Thousands bike naked in Portland
As 20-somethings populate the Pacific Northwest hipster hub and rally for bicyclists rights and recognition of their rides, is it really all that weird? Not quite. Until you do it bare-ass naked, that is. That’s what most of them did on Saturday's moon-lit annual installment of the World Naked Bike Ride.
Portland is no stranger to the, well, strange, so 9,000 bicyclists congregating "in an effort to draw attention to society’s gas guzzling ways,” as The Portlander puts it, is nothing out of the ordinary for the budding mecca for the outspoken and environmentally conscious.
"This is just a way of drawing attention to the need to be more green and replace fossil fuels with natural power," Ken Johnson tells Reuters. Johnson was one of many of the full-fledged participants that ditched their duds for the rally. He cycled sans clothing with his body painted grey. And, inarguably, he drew attention to something, alright.
With thousands gathering in Portland for the weekend's ride, others took to the streets throughout America; San Francisco, Seattle, and Colorado's Boulder and Black Rock City, among others, hosted rides. Portland's lax public indecency laws meant that the police had to ignore the cyclists' improvised racing suits. According to city code, their demonstration is allowed as "mass nude cycling." Nudity is actually permitted throughout Oregon as long as a "sexual act or attempted arousal is not involved." Whether or not the bicyclists bypassed the bumpier of roads for said reasons is uncertain.
Another ride over the weekend in Madison, Wisconsin brought in around 70 participants, with only one arrest being issued for disorderly conduct. Though many cities celebrated World Naked Bike Ride day on Saturday, demonstrations in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago all took place earlier this month.
At least two major accidents were reported during the Portland ride. Ambulances were called to the scene and EMTs say they were faced with the obstacle of trying to deliver medical help while in the path of thousands of bikers who did not slow down, reports WizBangPop.com.
Local businesses also note that alcohol sales immediately before the event exceeded what is on par for a Saturday night. The ride was also sponsored by Bridgeport Brewery, a local beer maker.
Reports say that other incidents stemmed from bicyclists losing their helmets along the ride and standing on their cycles to show-off, or “hot dog,” as they say.
And you can make your own joke about that one.