

But we kept riding, turning here and there, and then we were passing Silver Lake reservoir, followed by a nice downhill on Silver Lake, eventually arriving at Sunset Boulevard.

And then we were home again.

The THIRD camera belonged to Andy who was riding somewhere further back in the pack than I. He had brought his camera, but forgot his SD card, so I loaned him one. In return for the favor, he has allowed me to share the photos from that SD card here. His photos begin here. Or, if you prefer, here are his photos alone. You can see more of his photos here.

We did piss off some people. Here's a news story of an encounter between naked citrus pickers and a lady defending her crop and the American way.

I had a great time. There was no trouble with the police. I think we saw four or five police cars crossing our path. All seemed friendly and relaxed - but you know, it's the LAPD. I'm pretty sure they have ice cream treats in the trunks of their cars to reward the good citizens. I hope to do it again next year.

Filed under Cities/Urbanism,Naturism-Nudism,Photography | permalink | June 27, 2012 at 07:25 PM


WOW.. I took a lot of photos. I am still editing them. Thanks for getting them up for me.

Posted by: Andy at Jun 27, 2012 11:23:42 PM

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