Tuesday, March 12, 2013
The Bicycle, Part I
"To spend your days in the company of naked men - that was the life for me. 'Turn to the left, Jean-Claude. I long to capture the playful quality of your buttocks.'"
Two years ago, I bought a new bicycle for the World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR), Washington, DC. Of course, this being the nation's capital, full nudity wasn't allowed. I'd participated in the ride the previous year (2010) using one that I'd borrowed for the occasion. For my second time in riding in this event, I wanted to pedal on my very own set of wheels. I really liked cycling through downtown District of Columbia wearing only a swimsuit (yes, I own one) and a pair of sandals the year before.
In my mind, this new acquisition was my new nude bicycle. I just knew these wheels would carry my clothes-free body over mile after mile of new adventures and good times with friends. My first official journey was the WNBR (even though I was unable to be totally nude); after that, the entire world was just waiting for the pedaling of my feet. Or, so I thought. And, so I hoped.
The day for DC's WNBR arrived. A friend and I, mounted on our bikes, reported to the designated site at the appointed hour. We looked about and spotted four other potential riders; no officials, no organizers. Our fellow cyclists, scantily clad just as we, equally clueless. Nothing like the 2010 event, which was chaotic, yet with a few persons who had a game plan. The six of us huddled together and waited for other possible participants and, hopefully, a man with a plan.
After waiting for what seemed like an eternity (after all, I had a new nude bike to show off), we decided to go off on our own with an impromptu WNBR along the streets of northwest Washington, DC should no one else show up within the hour. In the meantime, one of the other riders pulled out her body paint and offered to share. While waiting, we proceeded to decorate our bodies in the style and custom of the WNBR.
Completing our body decorating, we, the half-dozen misplaced or forgotten souls of the Washington, DC, 2011 WNBR, embarked on our own improvised bicycle tour throughout the city. All six of us printed "World Naked Bike Ride" on our backs so that we were visibly identified while cycling (even though none of us were completely nude). At numerous intersections and traffic stops, drivers waved and offered us the "thumbs-up." Pedestrians applauded, waved and took photographs.
I was amazed at the attention we received as we progressed. We were only a handful of riders pedaling at a snails' pace on streets congested with vehicles. Yet almost everyone we encountered supported the cause of the WNBR (freedom from fossil-based fuel). It was a very festive and carnival-like atmosphere wherever our bikes carried us.
After about one-and-a-half hours, my friend and I decided to return to his car and head back to Northern Virginia. It had been a fun experience, although we weren't totally naked and never joined the rest of DCs WNBR group. We signaled our fellow riders, pulled off to the side and bid them farewell.
My first ride on my new nude bicycle over, I vowed that the next time I mounted these wheels, I would be bare-assed naked. After all, that was the reason for the purchase of my new nude bicycle.
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!