[World Streets] Thinking out loud about the World Naked Bike Ride.
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If you have narrow notions about how people should get about in cities, World Streets is probably not the place for you. We take a big house approach. It has to be like that.
Which means that every day here brings its fair share of surprises, rattling in more often than not without advance notice from many different places, different kinds of people, with a huge span of ideas, values and concerns. Look what slipped through the door late last night. New Mobility without frills.
Reflections on the World Naked Bike Ride
- by Charles Montgomery
Portland, June 14, 2009
At midnight, near the rail yards of northwest Portland, a drum chorus began a thunderous steam engine beat. Riders drifted out of the night like schools of fish. Their eyes and their bicycles reflected the incandescent glint of streetlamps. The skin of five thousand naked bodies glowed pale. A few people wore shoes. Some even wore helmets. But for the most part, it was bare bottoms jiggling in the murky light, and breasts too, and penises, humbled by the chill breeze.
My companions and I thought it would be amusing to witness the World Naked Bike Ride. We had no intention of joining. But how can you witness thousands of remarkably beautiful people hooting and howling and chanting, seemingly overjoyed, not just by their own nakedness, but by the sudden shock of freedom and camaraderie it offered--how can you move among such a spectacle and not be compelled to rip off your own clothes, to hide them under the roadside clover, and join the ride?
Reason fell away. I sheepishly . . .
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Posted By Eric Britton to World Streets at 7/29/2009 06:16:00 AM