Boobs, butts and bikes.

Last night at 10pm I received a phone call that my 6 year old daughter was too spooked from scary stories to stay overnight at her friend's birthday party. So I threw a sweater on over my sun dress and hopped in my Subaru. I cruised along comfortably, making good time to rescue my damsel in distress, but then this:


I was met by a barricade of buns and boobs, vulva and penises. I called the birthday party mom and said "I'm on my way, but it may be awhile, there's car-stopping flesh all over Portland," and I watched as a family bike flew by, filled to the bucket with happy children and a bare-it-all daddy, stand-up pedaling his brood through the hood. When I finally traversed the bareback bike riders and recovered my pj'd little one, I told her, "I would have been here sooner, but right now there are 9,000 naked bike riders that are a little in the way." She didn't flinch. I said "You see, when you're naked, you get noticed. It's a good way for bike riders to say 'Hey! Look at us! And pay attention to us! Don't nip our buns with your cars!" She said "Will we see any?" I said, "Maybe."

Then I headed us home, re-routed twice, and then we came across a couple of full moons on MLK and I said "See? There's a few fleshy stragglers there." And she said, "That's cool." Then I took the side street I always take as I head to North Portland via Interstate, and then BRAKES: there we were, blocked in all of a sudden by a swarm of peach fuzz, bushy beavers and floppy phalluses. I couldn't get through. I couldn't turn around. In the buff riders and walkers were on all sides of us, like cows on a country road, and my daughter pointed and said "I like her pink fuzzy jacket" toward the woman who wore only a pink fuzzy jacket.

I pulled the car over, my daughter's head resting against her princess pillow just inches away from a chatty couple of leafless lovers. I was overdressed. Truth is, I would have been among the au naturel masses had the ride been on any other night. But instead, circumstances had me feel exposed in clothes, encircled by the fit and the flab, the exhilaratingly exposed. When there was a break in the bare-bottomed bustle I broke free, flipped the car around, and strode back up the hill from whence we came, in the wake of a buff butt busting ass running straight up the same hill. And then we emerged, the scary story from the birthday party a distant memory, replaced instead by this:


Thank you, Portland, for loving the skin you're in.

Comments

tracey becker said…
Oh. Um. Well... wow.
It's pretty amazing, Tracey. It's all a statement on how vulnerable bikers are, and the gathering just gets bigger every year. All ages and body shapes. I love this cramazing town. :)
DonnaKay Smith said…
Glad we could help abate the nightmares. :)
Andrea B. said…
That is definitely something.

But I get it. And I suppose it could be pretty empowering.
Haha. The Naked Bike Ride is definitely one of the most weird and Portland-esque events ever.
I WILL get my naked buns out there someday! Body paint! :)
Lucky you! Another friend of mine drove through it the other night and commented that every sort of person he did not want to see naked on a bicycle (or any other place) was right out there in front of him. As for it being a statement on how vulnerable bikers are - Yeah, I'm not buying that. It's a party. A big freaking Portland party.
Blog to Taste said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said…
Some of my friends were there. They were wearing tutus. I think riding a bike naked would be quite uncomfortable...
It may seem like just a big party, but it started out as a protest against our dependency on oil. A mass bike ride doesn't get a lot of attention, but take your clothes off, and you bet people are going to pay attention. That it's growing is definitely something to celebrate! And I love that my own daughter didn't bat an eyelash at it. It totally made sense to her that people would be naked on their bikes. :)
Courtney N Moss said…
I love how casual your daughter was about the whole thing! Naked people on bikes? eh, no big deal!
Catherine said…
This post made me laugh so hard! You gotta love Portland.
marlynn said…
I've lived here forever and never participated in the naked bike ride, but I love it, love all of my friends who participate, and have unexpectedly been in the middle of it as you were. Go Portland!
Geoff said…
The same sorta thing happened to me two years ago. (Minus the scared child.) I was leaving a restaurant, and then the road block of nudity went up. Two hours of sheer Portlandian white.
Susan@LunaCafe said…
I have an art degree, so naturally the human form doesn't shock or offend me. Nevertheless, the first time I saw naked riders in PDX, I was stunned. I LOVE this weirder than weird city. :-)

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