Click here to return to the UK page




This page has info about using creativity in the ride.

If rider wish to express themselves and/or disguise their identity, we encourage riders to-

A) Decorate themselves
         bodypaint - sunglasses - wigs/hats/false-beard/bandana - masks - flowers/ivy

B) Decorate their bikes (and rucksacks/saddlebags)
         signs - banners - ivy/flowers - flags - crepe paper - balloons - superstructures


A) Decorating the Body

    1. Bodypaint - There is plenty of helpful UK specific info at the UK bike ride site here, and also more help at the general World Naked Bike Ride site here, and also . For a good example of how a message written in paint looks, click here.

      Costs for bodypaint = One paint tube will cover a body, and it costs approximately £5-£9 per tube. Therefore it's £5-9 to cover a body with one colour of paint (eg- entire body painted blue). We will have some body paint at the London ride so you can write messages or designs on your body (but you should buy some paint if you want something with lots of paint or detail). There will be a few (mainly female) painting volunteers to help with faces, backs, and arms. These volunteers are not necessarily experienced artists, so be reasonable about what designs you request. There will be a Bodypaint coordinator - Paula (for 2006 ride) who ensure that the stall has a safe, pleasant and comfortable atmosphere. The bodypaint stall will be available for non-nude painting in Hyde Park from noon till 2pm (see events page for details of location), and then at Wellington Arch from 2.30 till 3.30 for painting in any state of dress/undress.

      In 2006, we will have several (mainly female) guest artists from Sitech Creations who will help with the bodypainting at Wellington Arch. They will be painting on slogans and simple designs from 1.30pm on Saturday 10 June 2006. They are volunteering their time, so tips to cover the costs of materials and travel will be greatly appreciated. They will also be able to give advice to people using the DIY bodypainting station. Here's an example of one of their creations (click to enlarge).


      If you want to have Sitech do a really elaborate design, it may be possible to book a session in the morning before the ride (to be held in Hyde Park - good weather permitting). Get in touch with Sitech to work out how this might work.

      If you ever end up contacting Sitech for services in the future, please mention that you heard about them through the WNBR.

    2. Sunglasses - This is fairly straightforward and successful method for keeping sun out of your eyes while also hiding your identity a bit. It could limit the number of people who recognise you on the evening news or front page of the Observer.

    3. Wigs, Hats, False-beard, Bandana - All of these accessories have the advantage of altering your appearance in ways that are very simple and shouldn't interfere with your cycling. If you wear a long/big enough wig or beard this can cover up your chest area part of the time. The first London ride featured someone with "plastic hair"

    4. Masks - We do not recomment masks as this entire category that should be approached with caution. We are riding with agressive London traffic and the safety in numbers only applies if you are also able to see/hear approaching traffic. Certain masks are very safe because they allow you to see and hear well, but others are not that safe. You be the judge. Please have a contingency plan if you get to the ride and find it difficult to ride safely (if you are wearing the mask to hide your identity, you might wish to bring a cap and bandana as a backup to protect your identity but allow you safety when riding).

    5. Flowers, Ivy - This is a lovely way to express your green/natural/environmental beliefs. Ivy and flowers are easily fastened to helmets, and hair. Ivy can be wrapped around you.

B) Decorating the Bike (or bags)

    1. Signs - Signs work well on marches and only need a bit of modification to work on a bike ride. The sign should either be hung around your neck on string that will break away if it catches on something, or it should be secured to your bike rack/ saddlebags/ rucksack. There are photos of these two types of signs in the photos pages here.

    2. Banners - Hmm.... the classic means of communicating a message on a march. But for a bike ride, this takes real engineering. Unless you have a rickshaw that the banner can hang across, banners are not an easy thing to carry on the ride. Please don't bring a banner unless you and the other banner carriers have tried using it on bikes (or skates) in busy traffic on narrow streets. We don't want any injuries on the ride. IF you do figure out a clever way to hold up a banner, be sure that it will not endanger any other cyclists. Again, we don't want any injuries on the ride. Aside from the safety concerns, yes, we'd love to have you bring your banners!

    3. Ivy, Flowers - Classic, way to "green up" and "naturise" your bike or bags. It looks beautiful, and the more time you take over securing the greenery and flowers the better it looks (and the safer it will be).

    4. Flags - We're looking into getting some mini-flags created for the ride. The key to keeping flags safe is to make sure that they will not get caught in your wheels or gears. Pick a good location to fasten the flag pole/stick and be sure it's not going to shake loose. The second safety goal is to make sure the stick that holds up the flag is not going to poke out anyone's eye. This can be achieved by using something very flexible or putting some wadded cloth on the end of the stick. Another clever way to achieve this is to use a very flexible stick and bend it into a hoop where both ends are secured to the bike frame. Then you can hang several flags or a very large flag from the hoop.

    5. Crepe paper - This is the classic budget method for decorating a bike, and it has been used by cyclists in American parades since the dawn of time (assuming time began around the start of the 20th century). Wrap the roll of crepe paper around the frame and put some tape over it spiralling the opposite direction (to keep it from tearing loose). Weave the paper through the spokes and tape it into place, you can even dangle some from the handles of the bike. Now you've got a really decorative bike for almost no money.

    6. Balloons - Pretty self explanatory. Attach these to your bike or bags with care. Note the people who keep their distance due to an apprehension about balloons popping.

    7. Superstructures - What is this? Building some sort of structure to wear on yourself or fix to your bike. It's not easy. the effect can be very good, but it's important to make sure you'll be able to handle the bike safely in the busy London traffic. Think it through carefully and you can end up with a really safe but striking bike.