Miami Beach 411
Like what you see? Let's talk about how
we can help your vacation --> Contact Us
  • Homepage
  • Plan Your Trip
  • Travel Forum
  • News & Events
  • Maps
  • Transportation
  • Tours
  • Hotels
  • Travel Tips
  • Reader's Reviews
  • News Archives
  • Need help? Call us! - 1-305-754-2206

Miami Beach Police Say Nude Cycling Is NOT Allowed (Pictures)

June 10, 2007 By Doug in Miami: Local News  | 11 Comments

image

The conflict was inevitable. The only question remaining was how it would play itself out. A group called the World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR), was planning an au naturel cycling expedition along the length of Lincoln Road and back at 6 pm on Saturday, June 9, 2007.

Why Would Anyone Want To Bike Ride Nude Down Lincoln Road?

“It’s Miami Beach!” their website proclaimed. “Everyone’s going to be hot,  naked and sweaty. Of course, you can always start a WNBR in northern Iceland if you’d prefer?”

Participants were encouraged to don “hula skirts, lamp shades, phallic socks, body paint, G-strings, pasties… any creative design of your imagination is encouraged.” Their mission, as proclaimed in their website (http://www.worldnakedbikeride.org), stated:

“We face automobile traffic with our naked bodies as the best way of defending our dignity and exposing the unique dangers faced by cyclists and pedestrians, as well as the negative consequences we all face, due to dependence on oil, and other forms of non-renewable engergy (sic).”

They have scheduled such events the world over, in locales as diverse as San Francisco, Knoxville, TN and Rio de Janeiro, with the intention of bringing these ideals into the pubic consciousness.

On the flip side, public information officer for the Miami Beach Police Department, Bobby Hernandez, as quoted on the miaminewtimes.com website, drew the line in the sand, as it were:

“It is illegal to expose your sexual organs.  Whether you are on a bike or not. On the beach, topless men/women is acceptable.  Once you leave the beach the top must come back on.

With an anticipated bouillabaisse of bicyclists in the buff, and an equally uncompromising local police force, it promised to be a lively afternoon. Even among those whose political consciousness was lacking, the allure of a gaggle of naked cyclists was too much to pass up. And so, the reporters of MiamiBeach411.com, unwilling to let any socially conscious Miami event pass us by unnoticed, manned our post with cameras in hand, eager to see what the day would portend.

Nude Cycling Timeline

The WNBR website stated that riders were to assemble at the corner of Lincoln and Alton Roads, in front of the Regal Cinemas, at 5:30 pm, in preparation for a 6pm ride.

image

5:30pm: Families strolled by, speaking a myriad of languages, but everyone was reasonably clothed and none was on bicycles. Children sucked on candy, toting balloons, emerging from the movie theatre in the presence of their parents, seemingly oblivious to the spectacle so close at hand.

5:50pm: a few camera-wielding individuals began to congregate in the area, their presence quite conspicuous. I asked one Indian fellow with a lens so long you could burp it if he was there to cover the World Naked Bike Ride event. He feigned ignorance, muttering a negative response and wandering into some nearby shrubbery. Soon after, a reporter from the Miami Herald appeared, searching for the non-existent organizers of the ride. A few minutes later, a jovial gentleman from the Sun-Sentinel showed up, looking for the naked people. However, there were no booths; no welcoming committee; indeed, no naked people. Only the curious stares of passersby.

Finally, around 6pm., a handful of people began to congregate. Among them was a group from Critical Mass Miami. They stressed that they had no connection with the event. They were there only to pass out flyers. When asked whether their objectives were synonymous with those of the WNBR, one of their members stated that the goals of the WNBR were “more environmental in nature.”

image

Keeping a low profile across the street in the median were prospective riders Eugenio (right), 40, a native of Venezuela, and his friend, Ray, from Cuba. Eugenio, his bike in the car, was concerned. He felt there was a lack of organization. “You don’t need a permit, but you need some clearance. If people get naked and ride, two blocks up the street, there’s three police who will arrest you. If it were well organized with banners or a booth or something, it would be different. Or at least a couple of police officers to make sure it was safe. But it’s not.”

Across the street, Ken 41, bicycled up; he’d come down for the event from Palm Coast, FL. He, like the others, had read about it on the internet. I asked whether he was there because of the biking angle, or the nudity. He replied that it was about 50-50. He had spent the earlier part of the day in Haulover, the local nude beach. He expressed doubts over whether or not he would go nude on Lincoln Road, however, citing the presence of young children as a deterrent. He would “go with the crowd” to see what he could get away with. “If you’ve ever been to Haulover, you know that we’re very careful about what goes on in front of children. If anyone goes too far, they’ll get their asses kicked!”

6:15pm: The crowd began to assemble more in earnest, but the amount of actual participants—roughly four—was severely outnumbered by the reporters, Critical Mass members, and approaching policemen.

image

image

The Carl Hiaasen Moment

The silence was then broken by a loud “woo-hoo!” A slightly disheveled looking long-haired fellow rode up on a bicycle; it definitely wasn’t Howard Dean. Could this perhaps be the long lost organizer of the event? The individual dismounted from his bike, and after exchanging a few niceties with a couple of Critical Mass members, launched into a tete-a-tete with the jovial reporter from the Sun-Sentinel. “Who are you with? Are you trying to snitch on us?” He asked, his eyes a bit glossy and his speech a little slurry. There was an undercurrent of aggressiveness in his voice. The Sun-Sentinel reporter did his best to make nice, using his well-honed defusing tactics to make the man go away, but the man lingered… “Where do you live?!” he demanded of the reporter, who sheepishly answered, Miami Beach. “We’re going to throw a party at your house!” he cried. “Who am I?” he bellowed. “What does it matter who I am!?”

image

Nearby, prospective rider Eric, from Miami, wanted to ensure that the true message of the event was heard: “There’s a serious lack of alternative transportation in Miami,” he said. “And anything anyone can do to raise awareness about it is a positive thing!”

image

At that moment, Lt. de la Espriella, of the Miami Beach Police Department moved in, flanked by two officers. None looked very happy. He was looking for the organizers of the event—as was everyone else. He explained that there were two problems:

  1. In order to stage a biking event through the Lincoln Road Mall, it is necessary to acquire a permit from the Special Events office, which the organizers of this event had failed to do,
  2. The naked part.

As the other participants discussed the situation peacefully with Lt. de la Espriella, the “woo-hoo!” guy began to yell at the police officers, apparently displeased at their intervention. The officers at first ignored him, but then, seeing that he was determined to continue his tirade, approached him to discuss the matter.

image

Seconds later, the officers handcuffed him, and led him away. The charge? DUI.  You can actually charge someone with DUI on a bicycle. “It’s the second time I’ve ever had to do it.” Lt. de la Espriella explained.

image

image

He then expressed concern that the press would be more eager to make money from the picture of the “woo-hoo!” guy’s arrest, without considering the true facts of the matter. He stated that his wife works in the media, and that they’re always locking horns.

The crowd, feeling a bit let down over the lack of organization around this much needed publicity, began to disperse, distracted by the warm tropical breezes, and the music pouring out of the nearby cafes. Their cause would have to be proclaimed another day.

“The Naked Bike Ride That Almost Was” was written by Douglas Eames. Doug is a new resident of Miami and frequent contributor in the Miami Beach 411 Forums.

Related Categories: Miami: Local News,

Douglas Eames is a freelance writer, homespun philosopher and budget bon vivant who divides his time between Southern California and South Beach.

See more articles by Doug.

See more articles by Doug

Was This Post Helpful? Please Share It With Others!

You Deserve More Than an Ordinary Vacation.
Travel with Miami Beach 411 Today!
  • Over 10 years of excellent service guiding tours. Awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.
  • Large fleet of new motor coaches, tour buses, and luxury vans. Technology you won't find anywhere.
  • Highly skilled, professional drivers and guides. From people who love what they do.
The Miami Beach 411 Travel Store is Open 24/7.
Search for Tours & Transportation

11 Comments on

"Miami Beach Police Say Nude Cycling Is NOT Allowed (Pictures)"

Gus says:

Thanks for covering the event, Doug! Too bad you weren’t able to get any pictures of people bike riding naked.

FYI, Google Trends is reporting that [world naked bike ride] is the 75th most searched for phrase at Google. This means there are A LOT of people searching for pictures of the World Naked Bike Ride in Miami.

There must have been a recent bike ride in England, other related searches include: london naked bike ride, naked bike ride, naked bike, naked bicycle, naked bike ride london

Posted on 06/10/2007 at 9:51 AM

Maria de los Angeles says:

Doug, what an awesome report!  I think I am in love with this alliteration:  “bouillabaisse of bicyclists in the buff” ... so happy to read you here!

Posted on 06/10/2007 at 10:05 AM

Gus says:

Those freaks in San Francisco sure know how to organize - check out these nude bike riding pictures - they had 60 naked men and women show up for their ride in 2006.

I think the Miami Beach police behaved appropriately, but why is nude cycling not allowed when when it is permitted for women to sunbath topless at the beach?

The City should have embraced the event, and helped WNBR organize a ride at South Pointe Park.

Posted on 06/10/2007 at 3:02 PM

freespirit says:

Thanks, Maria! Too bad there wasn’t anything more exciting to uncover!
Gus, I guess the Miami Beach Police Department’s nudity policy is “what happens on the beach stays on the beach!”

Posted on 06/10/2007 at 9:34 PM

Maria de los Angeles says:

This does seem a bit nit-picky in such a progressive city.  I made friends w/ one of our commissioners today.  I will ask!

Posted on 06/10/2007 at 10:49 PM

Gus says:

>> This does seem a bit nit-picky in such a progressive city.

I agree, Maria. Remember all the great PR the City received when Mayor Dermer supported gay marriage?

If the ride had been organized properly, the City would have received some wonderful press.

Instead, all we have to show for it is the “woo-hoo!” guy. Speaking of which, Carlos Miller has 3 close up pictures of him getting arrested.

Posted on 06/11/2007 at 9:50 AM

nighttime beachlover says:

What is going on with the Miami Beach PD? They appear to be becoming more of a visual presence around South Beach.  I used to love having a moonlight smootch with my gf on the beach over the years, but lately they’ve been running around there at night on their atvs with their lights off, shining spotlights in people’s faces.  It’s ruining the free feeling atmosphere people go there to experience.

Posted on 06/11/2007 at 11:49 AM

Suzy says:

Great article Doug!!

And yes, you can get a DUI as bicyclists are not considered pedestrians.  Cyclists are ‘supposed’ to stay off the sidewalks and adhere to traffic regulations.  So a DUI was exactly what that guy needed.  Besides, sounds like he was bringing negative publicity to an event that was supposed to garner positive attention to the cause.

As for “nudity” on the beach….I wouldn’t necesarrily call topless sunbathing nudity.  I look at this way:  I have no problem taking my 4yr old son to the beach, where topless women run rampant.  I do think I would have a problem if, while walking down Lincoln Rd with my son, a rogue band of tube-sock wearing cyclists breezed by in all their glory….but then again, I also bash Speedo wearers!

Posted on 06/13/2007 at 3:16 PM

Maria de los Angeles says:

Nightime beachlover, try smooching in front of the piles of beach chairs away from the dunes ...

Suzy I agree, flesh-bearing is natural on the beach, but not in other public areas.

Posted on 06/13/2007 at 3:23 PM

Adam says:

The problem with the DUI for biking is that it is almost always used as leverage to gain submission, rather than treated as an offense itself. If the guy had clearly been dangerous riding his bike drunk and they had pulled him over it would be one thing, but that rarely happens. Instead it is because he is engaging in socially inappropriate, although not necessarily illegal, behavior that he gets the fine.

I am convinced that each of us are committing several crimes at each moment of our lives which can and will be pulled up if we get sassy.

Posted on 06/13/2007 at 6:11 PM

doug says:

Adam, thanks for your comment.  The guy was clearly trying to instigate some kind of fight, first with the Sun-Sentinel reporter and then the police officer. I was also surprised at the DUI charge—I was thinking they would have got him for drunken/disorderly or something…

Posted on 06/13/2007 at 6:20 PM

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated for spam. An administrator must approve the comment before it will appear on the site.

Discuss the surrounding area in our hugely popular Miami forum.
Today's Miami Specials
Like what you see? Let's talk about
how we can help your vacation
--> Contact Us