Portland’s annual bike ride protest occurred over this past weekend, with thousands of nearly nude and buck naked bike riders hitting the streets with their bicycles, sneakers and nothing other than a good heap of courage.
The 11th annual World Naked Bike Ride took place Saturday, with riders celebrating their bodies and calling attention to one of the most environmentally friendly ways to get around – their bikes – as opposed to vehicles polluting the air and consuming fossil fuels.
“This is a party, but it's also a protest,” said ride spokesperson Carl Larson. “It is about oil dependence, cycling vulnerability and body image.”
The ride drew all kinds – old and young, the brave stark nude and others in their bathing suits. Even a naked pregnant lady rode in a bike trailer. Hordes of riders turned up, barreling around Portland promoting the alternative to driving cars, carefree and happy (and just making sure nothing gets caught in their bike chains.)
The protest actually is held in over 75 U.S. cities and has expanded to about 20 other countries, but Portland claims to be the biggest and most extravagant. It would be hard to argue that fact, considering the Mardi Gras-like atmosphere and unusual, skimpy outfits. Last year, over 8,000 got as bare and they dared and rode. The numbers for this year are expected to top that.
Local police partnered with the ride organizers, setting up a route and simply asking that the naked riders stick to it, and don’t stop along the way to grab dinner at any local restaurants – without covering up first that is.
“We've had a few complaints from neighbors but overall not many issues of concern,” said police spokesman Sgt. Peter Simpson, adding “for residents who don't want to see it, the best advice is to just not go outside.”
Reports The Daily Mail on one such bystander: “Fred Tebo, 90, wasn't sure want to think of the hoards of naked people in the park across the street from the house he has lived in since 1971.'It's entertaining and it's stupid at the same time,' he said, sitting on his steps. But a few minutes later he let a young woman and man clad in their underwear use his bathroom.”