Splendid Cycles Big Sale

You know it’s a ‘Cycling Circus’ when a bunch of naked people show up

Posted by on June 13th, 2009 at 6:54 pm

This was the scene today on N. Mississippi when the Sunny Nekkid Bike Ride crashed the Art Bike Parade at the Cirque du Cycling.
More photos here/Slideshow below –
(Photos © J. Maus)


So there I was, enjoying the awesome Cirque du Cycling art/freak bike parade on N. Mississippi, when I look up and see a bunch of smiling naked people.

In a stroke of bike fun genius, the organizers of the Sunny Nekkid Ride (a traditional precursor to tonight’s World Naked Bike Ride), decided to crash the Cirque du Cycling event. And boy, did they make an impression.

Story continues below

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That’s a drum corps leading
them down the street!

Imagine several hundred families, eating pizza and drinking beer, enjoying a bike parade on beautiful, carfree Mississippi Avenue when all of the sudden they come face to face with fully nude people riding bikes. It was an amazing moment that will live forever in Pedalpalooza lore.

Cirque organizers were stunned at the unexpected twist their carefully planned event had taken… but the crowd just smiled, laughed, and clapped. More photos in slideshow below:

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

It’s been a fantastic day here on Mississippi. I’ll have full photos and recap tomorrow, but I couldn’t wait to share this bit of Pedalpalooza magic.

Check out all our Pedalpalooza coverage, including a full report and photos from the Sunny Nekkid Ride and more at our Pedalpalooza Special coverage page.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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Machu Picchu
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Machu Picchu

Sorry to nitpick, but as a recovering drummer, current cyclist and lifelong linguist: it’s a “drum corps” as opposed to a “drum core”. Homophones, yes, but “a group of people” as opposed to “the middle part of something”.

Thanks. Carry on, then, with the naked corps.

ScottG
Guest
ScottG

Another nitpick: there were definitely not hundreds of naked cyclists. It was a much, much smaller group than those who rode in the kickoff ride.

chris
Guest
chris

The Iron Law Of Nudity: Those who appear naked in public are those who you are least likely to want to see nude.

From the pictures, it looks like it was mostly dudes.

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[…] Portland, Oregon […]

J
Guest
J

Hey I’m bi —- and have noooo problem seeing dudes 😀

wow
Guest
wow

that’s a lot of bike seats with no plastic bags….fun!

Anon
Guest
Anon

that is taking it too far. If I had been there with my kids I would have been pissed. It is one thing at night after kids are in bed, but in broad daylight at a family event??? I am not being prudish either, my little girl was sexually abused and the last thing she needs is to be bombarded by a bunch of naked men.

Lisa G.
Guest
Lisa G.

From the female point of view, then, it would be quite the opposite. 🙂

Paul Tay
Guest

Dat’s totally MESSED up!

n8m
Guest
n8m

its been SO magical! thanks for the great coverage jonathan!

Michael M.
Guest

Well, Chris (#3), there were several nude (and many more semi-nude, i.e., topless) women at the Portland Pride Festival in Waterfront Park on Saturday. I’d venture to guess most of them wouldn’t be particularly interested in you, however.

I was volunteering at the Pride Fest much of Saturday, so I missed Pedalpalooza events, but encountered plenty of nudity anyway. It was rampant in Ptown.

will
Guest

Anon!? If anybody harassed you or your family I’m sure they would be asked firmly not to come back. It works.

Any chance, natural non stigmatized nudity to self contained non confrontational protesters could take some of the weight off that burden. Not all naked men want to abuse you, most just want to ride their bike by and smile. That’s good to know.

Machu Picchu
Guest
Machu Picchu

Sorry, Jonathan. I will not post spelling corrections publicly in comments in the future. Seems like the first few comments set the tone, and the tone here got negative fast, given that it’s just a bunch of naked people.

blanca
Guest
blanca

How Fun! Thanks for sharing.

ScottG: I re-read the article and there is no mention of hundreds of nude cyclists. There is a reference to “hundreds of families”, not to nitpick or anything, but double-check your complaint before nitpicking someone’s article.

blanca
Guest
blanca

….unless that was changed between then and now. in which case, I apologize. This cool event just seems to be getting a lot of undeserved negative responses.

anon
Guest
anon

so I guess the general consensus Machu is that parading your genitals in front of my child are okay, it’s my problem and I just shouldn’t go outside with my kids or move to aother city. The mayor’s office, the oregonian and the police will be getting letters fom me.

brewcaster
Guest
Anonymous 2
Guest
Anonymous 2

To commenter number 7: you weren’t there. I was there. The mood and tone were lighthearted and fun. I was sitting around a huge group of families (I am child free) and there wasn’t one iota of grumbling or unhappiness from parents or children.

Since you weren’t there, you don’t really have to worry about it.

tom
Guest

Reports from naked rides all over the place keep coming in…

http://www.bikejuju.com/?p=59

ScottG
Guest
ScottG

blanca: The story has changed, it originally referred to “hundreds of naked cyclists”. Usually Jonathan makes a note of story modifications but did not do so this time.

I was at the CdC and while I personally thought the surprise showing of naked riders was fun, I don’t think it was very considerate to the family-oriented crowd.

That said, the sooner people get over their hang-ups about nudity, the better.

Pancho
Guest
Pancho

If you all have nothing positive to say dont say anything. Go outside enjoy the wonderfull weather, enjoy the cycling festivities.
Peace…

anon
Guest
anon

You guys have no idea of what I’ve been through with this kid or the repercussions of sexual abuse. It makes me feel very helpless that this law is being flaunted and there is no support. It makes me feel like I should just leave town. I have had to go to great lengths to protect my child, to get her therapy and help her have a normal stable life after the trauma. She is a normal kid, but I think something like this could further traumatize her. If I am too much in the minority here I guess I should stay out of Portland.

Machu Picchu
Guest
Machu Picchu

Anon,

You are going to find Americans flaunting their bodies more and more anywhere you go. I am very sorry for what your child experienced, but you can’t “protect” her from everything.

As difficult as it is, (I have a ten-year-old daughter) you have to continue to send the message that innapropriate contact is not OK, but being naked (and each of our bodies) is OK. If you leave Portland (after you complain to the crappy newspaper and everyone else), the message you’re sending your child is: “We are going to run away from everything that reminds us of the bad things that people have done to us.” That’s not good parenting.

own it
Guest
own it

Anon,
I agree with Machu, having been sexually molested as a young girl, both in public and in the supposedly safe space of a hospital. I would say,the more one has a chance to see nakedness as not just connected to creepy sickos, the better. People riding their bikes naked in a group once a year are super happy people having fun and not pushing themselves sexually on anyone. They are just naked. Naked is beautiful. We should learn to not be ashamed of our bodies no matter what they look like, and personally I find seeing real people naked on bikes once a year way less offensive than the twisted Hollywood/media garbage we are force fed a zillion times a day by advertising all around us. I empathize with your daughter, having been there myself, but I truly believe the sooner you help her to see that not all naked men are something to be freaked out about, the better. Naked man and women. Viva recovery and healing and moving on to a life filled with fun and no shame!
Good luck.

jim
Guest
jim

I disagree with Machu Picchu
I believe anon has good and valid points and is a better parent than 99% of you all. It is sad to watch society demoralise itself. This was supposed to be a familly event and then this happened. What’s next? Naked teachers day??

TriciaH
Guest
TriciaH

And now, for a non bikey interlude…

Anon,

I admire you for so vigorously protecting your child. If you helpless please contact the Sexual Assault Resource Center. http://www.sarcoregon.org/

However, I do disagree with your approach for the same reasons that Machu Picchu mentioned.

Regarding the law being flaunted, last year it was determined that the naked bike rides are a tradition and therefore protected under the law.

Machu Picchu,

Thank you for posting your reply. Nudity doesn’t equate sex acts- whether positive or negative.

I hope that all children are given opportunity to view their bodies (and others) in a positive light.

Enough of this- back to bikes!!!!

Mark C
Guest
Mark C

#24 well said. I agree 100 percent. I was there yesterday, and I saw nothing wrong with what went on. I was going to bring my 8-year-old daughter, but she ended up staying home sick instead. However, had she had been there it would have still been OK in my opinion. I’m much more concerned with parents who let their kids see slasher movies and expose them to simulated murders on TV than I am with those who don’t mind their kids being exposed to a little harmless nudity.

solid gold
Guest
solid gold

naked teachers day?! BWAHAHAHAHA!

man, have you guys ever been to a beach before? were you running around clutching a bible yelling at everyone to put more clothing on and hide their sins?

but really, i guess people shouldn’t do anything, since something you may do may offend someone. in fact, stay inside, keep the tv on, and DON’T MAKE ANY WAVES.

that being said, when i see something i don’t wanna see (like shriveled old nutsacks) i simply look away. easy.

revphil
Guest

but i was born this way

anon
Guest
anon

I don’t want to go into details and know that every case is different but my daughter’s therapist recommended that she not really be exposed to any adult nudity because she has been oversexualized at a young age and the best thing is to not arouse those feelings in her. Whatever. She’s one kid. You guys are obviously not willing to be sensitive to this and if the police are looking the other way, there’s not a whole lot I can do except be frustrated and stay inside. Please do not make assumptions about anything else about me or my situation.

J
Guest
J

Keep Portland Weird.

If you don’t like it: GET OUT!

🙂

J
Guest
J

BTW —

This was my first NBR and it was AWESOME! I had an amazing time & will be back next year. Everyone had a great time except a few prudes who believe the human body is ugly, sinful, and should be covered up at all times.

Your daughter is FINE. You can’t protect her from anything. Running from the city is horrible parenting skills. What will she do when *gasp!* she’s 15 years old and meets her boyfriend? Ohhh no!

General Jane
Guest
General Jane

I was taken by surprise by an unexpected groundswell of positive energy that swelled up from the masses into my soul. I smiled almost the entire time, from the dance party to the ride. Everyone who participated: You are awesome and thanks so much for making my first ride amazing! And thanks to those who encouraged us on with their positivity.
I do have two complaints: One was the bottleneck and the subsequent extended stalls. As a woman it created the need for passerby’s to reach out and attempt to touch the breast of me and other women, or elicit less than complimentary comments. I considered myself a strong woman, and ready for anything. I have to admit I had to cover myself up, due to the fear of drunken, unrestrained men attempting to reach out. If they would of made contact while I was bare chested, I ready to defend myself. I just hope next year there would be a smother transition.
Second complaint, was the bag check at the dance party. Naked dancers need bags for wallet, keys, cell phones, etc. Strongly encouraged and strongly enforced yet somehow voluntary bag check, was not a good idea.Silly at best

anon
Guest
anon

this is my last comment. a) every situation is different and your opinion in general may be different than your opinion on a particular situationm b) I’m still going with the advuce of the trusted professional who knows theparticulars of our case. c) she hasn’t even hit puberty yet, I’m talking about what’s right for her right now. I assume when she has a boyfriend as a teenager we will deal with that. d) clearly the entire city disagrees with me but what is the problem with keeping the naked bike rides to night time and not doing it at family events? I am not a prude and would have agreed with many of you 5 years ago. I like the diversity of Portland but I like to think that part of that diversity stems from respect for others. I just think there is a time and a place and if you are at a private or semi-private gathering, fine. But it’s not really up to you to decide what my kids should or shouldn’t be exposed to.

TheGirlNextDork
Guest
TheGirlNextDork

Anon, I sympathize – and I think a lot of the comments toward you are rather crass and insensitive toward emotional trauma – but I agree that there is a tone in you that indicates avoidance. Avoidance is what changed me from a mere trauma survivor to an agoraphobic who hyperventilated every time she left the apartment. Learning the tools (CBT, specifically) to face my fears was vital to having a full and healthy life. Raise your daughter the way you see fit, and props to her therapist, but I think what we’re trying to say is, we hope you’re that nudity and spontaneity exists in our culture and there’s a certain amount of coping that needs to be learned at some time. Perhaps that time isn’t now; OK. We obviously can’t address every aspect and challenge of child-rearing in this format. I hope your daughter recovers well and has a happy life, despite the horror she’s apparently had thrust upon her. You enjoy life, too, and hopefully comment threads don’t leave you too bitter.

Kattiee
Guest
Kattiee

Anon, My daughter was also traumatized by yesterdays nudity at the parade. The libs that are attacking you don’t have a clue. It shows their attitude though, they could careless about you, nor how their behavior could effect others, even children. Little girls are naturally upset by seeing male genitalia unless they have lived in that kind of environment since very young. It IS traumatizing, especially if they already had a bad experience as your daughter did. I wrote elsewhere and was accused of being a hysterical mother, though the responder had absolutely no idea of how I reacted. (very calm and supportive by the way) We have every right to be angry and it WAS traumatizing to the young girls…and that’s why there are numerous laws about adult nudity and children. But low and behold, in Portland nude bike riding is not illegal! I was surprised to learn that.
So the libs want respect to “do their own thing” but where is the respect for others? If there is always the potential for nudists to participate in parades in Portland, then we won’t attend. Naked hippies are back, but someday the tide will turn when they realize the damage they have done to THEIR children and we will return to a more conservative lifestyle as history does repeat itself.
Keep up the good work with your daughter I hope she will find peace with her past trauma and be able to have a healthy relationship in the future.

David
Guest

It was a great ride. Thanks to Cody, and his family, and the leaders. We should do it bigger next year.
We went for three hours and fifteen miles.
And CdC on Mississippi was the highlight.
Some of us went on to downtown. I heard complaints from tourists as we circled the square. (Clearly we should never take this ride to the Pearl.) I did not hear complaints on Mississippi, rather we got lots of cheers.

David (front right butt)

(Oh, and Phil, thanks for the laugh.)

l
Guest
l

Speaking of public nudity in parades; a few years ago there was a woman in southern Oregon who liked to go around sans clothing. I don’t remember all of the details, only that her application to participate in a parade was rejected since it was a family event. So why would the laws be different in Portland where a large group of nude bike riders could participate at a family event without permission?

anon
Guest
anon

okay I was pretty upset by this discussion and did some research. In normal children who have not had any sexual trauma there is research to suggest that exposure to family nudity is not harmful. I could not find any research about some random crazy biker riding by with his dick hanging out. All of the research about abuse victims says that the level of trauma has many factors including age at time of abuse, who did the abusing, how long it went on and the reaction when disclosure was made. There is some very interesting stuff on the neurobiological effects of sex abuse. Basically actual brain damage can occur from overstimulating an undeveloped limbic system. This is why when the child is still young it is best to avoid further sexual stimulation.

John Thomas
Guest
John Thomas

Because nothing says I’m just a normal person better than a naked bike ride.

I can see where this sort of thing really helps make the case in the state legislature when it comes time to allocate money for bike transportation, especially when its a matter of getting one more vote on board from Burns.

P.S. I’d like to thank all you idiots for giving the white trash another excuse to throw shit at me when I ride my commuter bike this week.

brewcaster
Guest

This thread reminds me of the movie Footloose.

http://www.vimeo.com/5146365

trackback

[…] I like about Portland: They really ride naked down there. Here in Seattle, cyclists body paint in the annual naked bike ride opening the Fremont […]

Kt
Guest
Kt

Ok, I have to chime in here:

Anon: please point me to the law that says people can’t ride around naked.

From past naked rides, I believe the police couldn’t arrest anyone for being naked or showing their genitals because there was no “sexual intent” behind it. Can someone here help me out with this? I think the Southern Oregon woman also was allowed to ride around topless and skate naked because of the same law.

All that said (caveat: I did not go to the CdC or naked rides), I too find it a little– well, weird– that the Sunny Naked Ride organizers would decide to run their event through the middle of what was being touted as a family-friendly event.

I have no problems with naked people. If I don’t want to see it, then I don’t look.

I just find it disrespectful of the Naked Ride organizers to crash the Cirque event like that, especially knowing that there would be families with kids there. You don’t need to rub it in people’s faces that nakedness is ok. And no matter how much fun it was, or how positive the whole thing felt, it was still disrespectful of the Cirque organizers and attendees with kids in tow.

TheGirlNextDork
Guest
TheGirlNextDork

Kt, a child doesn’t have the full capacity of logic, especially when their brain has been “reprogrammed” to deal with a traumatic event, especially abuse. A developing child learns that a man’s genitalia is a signal that she is about to be harmed (to put it mildly), just like a gun – she doesn’t know the difference between sexual intent or one nudity law against another. She’s a child! It’s a very difficult and terrifying process, and I think the issue is that parents want to have the capacity to control those volatile stimuli that can jeopardize the long-term development of their growing people. You wouldn’t flash violent images of the Vietnam war at a group of vets – that would be terrible, of course! – so why expose children to a likewise potentially-damaging experience? Obviously, many commenters here shrug and say “I don’t look” because they don’t/can’t comprehend the enormity of Anon’s struggle as a parent.

Anon, I’m glad that this discussion prompted some research. Sorry that it made you so upset, but in the end, you are a good and nurturing guardian who has their eyes open to routes of wellness.

k.
Guest
k.

I can’t believe people here are making assessments on people’s parenting skills based on a paragraph posted on an internet forum. Get real people. Separate yourself from the masses and think before you post.

Porteur
Guest
Porteur

My wife and I have a theory: Most of the folks that participated in the day time bike parade either don’t have kids or did not have their kids at the event. I’d add that most of the folks that are attacking Anon and the others don’t have kids of their own.

I personally don’t have a problem with nudity, publicly or otherwise,and I thought the parade crashing was fun and light, however, as a father of 2 young kids (8g/5b) I’d have preferred to have known about it ahead of time. I might have avoided the parade and ducked into a restaurant or the craft area during the time. This was echoed by the other families sitting near our family at Por Aue No?

My kids probably won’t be tramatized by seeing the naked folks, but I do know my daughter was embarrassed and I’m tired of having my son (who is 5 and of course very interested in nakedness) tell the neighbors, the mailman, etc. about the ‘naked people’. It’s just a subject I’m tired of discussing. Especially since we just convinced him that he is too old to be nude running around outside the house (ala water parks, etc.)

I think that the (night time) naked bike ride is great. It’s after the kids are asleep. If I had had a sitter I think it would have been fun to join in.

Porteur
Guest
Porteur

edit to the above; (left out a key word in the first paragraph.)

My wife and I have a theory: Most of the folks that participated in the day time NAKED bike parade either don’t have kids or did not have their kids at the event. I’d add that most of the folks that are attacking Anon and the others don’t have kids of their own.

SkidMark
Guest
SkidMark

The reason why the World Naked Bike Ride exists and that everyone’s is not arrested is because nobody is engaging in lewd behavior. They are simply naked and riding bikes. I doubt you are a better parent than I am because I would take the opportunity to TEACH my kids by explaining that once a year people take their clothes off and ride their bikes naked, because it’s fun. I would take the opportunity to answer their questions until there weren’t any more. Teaching a child who was a victim of sexual abuse that naked = sex, and that any instance of it relates directly their sexual abuse, is setting someone up to be an adult with unresolved sexual abuse issues.

There is nothing demoralizing about the World Naked Bike Ride. They are not fucking in the streets. If it were truly obscene in any way you know damn right well the Police would be all over it.

Also this ride is fairly well publicized, how hard would it be to avoid it? There are plenty of events in this city that I chose to avoid, maybe you could do the same once a year.

own it
Guest
own it

Porteur
I have two kids, now 23 and 20, super awesome adults now. I don’t know how you know who has kids and who does not.

own it
Guest
own it

Porteur
I have two kids, now 23 and 20, super awesome adults now. Not that I feel like I was attacking anon.