The following comes from a person who appeared in that Wild About Philly preview YouTube clip of their controversial DVD (below) of this year's Philly Naked Bike Ride (we discussed this in more detail in this week's forthcoming A Million Stories, which should be online later today). She asked to remain anonymous:
i had no idea the dvd was even being made. the fact that the gatherings before and after the bike ride were being filmed for a commercial dvd, ostensibly with an accompanying ad campaign, makes me extremely uncomfortable. i assumed i was being filmed for a one-time broadcast or a youtube news piece. at no time was it made clear that my image, voice and words would be for sale. i would not have agreed to be filmed if i had known that.
i'm not ecstatic about the filming of the ride itself or the sale of that footage, but that, to me, is par for the course. PNBR's photo policy is essentially unenforceable because the riders are moving targets. i don't mind being part of a wide shot of moving riders, but hey, that's zero content and would not sell at all.
i understand that the filming and sale of the footage of *me* and others is legal because it was in a public place. i was filmed talking at the afterparty. i find the cameraman's presence there and his active pursuit of interviews from still-naked people pretty upsetting. there was a LOT of alcohol involved (thanks to a "free beer if you're naked" policy), which obviously encouraged people including me to put ourselves in compromising positions, and there were almost certainly minors present.
i feel pretty helpless as far as the sale of the dvd is concerned. a letter-writing campaign? feh. i feel like this whole publicity thing will just increase the sales of the dvd and encourage scumbags who want to experience the novelty of naked chicks in center city all over again to buy it. i would sign my name on a pre-written letter if the campaign made one, but since there's no legal action available from what i've heard, i'm pretty pessimistic about the prospects of halting the sale of the dvd.
Yesterday, I told you about Clifford Greer's missive to the PBNR e-mail list, threatening legal action against a company that, he says, is trying to sell DVDs of PBNR participants. Per his e-mail:
During assembly at Lemon Hill, a video production company called WAPtv (Wild About Philly) shot footage of a number of riders. As far as we know, no one was filmed without permission. WAPtv has produced and is selling a DVD of their footage.
We have seen this DVD and we feel that its content is not in the spirit of our event, and that the riders filmed were not informed that this video would be for sale publicly.
We have sought out volunteer legal assistance in order to halt the sale of this video. The next step for us is to identify those amongst you who are willing to pursue this on an individual basis. If you know you were recorded by WAPtv and do not wish to have your image distributed commercially, please reply to this email with your contact information and full name, include your telephone number please.
I was, of course, generally dismissive of his complaint. In public spaces, you generally abandon your right to privacy. So, assuming Greer's allegations are true, while the video company may have violated, well, every tinge of decency left in humanity, legally, they have the right to do so. But just to make sure I was interpreting the law correctly and I tend to be a pretty adamant free speech kind of guy I ran the scenario by a lawyer acquaintance who does work in the constitutional/First Amendment law field down in Florida, Derek Brett. His response is below:
Generally, I agree with you the people are parading around in public, and there is a general loss in the expectation of privacy. Now, can this loss of privacy be contained? Certainly, the individuals expected to be seen in the moment by spectators or potentially covered (pardon the reverse pun) briefly within the local press (which would never have exposed their private parts on-screen (for fear of FCC backlash).
However, the question then becomes whether or not there was a reasonable expectation that their exposure would become the subject of mass commercialization and whether a la those gotcha/candid camera TV shows the individual must first consent to the commercial publication of their images, from head to toe.
The question as I replied to Derek seems to be whether or not participating in something billed as the âPhiladelphia Naked Bike Rideâ override the âreasonable expectation that their exposure would become the subject of mass commercializationâ to which he alludes?
That is a factor that can be legitimately argued in the defense of a civil law suit against the publisher/producer of the content. In other words, âperhaps.â
Updated with response
Maybe it was inevitable: maybe something as good, as fundamentally wholesome, as lamb-like and peaceful to all as the Philly Naked Bike Ride had to be infiltrated by wolves.
But according to PNBR volunteer organizer Clifford Greer, "What we think we know is that a camera crew came to the ride, posing as interviewers to get shots of people's genitals, chests, butts ... [and] They've got this sleazy website."
The website, www.waptvshow.com or "Wild About Philly Entertainment TV show," â hosts such web "TV" segments as "Wild About Philly" and "Philly's Model Showcase." On a page for merchandise promotes a DVD of the Philly Naked Bike Ride, boasting that "you'll enjoy this DVD from [sic] years to come."
Updated: Reg Williams, video editor for Wild About Philly TV responded this evening to an inquiry by City Paper. Williams says the DVD is not pornography, and that Wild About Philly films all kinds of events.
"We have a good reputation, an upstanding reputation as far as covering events in this city," Williams said over the phone, telling CP that all "close-ups" were filmed with full consent from participants and that "the cameraman was also naked."
As to what the DVD consists of: "Whatever you saw out there, that's what it's about."
According to Greer, meanwhile, a team of volunteer lawyers is working on potentially stopping the sale of such a DVD, cautioning that they don't know much about the owners of the site or their motives, "but everything points to sleaze."
"One of the things the Philly Naked Bike Ride does is successfully create an environment that is free, and positive, and respectful ... I don't know what inspires these people."
Stay tuned to The Clog for updates.
Riders for the 2nd annual Philly Naked Bike Ride are to meet at 5:30, RAIN OR SHINE, Sunday, Sept. 5, at LEMON HILL (see map below).
Riders will assemble for approximately 1 hour before departing.
The location of the after party will be shared with the riders at the end of the ride.
All riders who wish to attend must provide ID for entrance to the party.
Also, this year, the ride facilitators are releasing a route map, which
we'll have up on the site post-haste you can download as a pdf here.
I think there's a tendency among many Americans (if I may) to believe that a robust urban bike sharing system is just somehow, for some reason, impossible.
I catch myself thinking it sometimes. Maybe part of the trouble is that non-bicycle-users don't get the point, and bicycle-users already have bikes and so they don't get the point, either. What's required is seeing bicycling as a potential mainstream mode of transportation: so easy and convenient, little old ladies'll do it.
The thing is, that's not crazy: It's already going on all over the world, and lots of cities (Paris, Barcelona, Montreal, to name a few) have implemented robust, working bike share systems.
Why not Philly? So asks Bike Share Philadelphia, a "network of organizations and individuals working to bring public use bicycles, also called bike sharing, to Philadelphia."
Bike Share Philadelphia is advocating a model of bike sharing called B-Cycle, currently being used in Denver and being piloted this summer in my hometown of Chicago (a city which, for the record, remade itself into an American bicycling capital in about 10 years tragically, beginning more or less when I left for 10 years).
They'll be holding demos:
Thursday, August 26th at 36th & Walnut Streets, 10 AM to 6 PM, in front of the Penn Bookstore in University City in cooperation with the University of Pennsylvania.
Friday August 27th at JFK Plaza (Love Park) - 15th & JFK Blvd, 10 AM to 6 PM, in cooperation with the Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities.
Saturday, August 28th at Penn's Landing on the Walnut Plaza, 10 AM to 6 PM, in cooperation with the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation..
Here's how the group describes the plan:
In Philadelphia, bicycles would be placed in secure stations throughout the city. To use these bikes, individuals could sign up online in advance, or at a station kiosk. For a nominal access fee, either on a daily, weekly or yearly basis, the bikes are available for the first 30 minutes of use at no charge. There would be a small fee for each additional Â½ hour. The bikes could be returned to any station throughout the city, making it true point-to-point transportation. With stations located no more than about three blocks from each other, bike sharing gives new meaning to convenience.
Do we need a picture of what this looks like elsewhere? We do. Here's bike sharing in Paris:
Philadelphia Bike Share Concept Study - Delaware Valley Planning Commission,
Interesting situation here. The bicyclist was going the wrong way. On Market Street. And wearing some sort of helmet cam. Meanwhile, the businessman was stepping into Market Street without looking both ways and not at a crosswalk. Hence this wonderfully shot video of the two colliding.
Most remarkably, mere moments after both get knocked on their asses they get up and are only 20% mad. They kinda fess up to their breaches of bike/pedestrian etiquette. And go their separate ways. It's really... not how we usually do things around here.
There's a minor discussion brewing on Reddit about which guy could sue the other, should they want to. Judging by the video, neither party was feeling litigious about the whole thing, but who knows?
Jeffrey Billman passed this piece on to me with this lead in: "You would appreciate this, you bicycling one-world-government hippie."
The Talking Points Memo item picks up a Denver Post piece on Colorado gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes (R, Tea Party friendly, natch) and his firm beliefs that Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper's bicycle advocacy is part of a massive UN plot to, I don't know, turn the world into a more utopian, sustainable place undermine American Exceptionalism.
Let's go right to the crazy:
Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes is warning voters that Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper's policies, particularly his efforts to boost bike riding, are "converting Denver into a United Nations community.
"This is all very well-disguised, but it will be exposed," Maes told about 50 supporters who showed up at a campaign rally last week in Centennial.
Maes said in a later interview that he once thought the mayor's efforts to promote cycling and other environmental initiatives were harmless and well-meaning. Now he realizes "that's exactly the attitude they want you to have."
"This is bigger than it looks like on the surface, and it could threaten our personal freedoms," Maes said.
He added: "These aren't just warm, fuzzy ideas from the mayor. These are very specific strategies that are dictated to us by this United Nations program that mayors have signed on to."
Now that is some world class crazy. Let's take a breath to appreciate it. Okay, let's continue.
"At first, I thought, 'Gosh, public transportation, what's wrong with that, and what's wrong with people parking their cars and riding their bikes? And what's wrong with incentives for green cars?' But if you do your homework and research, you realize ICLEI is part of a greater strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty," Maes said.
He said he's worried for Denver because "Mayor Hickenlooper is one of the greatest fans of this program."
"Some would argue this document that mayors have signed is contradictory to our own Constitution," Maes said.
There's a poll accompanying the Denver Post piece that asks: Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes warns of a bike agenda that will spin cities, including Denver, toward United Nations control. How seriously do you take this warning?
At present, the results look like this:
That more than 20 percent of people take this seriously or very seriously is perhaps the most disturbing thing of all.
As CP's Holly Otterbein reported last week, the date for the 2010 installment of the Philadelphia Naked Bike Ride has been determined. According to ride facilitator Clifford Greer, it'll go down Sun., Sept. 5, at dusk and, as it was last year, the location will remain shrouded in secrecy until just before the ride.
A press release we just received from Greer includes this year's flier (above), a link to the updated web site, and a call to help organize and/or volunteer on ride day.
Greer tells us that the 2010 ride will include not only an all-ages after party (in contrast to last year's 21+ bash at the Live Arts/Fringe festival bar) but also pre-ride neighborhood events (which don't host themselves, people).
The press release follows:
Philly Naked Bike Ride Returns!
After 2009s impressive inaugural ride, Philadelphia Naked Bike Ride (PNBR) is returning on September 5, 2010!
To get the meeting place for riders, you need to sign up for the email list at the PNBR website [http://www.phillynakedbikeride.org]. This year, expect bigger crowds, bigger smiles and more bared-asses pedaling across the city! You can learn more at phillynakedbikeride.org.
Organizers are encouraging cyclists to:
- Tell their friends about PNBR.
- Encourage their fellow cyclists to participate.
- Host a connected pre-ride event in their neighborhood.
- Become a volunteer organizer.
- Help us out on ride-day!
Contact PNBR at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the ride and volunteer opportunities!
Organizer Clifford Greer tells The Clog that the 2010 edition of the Philly Naked Bike Ride will take place on Sun., Sept. 5, at dusk! I can barely keep my clothes on I'm so excited.
We'll give you more details as we hear 'em. In the meantime, go reminisce about last year's freak show by watching Neal Santos' video above.
Well, it's been about a year since my last "Bike Adventure" post (a no-cars-needed adventure to Wharton State Forest from Philadelphia, via PATCO), so I think it's high time for another.
I present this Friday afternoon: Bike Adventure to the Delaware & Raritan Canal trail. This is about as pleasant and easy a day's ride as you'll find in the area good one for taking your sweetheart and a picnic, too: starting south of Trenton, the trail follows canals on both sides of the Delaware River, meaning you don't have to come back the way you went.
|Click to download the full map|
This one, too, does not require having a car. My buddy and I simply hopped on the R7 to Trenton.
Bikes are allowed on weekends on all SEPTA Regional Rail trains, for no extra fee.
(Although it can be a little annoying conductors vary in their enthusiasm for accommodating bikes. Usually, they ask you to put 'em in the rear car, in the handicapped area; just make sure you're ready to yield to any handicapped passengers, please!)
Here's a pic of the method I've come up with: I lay down a piece of newspaper and prop up the back wheel on the seat.
Rather than start at Trenton, we got off at Bristol and tried to find the trail, failing miserably and winding up biking thourhg a bizarre part of Tullytown that appears to be a giant, sprawling landfill. Anyone know anything about that?
Anyway, we picked the trail back up around the Morrisville access area, above, and proceeded to bike a leisurely 25 miles or so to New Hope along the beautiful and historic Delaware Canal, one of many similar such canal towpath-cum bike trails around the country and the northeast in particular. (Another favorite: the C&O Canal path from Washington, DC to Cumberland, MD).
Along the path are several historic houses and buildings, including old lock houses, which once housed families responsible for opening and closing the locks along the canal and collecting tolls from canal boats hauling cargo.
South of New Hope, the trail comes up along the Delaware itself, offering some nice views and be you not so concerned about rampant industrial pollution of the river swimmin' opportunities.
New Hope is a cute town with tourist stuff, restaurants, and cute little museum of canal history (they ask for donations; when I went to drop a few bucks in the basket, I realized the only dollar already in there was fake so give 'em a few bucks, would you?).
|Bike Buddy Corey, learnin' at the New Hope canal museum|
We turned around at New Hope only because we had started late; the trail actually continues another 40 miles or so, and the the the best part joins a trail along the Lehigh River, the two combining in an awesome-looking 165-mile bike route through old Pennsylvania coal country.
I love connections like that, so, hopefully by the end of this summer I'll have a report on the whole thing.
Has anyone out there done it already? Tell us how it went.
And, on that note send more bike adventures by email or post them here!
Have a good weekend, all.
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