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Naked Bike Ride

Posted by Gale Bernhardt Jun 15, 2007

The second weekend in June, I was in Vancouver, British Columbia supporting the ITU Development Team. On Saturday before the race it was raining and it was cold. Not just a little rain, a lot of rain.


On a trip to the grocery store a short distance from my hotel, I could hear chanting. It seemed a demonstration of some sort was heading toward me. I looked down the street and I could see cyclists approaching - but something wasn't normal.


Know how you glance at something, then your brain resisters that what you are seeing is does not fit with stored data?

The brain responds with, "What is wrong with this picture?"


You stare more, trying to sort out exactly what is going on. What is going on?


They were chanting, "Use less gas. Use more ***. Use less gas. Use more ***." Chanting away while riding bicycles naked. Most of them were naked anyway. A few of them had swim suits or underwear on, but most were in the buff. Keeping with the intended spirit of "The World Naked Bike Ride", the ones that wanted rain gear to stay warm and dry wore transparent rain slickers. Impressive in an odd sort of way.


Once past the shock of seeing what I was seeing, the analytical part of me began to question. Geeze, aren't there chaffing problems? Pressure points, you know where? How is this possible without extreme pain?


I suppose I could be accused of ogling. There are guidelines for the ride that admonish ogling. But, maybe that is just for participants, regarding each other?


In defense of my (and everyone around me) ogling, I decided getting an audience to pay attention was one of the main objectives. If the ride organizers organized a "regular" ride to bring attention to using bicycles for transportation and using less gas and oil, I'm certain it would not have recieved the same level of attention.


Did the ride have the intended impact? I'm not sure, but I can say I do remember the catchy chant and I'm still wondering about the multiple issues related to no-clothes bike riding.

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