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Monday, June 20, 2011

World Naked Bike Ride: How Was it for You?

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Mon, Jun 20, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Naked Vader. Via ByronBeck.com
The cold and rain on Saturday didn't dissuade thousands of people from taking off their clothes for Portland's largest free bike ride: the World Naked Bike Ride poured through Portland's streets with an estimated 8,000 semi-nude and totally naked people (well, that's the rough number, anyway. It's kind of hard to count naked people on bikes).

I was there. In underwear. This was my third time taking part in the World Naked Bike Ride and it's always a thrill. For some reason, people seem to think the event will be sexy. It's definitely not sexy. It's a floppy, lumpy, hilarious event. I like the naked bike ride as a body-positive thing: It's cool to see a whole bunch of normal naked bodies and remember, "Right. I'm totally normal. No one actually looks like Playboy bunny."

Well, except for the actual Playboy bunny who turned up to the ride on Saturday and spent some quality time hula hooping on SE Water Avenue surrounded by video cameras and a private security force. She definitely looked like Playboy bunny. But that was a nice reminder, too: "Right. I'm totally normal. Porn stars have skin made from creepy plastic."

As for the ride itself, this is the third year that the Portland Police have worked closely with organizers to close off the naked bike ride route. The police even sent out a funny press release on Friday, reminding Portlanders that, yes, it is legal to bike naked in this state.

Thanks to the cops keeping cars at bay, there were very few crashes. A couple blogs have sounded off that the ride is "dangerous" and "plagued by alcohol" (edit: whoops, that's the same post on two different blogs), but The Oregonian reported that there were only three bike crashes requiring someone to be taken the hospital. Not great, but not bad for a ride that involves a ton of not-so-experienced cyclists.

What did you guys think? Who else went or watched the chaos from a bar and/or traffic jam?

I would have posted this all sooner, except I was stuck without photos of the ride because someone stole my camera from my bike at the end of the ride. This naked bike ride is plagued by crime!! Just kidding. That's the kind of dick move (haHA) I would expect at any event of 8,000 people. It's 50 percent my fault for leaving my bike bag briefly unattended. (And 50 percent the fault of some jerk who likely stuffed my camera into his American Apparel undies. I hope you enjoy my photos of people's butts.)

Anyway, you can find more photos of the ride on Byron Beck's blog and info on how to buy a naked bike ride shirt (oh the irony) on BikePortland.org.

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