It happens every year. In metropolises the world over from London to Chicago to Cork to Mexico City, tens of thousands of in-the-buff bicyclists swarm the streets wearing barely a stitch for the World Naked Bike Ride. Here in Portland, it’s the largest annual group ride by orders of magnitude. Head counts hover around the ten-thousand mark, but including spectators, the ride gathers some 20,000 voyeurs and exhibitionists (albeit many temporary ones) to ride (and stare) as bare as they dare. It’s consistently the fucking funnest public event that happens in this city, no matter how many years you’ve participated. Truthfully, I wish I could do it again for the first time. One’s own initial maiden WNBR voyage is an experience unmatched in life.
Sadly, and comically, something else happens every year. As hype for WNBR ramps up, so too do the NIMBY voices of puritanical body-shamers determined to eradicate all that is enjoyable and curious and passionate about bicycles and the human body. Local media has proven all too eager to jump on this band-wagon, providing legitimacy to people who yearn to spend their free time worrying how thousands of dangling phalluses and mammary glands are destroying the fabric of American decency.