How To

World Naked Bike Ride Generalized but Specific How To Guide and Plan
Andrew Bedno - World Naked Bike Ride Chicago - 2009.01.20

The following is a generalized version of Chicago's annual production checklist for our running of the World Naked Bike Ride.

Since it has gotten rather long, I'll reiterate the absolute keys for first-timers:

  1. It helps if there's already a local Critical Mass ride (or burner or rat patrol communities).
  2. Commit. Being responsible may mean having less fun.
  3. Create Google group and get on main sites.
  4. Build a team, meet, and keep notes. You can't do it alone.
  5. Create good art, print and distribute flyers and posters.
  6. Publicize. Publicize. Publicize.
  7. Plan locations. Plan the route. Deal with the law.
  8. Make it happen.

Intro

The World Naked Bike Ride coming to / happening in a city I believe typically goes through several distinct phases over the course of years. This was true for Chicago, and I gather from reading was similar in others. I mention this so new rides can address appropriate needs and expectations.

First year and before is usually championed by an individual, and a few dear cycling friends. This is MUCH easier if a Critical Mass monthly ride already exists. If it doesn't, that should be established as well, perhaps first. Champions probably are notably comfortable with their bodies, and local nudists may aid. First year may simply be flyer printing, word-of-mouth, and under a dozen turnout. BUT AT LEAST precedence is established.

Second and third years are about familiarizing the city and cycling community with that the event will happen, and has happened before. City becomes familiar with the name. Helps if prior year photos are posted and good painting was done. Do heavier flyer printing, word of mouth, and PR. For rides under a hundred, route can be informal and start/end as simple as someone's yard.

By third year, cyclists+hipsters will expects the event in advance. Press will readily publish it in event listings and may ask for photos. Expect several times the prior years riderships; in smaller cities be prepared for dozens, larger should hit hundreds with proper publicity. At this level a planned route is required, start/end points become significant questions, and legal observers and police liaison should be engaged.

By fourth year the event is a serious sustained production, where all the matter in this How To comes to bear, and a considerable team of facilitators is required.
As of fifth year Chicago ceased pursuing increased ridership. With the mass long enough to fill the biggest streets for miles, we have the luxury of concentrating on safety and message, and the new challenges of such a colossus.

Chicago has been notably successful due to the current good level of organization built through experience. BUT another key to success is that work is appropriate to development year. Chicago currently pursues an optimized balance of maximized safety, message, fun and comfort, with minimized friction, management and cost. A first few years ride however could simplify down to get lots of riders, have fun, and don't get arrested.

Schedule

FIRST-TIMERS:

  1. Create a computer folder for records, links/bookmarks/shortcuts, graphics files, etc.
    Create a notes file in the folder for plans, ideas, contacts, etc.
    Repeats: copy last year to archive, update dates in current.
  2. Read the Wikipedia entries on WNBR and Critical Mass.
  3. Read WNBR main site content.
    Review a number of other major cities' content.
    Read some post-ride reviews.
    Review past years photos.
  4. Read the main site's Organizing a Ride pages, requirements, and linked documents.
  5. Research your area's biking community, history, plans. Become more involved with biking locally.

JANUARY:

  1. Create/Update a Google announcement group for your city's ride.
    Find and use format copying from other cities' groups.
  2. Become active on WNBR main site.
    Add/Update posting for your city.
  3. Newbies contact primary WNBR contacts. Request invites to applicable coordinators insider groups (formerly on Yahoo, one on Facebook, may be in flux)
  4. Build/Update list of interested committed volunteers. Draw from local bike shop and Critical Mass communities.
  5. Initial insiders discussions.
  6. Plan/Confirm meeting/fundraiser dates now.

FEBRUARY:

  1. Concepts planning: route, painting, philosophy.
  2. Establish PediCabs/Tours/Trailers/etc liaison, and/or start building relevant contacts list.
  3. Start drumming up mailing list subscribers:
    Post to local groups. Distribute initial flyer. Post basic stubs on local web calendars.
    Hold a party and manually transcribe a sign up sheet.

MARCH:

  1. Procure/continue HotLine number.
    Chicago has used TracFone (PAYG) from Target. Mainly as outgoing voicemail message, but also for day of emergency phone. Purchase number before flyer printing, choose date so active period goes a few weeks past ride day, may require adding a month later. Ends up costing about $11/month minimum. Pure virtual voicemail is an even cheaper option. Alternately (smaller cities?) ride coord may publish their own number.
  2. Optionally create/update text messaging group.
  3. Create/Update flyer art with date, URL and HotLine. Review existing promotional art and prior years.
  4. Create/Update list of best flyer/poster distribution points. See Chicago's example.
    Bike shops. Cyclist hangouts. Specific bars. Gyms, fitness/yoga studios. Also distribute at relevant events.
    Assess total print needs based on predicted distribution.
  5. Rally/be in contact with volunteers/planners; Start considering route.
  6. Consolidate printing needs and seek donors.
  7. Assemble movies/videos for meeting/party use.

APRIL:

  1. 2009.04.05 Sunday: Proposed first volunteers/planning meeting.
  2. Create/Update TV trailer; Submit to local public/cable access TV.
  3. Create/Update press release.
  4. Create/update list of applicable local online event guides, general/athletic/nudist/etc.
    Record the exact URL for event submission form at each. Post event on web calendars.
  5. Post and update note to mailing list, ask existing member to drum up more members.
  6. Create/Update media contacts list.
    Record exact fax/phone/email/webform for event/city editors at all applicable local publications, mainstream and specific.
  7. Heavily solicit volunteers and start assessing staffing by team.
  8. Start contacting PediCabs/Tours/Trailers/etc.
  9. Update list of flyers/posters distribution spots.
  10. Print first batch flyers and posters; Begin gentle distribution.
  11. Optionally create and print stickers. Cyclists love 'em.
  12. Post PDF artwork and notify all to self print/distribute as ground roots street team.
  13. Contact legal observers: National Lawyers Guild and/or ACLU.
    Also Ask around and on lists for interested lawyers and suggestions.
  14. Have legal reps/observers contact/interface gently with appropriate level of local police/civic reps/etc.
    Present that a civilized local participation in an international free speech exercise event WILL happen on the appointed date and time. In is an inevitability henceforth. Then accept input on how best to compromise with city's (imagined) needs. Discount the "Naked" word as marketing (though now a legally assured free speech right), and focus on how the eco/green/clean aspect will reflect positively on the city.
  15. Press release to media (fax+email). May require "fax blast" help.

MAY:

  1. 2009.05.03 Sunday: Proposed second volunteers/planning meeting.
  2. Seriously work on finalizing route:
    List all candidate checkin/start/midway/end/postparty points. Choose optimal time (night helps Chicago happen). Consider seasonal conditions and consider rest/water stops. Determine overlapping same day local events. Avoid residential and hostile neighborhoods, highways, long straights. Do go where safe (gay neighborhoods, bike paths, commonly used parade routes). Chicago uses a check-in point to screen participants to forward to separate (usually fenced) gathering spot. This also weeds out masses of pervs and photographers. Smaller rides may not need this distinction. Check-in must be recognizable (statue/corner/lot/...), and not far from gathering.
  3. Start confirming PediCabs/Tours/Trailers/etc.
  4. Print major flyer/poster print run.
  5. Do full distribution of flyers. Solicit volunteers to help.
    It's easy to get bike shops to take a stack of flyers or put up mini-posters (carry tape+stapler) if you approach with confidence. Immediately present as if they've probably (or should have) heard of it, since it is the sixth annual. And have art that they'll want to display because it attracts customers.
  6. Procure all body painting supplies.
  7. Confirm legal observers.
  8. Create/Update ride guidelines.
  9. Finalize specific protest messages and philosophy; slogans and talking points.
  10. Bulletin basics/details to mailing list.
  11. Confirm info handout content; print thousands.
  12. Finalize route: Confirm viewing point and time.
  13. Gathering / Body Paint / Launch location final decision/inspection:
    Consider ground, hazards, enclosure, lock-up, exit, power, shelter, neighborhood, right to use, ...
    Pre-prep as needed.
  14. Followup contact media. Second press release.
  15. Notify supportive locations en-route of viewing times.
  16. Find alternate post-party venues.
  17. 2009.05.31 Sunday: Proposed fundraising party.
    Note: Two days after Critical Mass! FLYER THERE MOST HEAVILY!

JUNE:

  1. Final chance for additional printing.
  2. Verify event appearing on previously notified media.
  3. Confirm volunteers: all teams.
  4. Confirm photographers and videographers.
  5. Confirm PediCabs/Trailers/Tours/etc.
  6. Buy/assemble volunteer thank you gifts.
  7. Buy/assemble large volume of donation giveaways.
  8. Prepare all final supplies.
  9. Enable text messaging group.
  10. Final confirmation: check-in/gather/route/post-party locations.
  11. Update Hotline with check-in point.
  12. Post final announcement to mailing lists.
  13. Final notice to volunteers; time/place, supply needs, etc.

DAY OF:

  1. Staff Does Their Thing
  2. Check-In / Donations / Security
  3. Body Painting / Rejoicing / Photo
  4. Route / Corking / Guides

AFTER:

  1. Post-Party.
  2. Cleanup.
  3. Determine and report official rider count.
  4. Post photos. Also search photo sites for other people's shots (often from bystanders).
  5. Collect press reports: scour newspapers and monitor TV. Also pre-ride clippings.
  6. Write post-ride review.
  7. Collect and process input to improve next year.

Supplies

Production supplies inventory checklist:

Site:

Concessions:

Setup:

Admin:

Painting:

Gifts:

Gifts

The following is a generalized version of the actual donation gift items and quantities consumed by Chicago's ride. These were given away on site, some on honor system, at a donations table. For other cities the quantitites can be scaled, but the items are sound.

first aid kits (3 dozen)
$1 at Target, zippered pouches, add WNBR-C stickers or temporary tattoo
camping safety whistles (3 dozen)
$1 at Target, Bright orange lanyard, water-tight compartment, mirror and compass.
blinking bike tire valve caps (3 dozen)
Wonderful multi-colored LED globe valve covers found at dollar store.
bubble necklaces (3 dozen)
Inline skate or smiley face shapes.
glowstick sets (6 dozen)
Included varying lengths and connectors
candies (12 dozen)
Various easily carried and low garbage types.
stickers (12 dozen)
Event specific.




Also gifts for leading volunteers:

Teams

Production staffing for a large event can be seen as several largely independent teams. The following are titles Chicago uses, their descriptions, and approximate number on each in 2008:

Admin: (3)
HR, capital, supplies, planning, coordination, donations.
Check In: (4)
Process arrivals, help and info.
Legal: (2)
Observers.
Music: (20)
Bands, sound wagons, noise makers.
Paint: (12)
Body painting, supply and cleanup, signage.
Performer: (2)
Show bikes, stunts, games, DJ, costumes, preshow.
Photo: (4)
Photographers, videographers, amateurs.
Promo: (5)
Flyer distribution, leafleting, web publicity.
Route: (7)
Corking, lead, shepherding, maps.
Safety: (10)
Eject non-participants and photogs, screen incoming, control spectators, enforce policies.
Site: (6)
Setup, cleanup, carting, water, stay-behind, other.
Trailer: (12)
Rear guard, injury and mechanical support, pedi-cabs.

Stations

The following are typical pre-ride "stations" (activity areas) during the gathering phase of Chicago's events.

Check-In. Gate. Support.

Donations and concessions table.
Roaming donations and concessions.

Body painters.
Body painting DIY.

Drum Circles.
Bands.
Music Trailers.

Bike decorating.
Coolest bike contest.

Roaming photographer(s).
Stationary photographe(s)r.

Autographable event banner.
Bike related art.

Performance: joust, extreme, tall, dance, ...
Play: chalk, hoops, poi, frisbee, ...

Water. Snacks.
Potty.

Ride Guidelines

BASICS

  • Celebrating freedom from oil and the beauty of people! Bare as you dare. 6-8pm checkins. Riding before sunset.

  • CHECKINS must show Person-Powered Wheels. FANS see  chicagonakedride.com  MassUp.us  @ChiNakedRide  #WNBR for viewing points.

  • Arrive CLOTHED&SHOED. Keep your clothes WITH YOU at all times. Be prepared for weather changes.

  • Sometimes bystanders are grabby. SHY? Stay towards center, out of reach. CHIVALROUS? Guard our flanks. YELL NO!!! at creeps.

  • DRUGS or BOOZE may lead to arrest. Bare goodies may target ticketing. Obey police and thank them for their help. National Lawyers Guild monitors: 312-913-0039

  • This is a drop ride. Your bike and self MUST be ready and able to ride some fourteen miles over four hours (returns near midnight) possibly without water or potties.

  • NO PHOTOS in our before/after space (xcpt auth'd). Assume however that you will be photographed on ride. If you must take pics during ride always ASK!

  • Experienced riders are helping in safety vests. Heed them, and tell them any nonsense you see.

  • YOU'RE RESPONSIBLE! Be prepared, stay alert, take care, help others.

  • LEAVE NO TRACE!!! PICK IT UP and PACK IT OUT!!! RECYCLE cans. No glass please. Bring refillables.

  • HAVE THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE!!!

Body Painting

Major subjects related to body painting for the World Naked Bike Ride Chicago.
Newbies, please visit the example photos page.

Body Painting Examples

Examples from past year WNBR Chicago body painting and a few other related examples combining simplicity and coverage.
Specifically cover nipples, and think broad, organic, elegant, and fast. Bikes and icons are great, but leaves and vines and big flowers are more reality tolerant.
http://bedno.com/album/wnbr
Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom)
Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom)
Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom)
Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom)
Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom)
Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom)
Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom)
Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom) Recommended World Naked Bike Ride Chicago body painting. (click to zoom)

Body Paint Ordering Links

Artists planning to paint themselves or others should spend a few dozen dollars on a professional quality set from a major manufacturer such as Wolfe Brothers or Snazaroo or Mehron, available at good costume shops such as Fantasy HQ or on Amazon:
Supplies for the do-it-yourself painting area:
Buying criteria: Containers per painter = Number of hours * number of paintings per hour / paintings per container = ( 3 * less than 20 ) / more than 20 = less than 3 = 1-3 bottles per painter = Therefore one bottle of each color for each painter will well more than suffice.
Brody's formerly sold these Palmer colors in 2oz bottles for under $2 but seems to have discontinued all but a few colors.
For 2016 we're trying a new brand ("Handy Art Face Paint") which comes in in 8oz bottles available on Amazon.

Body Painting Basics

Introductory face painting tips for the experienced artist. Andrew Bedno - 2008.09.24

These hints presume you can already paint with acrylics and render most any form on demand, such as flowers, planets, buildings...

  1. Be hygienic! Use hand sanitizer liberally and frequently. Refuse people having unhappy skin, sores, scabs, acne. Sanitize brushes between subjects to prevent cross-contamination.
  2. Get good paints. For example a Snazaroo wheel kit, 14 colors on a palette. Or Wolfe Brothers or Mehron assortments. Good costume shops such as Fantasy HQ sell them. Any expense will pay for itself many-fold later.
  3. Get some good theatrical sparkles, finest grain. Kids demand them. Alternately use roll on glitter.
  4. Good brushes matter. I use synthetics, pointed, in the 1-6 range.
  5. Always stock wet wipes and hand-sanitizer.
  6. Get one or more books with the basic forms: cat, bunny, dog, butterfly, clown, spiderman, etc. Some books do everything full-face, like with a white base coat, I've never bothered.
  7. Oddest learning thing for me was using dry paints. I use a tiny mister for wetting just before use.
  8. Paint layers from light to dark to minimize bleed through.
  9. Use outlines, shadows and highlights.
  10. Avoid mouth and eyes. Especially with kids use arms and cheeks.
  11. Use red sparingly, as it is the color most likely to stain skin and clothes.
  12. Add to your tools eventually: colored liners, sponges, makeup, ...
  13. Think not just entertainment, but costuming and theatre. It's the same job really.
  14. Balance complexity and waiting time. Have sets you can do in under two minutes. Details the artist sees at a few inches disappear at a few feet anyway.
  15. Practice on some friends AND take portfolio shots. Halloween's a perfect opportunity.

As an example, here's my (outdated) online face painting flyer: http://bedno.com/drizzle/Andrew_Bedno-Face_Painting.pdf

There’s some detailed pictures of paints I’ve tried here: http://bedno.com/photo.php?c=20080418&i=20

Also see notes for WNBR-C painting team.

Body Painting Supplies and Procedures hints.

Review WNBR hints page online.

Chicago after years of experience and pro discussions compromised down to Palmers brand to supply the do it yourself painters. Palmers is bottom of the line but an IMPORTANT grade up from simply using any non-toxic acrylic. Palmer's is designed for skin, handles well enough, and is available in large bottles inexpensively. As with most brands, the red may stain, and there is a very low but potential risk of allergic reaction. Artists planning to personally paint themselves and/or others should buy better. Spend a few dozen dollars on professional grade assortments from Snazaroo or Wolfe Brothers or Mehron, available at good costume shops such as Fantasy HQ.

Chicago also compromised down to mostly foam brushes, from 0.5" to 3". These work well enough for broad and high volume and DIY. Altering angle with these can give any stroke width. Plus a selection of inexpensive conventional synthetic fine paintbrushes (#2-6), but good ones, not dollar store. Artists should bring their own.

To create a a painting area set out paints and brushes. Sometimes cheap tarps where necessary, but for best results paint where everything including tables chairs and ground may get splashed. Add stacks of paper cups, some plates, rolls of paper towel, and some water bottles.

To handle high volume, assign leaders, and define specific recommended artwork (as opposed to anything anyone wants). Hold back refill quantitites of all supplies, rather than setting everything out at first.

Seek out actual working face/body paint artists, such as clowns. Especially seek out air-brush body painter artists (sometimes overlaps with tattoo). Working body painters will often bring their own professional grade paints and favorite brushes. And may hope for some compensation. Such professional artists may volunteer for the cause or for kicks, and can be encouraged to hand out cards as enticement, or may reasonably solicit tips.

Communications

Radios / walkie-talkies / other ride-day live communications solutions is the subject of extensive discussion. Bottom line, don't skimp. If a ride is tiny to small just yell or use phones. At the 150-500 level GOOD walkie talkies are a BIG help. Buy more than two of the highest power and distance allowed by law. At the 1000 plus level we're debating PTT rentals as the only reliable for distance.

More details will be posted here when finalized.

Comm Tech Notes

Collected notes and links on two way radio and other communications technologies:    [wikipedia]

WNBRC Radios Usage:
  • Use ONLY the newest official radios (Midland GXT, WNBRC labeled, black or forest). Headsets are available. Others may not be compatible, or as good.
  • Leave channel as issued unless told otherwise. (18 recommended)
  • Turn off when not in use for long periods for best battery life (using volume knob).
  • Lockout the Menu button (hold lock key for several seconds) to protect settings.
  • Critical settings (don't change): Use only channels 15-22. Set TX power to max. Set privacy code to none.
  • Full Menu with recommended setting: Channel 18, Privacy Off, Power Hi, Vox Off, BeepTones On, Rogerbeep On, CallTone any, Vibrate Off


  • Professional radios are enormously expensive to rent. Not so much for the hardware, but because one must pay someone to rent the airwaves. Professional quality radio communications are basically carried on a cellular or other large provider owned network. With that unaffordable to grass roots rides, I've done some broad research leading to practical recommendation for a balanced solution to future live ride communications solution:
    1. Carry the most powerful legally available radios for short distance voice communications, especially among safety/green/etc team members. We use 5W (36mi) GRMS.
    2. Interconnect as many iPhone using key parties as possible on the built-in Find My Friends app, no installation required, just invite each other. This securely and intuitively allows one to see several friends locations mapped in real time.
    3. Use phones for critical voice communication Optionally also add bluetooth headset and spare battery.
    4. Use GroupMe for routine text chatter (ie. nerds). Just like Chiditarod, we already have an account. Work even with basic phones.
    5. Ideally add an "operator" at a central number helping with communications. They could easily do things like manage an open conference call and handle emerging and urgent situations. A Google voice number could be used.

    Talkies:
    Pros: Generally available. Reasonably priced. Instantaneous. Continuously on for listening. Capitalized expense.
    Cons: Reliable only for a few blocks.
    Phones:
    Pros: Everyone already carrying. Comprehensive functions. Unlimited range.
    Cons: Localized outages. Not as instantaneous as radios.
    Text messaging groups:
    Pros: Supports basic phone. Some phones support voice messaging, photos, location. Works for Chiditarod.
    Cons: Requires reading/typing (or well behaved Siri).
    Push-To-Talk Apps:
    Pros: Radio features at little to no cost.
    Cons: SmartPhone required. Limited headset support.
    Rental Radios:
    Pros: Instantaneous. Continuously on for listening.
    Cons: High rental cost. Enormous deposit risk. No equity built. Significant usage problems. Bulky, heavy, complicated. Requires ordering, picking up, distributing, collecting, returning. Many app options. Proven workability without on Chiditarod. Could spend instead on phone batteries and bluetooths.

    Rental:
    PMR (Professional Mobile Radio) are available for event production rental from numerous local sources. Prices average over $20 per radio, for periods ranging from a day to a week. Not clear on if base station or repeater is required.
    ActiveTrans recommends Communications Direct. Following that recommendation WNBR-CX contacted Yolanda at 312-829-7770, quoted $15 each radio, headsets $2 each, $150 "repeater service". Pickup Friday after 10am, return Monday by 4:30pm, 710 N. Aberdeen (quite near the WTF reserve). 9 radios ($135) + 9 headsets ($18) + repeater ($150) = $303+tax.
    Others: A.V. Chicago, BearCom, AMJ events
    Chiditarod used and recommends: Chicago Communications LLC, Diane Dupasquier - Rental Department (ddupasquier@chicomm.com, 200 Spangler Ave, Elmhurst, IL 60126, Direct: 630-993-4256, Main: 630-832-3311, Fax: 630-930-5356.

    Smartphone PTT Apps:
    Several "Push To Talk" radio simulating apps are available for smartphones, and compatible across all common makes and models. There's a review of the best here. In 2013 we tried Voxer. Voxer features real-time push-to-talk, also push notifications, message queuing, GPS, photo and text capabilities, but has a limit on users at the free level, and requires smartphones. Similar apps had similar limits.

    Text Messaging Groups:
    Text messaging groups can be created directly on good phones, but sharing/engaging the group requires a broadcast and replies. Borrowing from Chiditarod for 2014 we're switching to GroupMe. GroupMe is a group messaging system that supports apps for iPhone and Android, web, and SMS users. Existing GroupMe users try this link to join the WNBRC group or contact me with your phone number to be manually added.

    GMRS:    [wikipedia] General Mobile Radio Service is an FM system in the 462MHz range (shared with FRS). Allowed power up to 5W. Requires a simple license in U.S. Channels 1-7 are solely for use with the FRS/GMRS system. Channels 8-14 are solely for FRS and 15-22 is for GMRS. Depending on terrain, these radios can have a much broader range than FRS, possibly extending a few miles.
    FRS:    [wikipedia] The Family Radio Service provides a series of 14 channels in the 462 and 467 MHz range. Using frequencies in the UHF band, and FM, gives less interference than CBs. These radios require no special license, but are low power and short ranged.
    PMR:    [wikipedia]
    Professional Mobile Radio / Private Mobile Radio and land mobile radio (LMR) are field radio communications systems which use portable, mobile, base station, and dispatch console radios. Operation of PMR radio equipment is based on various advanced standards, designed for dedicated use by specific organizations, or for general commercial use. Typical examples are the radio systems used by police forces and fire brigades. Professional mobile radio systems provide large coverage area using base station, tower, repeater or cell systems. Stringent licensing is required.
    FHSS:    [wikipedia]
    Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum combines digital technology with narrow band FM modulation technique in the ISM band (900 MHz frequencies). Ensure for maximum usable range within a given dB power budget with the added benefit privacy provided by the frequency hopping spread spectrum algorithm. The pseudo-random drawing of the hopping frequencies spreads the total signal power equally over the entire bandwidth of the RF spectrum used, which minimizes interference between simultaneous independent users. Under identical conditions FHSS will have usable talk range equal to or greater than other GMRS radios. Requires no license and can be used at any age and for any purpose.
    CB:    [wikipedia]
    Citizens Band is a largely obsolete, now hobbyist and specialty standard, functionally overlapping GMRS, but capable of longer distance through large antennas and illegal amplifiers. 40 Channels, 4 watts, 26.965-27.405 MHz, 162.400-162.550 MHz, AM modulation. The maximum legal CB power output level, in the U.S., is four watts for AM and 12 watts (peak envelope power or "PEP") for SSB, as measured at the antenna connection on the back of the radio. Although licenses are required, eligibility is simple.

    Practical comparison: Highest legal power GMRS and FHSS radios found identical range (just over a mile straight), though FHSS was slightly less static-y nearing maximum distance. In testing, straight line (though on a hilly street), voice was VERY clear on both at half a mile, still very intelligible at 3/4, still usable at one mile, unintelligible at 1.2 miles, and no signal at all after 1.3 miles. Worse still, the slightest angle, where signal would have to pass through buildings, radically lessened the distance. At just one block over from straight line, voice was usable at a half mile or closer, but became unintelligible only slightly further.
    Real World Ranges: For CB, FRS, GMRS and MURS Radios.