Montreal’s 2014 World Naked Bicycle Ride on Saturday July 5th in downtown Montreal was a huge success with almost 3 times more riders than last year. Montreal is a very bicycle friendly city. It leads all other North American cities for bike paths, with over 600 kilometers of bike paths, lane and trails in the city alone and Quebec has with well over 3000 kilometers of bike paths. The weather on ride day was perfect, 25°, not too humid, sunny with a slight breeze. We were approximately 120 riders who rode twice around the downtown core lead a brilliant police bicycle escort (no, they were in uniform). The cops very efficiently stopped all the traffic at the corners and our group was able to safely navigate our course. We were supported by a very positive audience all around that cheered, waved and honked their horns to encourage us. Montreal is also Canada’s city of festivals and this Saturday was certainly no exception. Traffic downtown was at a standstill with many road closures all around due to our two week long Jazz Festival, the music festival on Ile Jean Drapeau and the Caribe parade (Canada’s largest Caribbean parade) that had just concluded. Loads of tourists to Montreal stood and cheered on the sidewalks and admittedly some of their awed expression were priceless. One woman just getting of a tourist bus stood with mouth wide open as her traveling companion said in a very loud unbelieving voice said ‘They’re all naked!’
After some confusion, we set off along Rene Levesque boulevard to Saint Laurent Street along the The Main to deMaisoneuve, through the Jazz festival site behind the Place des Arts to and along Crescent street where all the patrons of the trendy drinkeries raised their glasses to the naked spectacle on the street. Throng of picture takers were clicking away on the sidewalks as we turned back on to Rene Levesque and began the circuit again. Many who were only partially naked at the beginning lost what ever reservations they had and completed the second lap completely bare and happy too! It was a highly successful and most excellent day. The participants and the audience as well are looking forward now to the nighttime ride scheduled for early August. A nice job was done by the organizers.Thanks! It was a great naked day.