Thursday, June 28, 2012

Naked in PORTLAND!

Yep, this is THE one.  Portland boasts the largest NAKED bicycle ride in the United States (can't imagine where you could get away with this anywhere else!).  In a town where we have electric buses, hybrid taxi's, biodiesel buses, streetcars and the country's most envied light rail system, it is blatantly clear that we are LIVE CLEAN GREEN!  I would bet that per capita there are more hybrid cars, public transportation takers, bikers, boarders, walkers and runners than anywhere else.  There are an amazing amount of motorcycle drivers too, but of course, our months of rainy weather prevents regular use of the scooters and motorcycles.  AND you can believe that the scooter drivers also have their day when they ride together in numbers and show their love of economical, low environmental impact transportation.

By now, I'm sure you've guessed THE POINT.  The yearly Naked Bicycle Ride event is to clearly protest in a fun and daringly wholesome way the evils of FOSSIL FUEL USE.  The rules are "come as bare as you dare!"  So not everyone is in their birthday suit, but almost bare is the only way you get into this event.  There is creative body painting, barely there costumes and of course, in the raw.  Otherwise, you can make your protest clear by coming out, cheering them on and YES, taking pictures!  These barely clothed individuals are obviously not shy and since it is all in good-natured, SAVE THE PLANET, good fun, we are proud to offer our support.  In one of my shots, I was angling my camera down towards the bicycle wheels to show the expanse of the number of bicycles jammed and crammed into such a small area where the protesters VERY patiently waited for the signal to don their bikes and begin the ride.  A nearby rider looked at me and said, "Did you just take a picture of my penis?"  I was slightly caught off guard but replied, "Well I was trying to get a shot of a number of bikes all at once but, yes, I believe I did!"  We both just laughed and enjoyed the good hearted, innocent moment.  And that was the Spirit of the ride.  Everyone was having fun, but the purpose was clear and understood.

There were groups of guys, groups of gals, groups of mixed friends and couples.  It was not "pick-up" time or gawk time or voyeurism time.  Riders stuck with their groups.  Everyone was polite, friendly, but were clear about the purpose of the ride.  In a crowd of 2000, yes, 2000 people, you'd think there would be trouble, but there was none (there's just something about being naked that takes the fight out of you and gives you focus).  Just polite, supportive spectators and highly convicted riders were present.  There was protective Police presence along the route to make sure traffic and riders did not converge on each other.  All riders complied with the Police request to where helmets and shoes.  Most carried backpacks, as well.  The ride began at 10 PM.  The group was about the length of 2 miles.  They rode all over downtown eastside and westside to the cheers and whistles of everyone they passed.  I am proud to have been there with the gesture of my full support!

Ha ha ha!  I censored the most interesting parts to protect the not so innocent... but, you get the picture! There was a lot of standing around and waiting patiently at first.

A lot of the gals wore bottoms, but I still saw more Brazilian waxes than anyone has seen all together in one place!

There were some interesting body paint designs...

as well as people with so many tats, they looked like they were wearing clothes!

Waiting, waiting, bikes on ground, waiting, 

YIPPEE!  The ride begins!

Warm night with beautiful weather, nakedness, biking and Portland's finest!  Life is good!

Young and old riding into a new dawn of a FOSSIL FUEL FREE nation... and yes, that is a Starbuck's in the background!!!