Even before participating in our town’s first annual Bare as You Dare naked bike ride through town yesterday I questioned whether to write about it here on my blog. I often ponder what to write about through the week but this was a little bit different. Ultimately it came down to a fear of stigma – fear of what people would think about me knowing I partook in this bike ride, fear of disapproval, fear of misperceptions and judgements – and since that’s not a skillful reason whatsoever to avoid doing something here we go!
The first naked bike ride, I read today in our local news, took place in Spain in 2004. Since then they have spread to cities all over the world. One of the biggest is the World Naked Bike Ride every year in Portland, OR, which drew around 9,000 people this year. Many of them started as a protest to big oil and promote bike riding. And of course different people participate for different reasons. Some people go to support and embrace differing body images, some go as a symbol to vehicular drivers that bike riding makes one vulnerable and to draw attention to sharing the road. Some people go to promote that nude isn’t lewd and some go to be free and exercise their right to free speech. And some, like me, go because it sounds fun!