Monday, September 7, 2009
Yesterday under the Chestnut Street Bridge in Philadelphia.
Well, Philadelphia hosted its first naked bike ride yesterday to promote bicycle rights and draw attention to our dependence on oil and just draw attention in general. Hundreds of naked, near-naked and some Never Nudes showed up at a technically illegal gathering of indecent exposure along a secret route that disrupted traffic and caused quite a ruckus among the outdoor diners at Rittenhouse Square. What better way to highlight the vulnerability of bike riders on our city streets than have a bunch of really exposed folks hooting and hollering their way around town?
Philadelphia is on this bike friendly kick. We have a great trail down the river which would be better is 'effing joggers would keep to the goddamn right and we have a few bike lanes here and there with more planned (though repairs on the roads are not in the plan). But cars, and especially cabs, hate bikers. Like really really hate them. Don't even get me started on how buses feel about us. Bus drivers and cabbies take pleasure in running bicyclists off the road, I've see it and have been on the receiving end. It blows. The result is that whenever I am in the position to cause a bus or cab to go slower, I take it, which actually just makes them more angry hence perpetuating the circle of hate.
But riding a bike in the city really is like being naked out there. Car vs. Bike? The car is going to win every time. Let's hope that events like yesterday's naked bike ride get people thinking and not just about all the wing-wangs and ta-tas they saw cruising down 18th street last night. Philly Naked Bike Ride was great and kudos to the police for just letting it happen. They basically said that if folks start getting pervy, they were going to arrest people, but as long as the naked folks kept it clean, things were cool. Also, over half the participants had some sort of clothing or body paint on, so I think there were enough non-nudes to balance it out. I have not seen any reports yet of arrest or incidents and let's hope there's nothing to report. Not only was the event a great way bring publicity to biking rights, but we Americans (especially us East Coasters) need a little old fashioned nudity every once in awhile.
So, share the road folks, it's the decent thing to do.
Some of the participants and their supporters, along with regular joggers and cyclists on the river trail.