The World Naked Bike Ride 2005
On June 11th, 2005 over 50 cities across the world will experience the naked joy of the worlds largest naked protest against oil dependency and car culture in the history of humanity. It is time to stop indecent exposure to automobile emissions and to celebrate the power and individuality of our bodies! Naked Bicycle People Power!No. I don't plan on participating. I doubt anyone would be interested in seeing my pasty white behind, anyway. Other than street theater and possibly the opportunity to ogle naked people slathered in body paint, I really don't see the point of this, nor do I understand how it would advance the cause of weaning humanity from its addiction to fossil fuels. (But then I'm not a naturist.) I do recall that in 1978 Queen staged a nude female bicycle race as a publicity for its album Jazz (about which the song Bicycle Race is thought to be) but that was for purely mercenary purposes, to promote their album. There was nothing idealistic whatsoever about it. (As a humorous aside, when the company that rented Queen the bikes found out what they were used for, it refused to take them back.)
As a guy, though, I find the that the thought of riding a bike naked with my--well, you know what--being subjected to the pounding of a hard bicycle seat while riding over bumpy city streets, never knowing which side it will come to rest on (if you know what I mean) rather painful-sounding. I don't even think it would be that great for a woman, probably for the same reason I've heard some women complain that thongs are very uncomfortable--except with the bicycle you get to deal with road bumps. But, hey, if these intrepid protesters want to subject their bodies to massive quantities of paint and abuse of their nether regions, all in the name of some vague feel-good "positive body image" and alleged "freedom from oil dependency," more power to 'em. Personally, I think that some people need to have more of a negative body image, at least enough to keep them from flaunting their flabby bods where no one wants to see them.
Oddly enough, none of the cities listed are within two hundred miles of where I live. (I say "oddly enough" because, as you may know, I live within striking distance of New York City.) I do notice, however, that Chicago is one city where this will be taking place tomorrow. In fact, it's starting at 6 PM at 1666 N. California.
Whoa. (Keanu Reeves moment.) I know right where that is. And the pre-party "body painting" will occur at Buddy Gallery at 1542 N. Milwaukee Avenue. Geez. I used to live mere blocks from there. (OK, it was back in 1997, but still...)
I wonder if I can get any of my spies in Chicago to document the festivities, as one of them once documented a large number of Polish bikers appearing at a Polish church to pay tribute to Pope John Paul II after he died...