Getting naked for a cause


Photos stolen from a couple of websites. Sorry. I wasn't there to take my own. 

A reader and friend sent me an article about today's World Naked Bike Ride in Portland. Fucking Portland. Why do they get all the cool stuff? I want to go on a naked bike ride with thousands of other naked cyclists. I really do. No, I do .... in my head.

I just can't imagine I'd put down my embarrassment over my imperfect body to do it. Well, that and my bike seat is about the size of a golf club head. I'd have to do something to accommodate the dildo factor.

Apparently I'm not the only one. I've looked through a bunch of photos from the ride looking for one thing: a naked middle-aged woman. I couldn't find one. Not a single one. In fact, despite the claim that riders of all ages and sizes and body types rode, most of the riders appear to be under 35 and relatively fit. Or older men. Older men seemed well represented, fit or not.

Which is fine, but where the hell are the middle-aged women? Or even the women over 30? I don't even see many of those in the photos. Is it photographer bias? Possibly. Or, more likely, women over 30 are so ashamed of our bodies, we can't get out and get naked with the rest of the cool kids.

It seems a shame, which is why I wish I had the courage to fly to Portland next year with my bike and represent.

I mean, somebody should. But honestly it won't be me. First, I can't afford it. Do you know what teachers make? Nothing in the summer.

And second, what if someone did post a photo of the one middle-aged woman who happened to be me, and what if one of my students saw it? I can't imagine the trauma. Maybe I could hide behind a layer of paint and some fairy wings, like these young women did, but see number 1.

And third, I'm afraid I'd go all that way there and chicken out, because seriously? It's hard enough to go outside my house in spandex bike shorts that at least smooth everything out. Walking around a park buck naked and then riding through neighborhoods while people in clothes stand on the sidewalk taking photos with their cell phones? The fear factor is high. I'd worry I was sticking out like an overweight, middle-aged woman with no clothes on.

Still, I applaud the thousands of people who made the ride today. It looks like they had a blast. It looks like they feel free and proud and confident. Some of them probably had to pry their saddles out of their asses, but what a small price to pay for freedom!

Would you do it? Would you go on a naked bike ride in your city?



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