WARNING: The following content contains a text link to a video that may not be safe for work or children, depending on where you work and what kind of children you've got. I don't think it's so bad, but I'm just one person, and so you have been warned just in case.
If you're into cycling stuff, there is a good chance you have heard of the Naked Bike Rides that appear to be gaining in popularity around the globe. For me, riding naked just sounds painful, and as someone who can't handle exposing even a hint of butt crack, I can't get into the idea myself. That said, I have no problem with others who might get a thrill from getting naked in public; whatever floats your boat, you know? I can also appreciate that many people want to protest the dominance of cars and reliance on oil. What leaves me scratching my head is how the two could be related. Since I'm always up for a little enlightenment, I googled up the World Naked Bike Ride web site:
Sadly, the road to enlightement can be a confusing one. The mission-statement-like blurb in the centre of the main page left me as puzzled as ever. Perhaps in reviewing it you, my intelligent reader, can help me understand. First, the answer to my primary question, "why naked"?
So the naked bike rides are all about defending ones dignity! What? Maybe the guy in this youtube video could explain.
What could be more dignified and natural than naked roadside bicycle repair? Well, lots of things I can think of, but to each his own, I guess. All I can say is that maybe the logo found on the WNBR web site doesn't mean what I thought it did... it looks different to me now somehow...
I'm just guessing here, but I think they are really only exposing the unique dangers faced by naked cyclists and pedestrians. The dangers faced by clothed cyclists and pedestrians aren't unique in the same way, I don't think... I must be missing something. There has got to be an "as well as" to this phenomenon...
Having none of my questions answered to my satisfaction, I was simply left standing naked in the men's department at enlightenment-mart, with only this new question to hide behind: If you think it would be empowering or a hoot or whatever to get a group together for a bike ride, why do you have to attach it to a form of protest? Why not just get naked and go? And then it hit me!
If it's not a protest, it's just a bunch of people getting naked because they feel like celebrating bikes and the human body, and in lots of places that'll get you arrested! Huh! That's pretty clever, I think. And who, you may ask, is the Clever Originator of these rides? A fellow Canadian from Vancouver BC by the name of Conrad Schmidt. Believe it or not, Conrad and I have more than our citizenship in common! I am a Clever Originator of something too!
Did you notice that "engergy" typo at the end of the central statement? I was going to get snarky about it, but then I thought, "hey wait, that may be some new word in the naked environmentalist's lexicon! You know..."
I tried googling it, and nothing came up. I checked the online slang dictionary, no joy. That's good enough for me. I, Rantwick, hereby stake my claim as the Originator of the slang word "engergy", meaning energy sources used by combustion engines! Somehow, I feel more important now... almost... Dignified!
Thank you, Conrad Schmidt! Thank you, WNBR!
R A N T W I C K
PS - After writing pretty much this whole thing I found another web page that contains a lot of answers to practical and other questions about naked bike ride events around the world. Nothing enlightening in the way I had been hoping, but better information than that main page anyway. That FAQ can be found here.