World Naked Bike Ride
10,000 Bare All On Bikes
(editor's note - Pix in the gallery below are Not Safe For Work)
In case you have been living under a rock for the last month, on Saturday night Portland played host to 10,0 2000 00 plus naked cyclists traveling the streets of our fair city. Better known as the World Naked Bike Ride, Portland’s rendition of this global event is the largest naked bike ride in North America, albeit, not too surprisingly. The nude masses convened at SE Salmon and Water Streets, where they disrobed, painted bodies, applied pasties, tape, or just saddled up before making a few careful adjustments and lining up for the ten pm start. Once under way, the nude activists rode their way through the city, bringing all the wonderful joy of naked biking along with them.
Part of a larger early summer time celebration of all things biking, Pedalpalooza is three weeks of glorious bike revelry presented by SHIFT (as in, “Shift to Bikes”), with 292 free(!) events, the largest of which is Saturday night’s World Naked Bike Ride.
Before departing, I had a few moments to talk to one of Portand’s leading advocates for bicycling, Reverend Phil, saint of the Church of Bicycle Jesus. Reverend Phil shared some of the goals of the World Naked Bike Ride, and more generally speaking, of the advocacy he does on behalf of the good cause of cycling. First, Reverend Phil and his fellow biking advocates at SHIFT and Bike Smut, work to create a safer environment for people on the streets. This includes cyclists, but also pedestrians, and any other road-sharing travelers.
As any cyclists or pedestrian knows, even in a city as bike friendly as this, traveling can be a very dangerous game. Often roads are not maintained, motorists do not provide cyclists with adequate space, bike lanes are not separated from the roadway, bike lanes are not on many thoroughfares, and the list goes on. Needless to say, from Reverend Phil to this writer and beyond, our roads are in dire need of greater safe usability by cyclists and pedestrians. Other goals of the selfless nude cyclists include promoting comfortable body image, and protesting dependency on oil. These two goals need no explanation.
Perhaps just one measure of the successes of Saturday’s event, body types of every variety were nude and taking to the streets in the name of bicycle advocacy. Tall, short, round and skinny combined to create a 10,000 plus strong helping of just right. No judgmental looks were cast, perhaps a few glances below the belt, but all in the best spirit.
A message to those who have not yet bared all in the name of biking: The World Naked Bike Ride is as “bare as you dare,” so you can show you support without having to worry about a few rogue photos floating around the Googles. Further, when you are just one of thousands of nude travelers, you will find yourself suddenly not so bashful. Once on your bike, the freedom of naked cycling takes over, a type of two-wheeled ecstasy that is best experienced first hand. Let the countdown to next Summer’s World Naked Bike Ride begin! Until then, check out the Pedalpalooza website for loads of biking events.