Naked Bike Ride, Portland Oregon

For a variety of reasons, we live in Pennsylvania and Oregon depending on work and our schedules and what our families are doing.

I’ve written before about the shock of going from culture to culture and how that can affect your notion of how group think can affect everything in culture whether you are a Pygmy or a Svan.  I am pretty comfortable bouncing back and forth between these cultural groups and I’m not sure what prepared me to fit in so easily. I am from the midwest and did not travel outside the United States until in my 20s. Yet, when I fly into a foreign land where cultural differences are great and creature comforts are few, with a camera in hand, the difficulties don’t matter.

Strangely enough, I find it more difficult sometimes to go from rural/suburban Pennsylvania (where our little town is provincial and we are surrounded by 13 churches, some of whose bells resonate constantly inside our living space) to Portland Oregon that on the very first night I land here, there are thousands of people going thru the streets naked on their bicycles.


This is from bikeportland.orgI saw so many beautiful and happy people. My face is still sore from smiling. I love how this ride attracts such a wide swath. I met one woman who I know from bike advocacy work. She said she just happened to be out biking and saw everyone riding by. “Everyone was just so nice and welcoming,” she said, “so I just decided to join in.”

I contacted everyone I could by email to get permissions to run these photos. It wasn’t possible for the folks that were just riding by in HORDES in the video, but there are many other examples of that kind of video from this event on the internet. But I think it is important in almost any venue to work on consent.