Last night, hundreds of free-spirited pedalers (including me!) crammed into an old industrial building on the Burnside Bridge for an epic party. It was the Pedalpalooza Kick-off Dance Party and World Naked Bike Ride all rolled into one.
After everyone was painted and the clock approached midnight, the mass migration to nakedness began. An estimated 500 cyclists spilled out of the party; bikes, boobs and butts bottlenecked through the one narrow exit like Wildebeest crossing a river.
We then rolled off into the balmy air and full moonlight.
Jasun Wurster and his crew of volunteers transformed the space into a memorable and racous celebration of Portland’s bicycle culture and a much bigger and badder event than last year.
The body painting was big hit. Check out what this Zoobomber did to his belly. But Sprockette Sara(h) had best slogan of the night painted on her back, “If you were biking you’d be naked by now.” The hoots, bells, and flashing lights added to the craziness. I laughed when someone yelled, “Take your car off!” to a passing motorist. People were literally undressing and joining us as we rode by. The funniest thing I saw all night was a guy who got out of his car, dropped his pants and just stood there, clapping and raising his arms in salute as we passed.
As always, the reactions from downtown club-goers was priceless. Cell phone cameras illuminated the streets, some people were too shy to even look at us, some people jumped up and down and ran through the mass high-fiving us, “I LOVE PORTLAND!” yelled another guy popping out of a car sunroof.
A special thanks to Carl Larson and the other intrepid naked people that corked traffic for this ride. It takes someone special to stand in front of bright car headlights fully naked.
On a less-fun note, I saw one car/bike argument happening and I just hope nothing came of it. Also, I witnessed four ugly crashes. Not sure if these people were just too drunk, or if they were having trouble keeping their eyes on the road ;-).
The ride was long and strong. We kept the energy going and rolled by some places at least three times. We took over roads all the way from MLK on the Eastside to Northwest 23rd, and everything in between.
Once we returned to the party, the dance floor heated up and we rock-and-rolled in riotous unison to the Twisted Sister’s classic, “We’re not gonna’ take it anymore!!!”
Thanks to Jasun, Brad, Carl, Ben, Elicia, and all the other volunteers who made this unforgettable night possible.
[Check out the rest of my photos in the Naked Ride Gallery.]