Well, I just did it. It was the World Naked Bike Ride, Los Angeles edition. Not bad as bike-rides go. Once again I did not bring my camera. I wanted to enjoy the trip without having to worry about photography. Let someone else take the photos.
Managed a bit of a sunburn on my back, just like in the Bare to Breakers. (I never remember sunscreen.) The whole time was cloudy but that doesn’t stop UV much and can make it worse. Temps started at about 65 (Absolutely perfect!) and headed up to the mid-70s. As long as you are exercising you are comfortable at temps 10-20 degrees lower than normal. (I remember a strenuous hike once where it had dropped into the 40s. I was working so hard I hadn’t noticed.)
Don’t know the exact number but there were certainly hundreds. (Learned the total was 3-400 later on.) Running that many bikes around central LA on a Saturday morning was a logistical nightmare. Everyone had to squeeze into a single traffic lane, oftentimes obstructed by parked vehicles and construction. It was not a pretty place to set up, either, an industrial area adjacent to a railroad yards and a graffiti infested and concrete shrouded LA River. As I understand it, last year’s was a beautiful grassy area near Dodger Stadium.
We did get an accolade from the police for being so well behaved.
I only stuck around for the first 5-mile trip. A 13-mile trip was scheduled for the afternoon but I declined. (The shorter loop ended up being 7.1 miles and the longer was actually 17 miles due to confusion!) In terms of cardiovascular fitness I was easily up to it, but if I am going to ride this bicycle anymore, I MUST get a new seat. Every time I hit a bump it was like a hammer on my ischial tuberosities and my corpus spongiosum. Had nothing to do with being unsupported. It hurts just as much to ride with clothes on.
My gosh, was there anyone in the downtown area who wasn’t shooting with the cell phone or camera?
The only way the city would allow it was as a political protest. It started out years ago as a protest against oil dependency but then the nude aspect caught on. Now it is an event for environmentalists, nudists, pagans, free nipplers and anti-Trump protesters. It may look big but, IIRC, Portland has one with thousands of riders.
I watched the spectators as close as I could without crashing. There were smiles, thumbs up, horn honking, laughter. I only saw a few sour pusses. There were a bunch of kids lined up against the fence of the LA Historical Park and their minders were busy taking photos with their cells. People brought their kids out to watch us go by. Plus there was a smattering of children in the ride itself. I mention this because the argument is always, “What about the children!”
Children don’t care. Children are natural nudists until we beat it out of them. IMHO, parents should exercise nude neutrality (with exceptions for practical reasons) even if they don’t plan on raising a nudist. Let the kids decide for themselves when they are adults.
This is (supposedly) America, land of the free, remember? It should be a fundamental legal policy that, unless I am hurting someone or something, I should be able to do almost anything I want. If I am not hurting you, why do you care what I wear? Make the rules on private property whatever you like but keep the commons free. And keep your religious arguments out of the courts
There were also a quite a few homeless people. People in tents or just wrapped up in blankets and towels, living on sidewalks and public lawns. I’m not going to get into homeless policy here except to say we gutted the state mental health system and here we reap our rewards.
I was rather hoping we’d get to go thru the skyscrapers downtown. Almost got to the Disney Center and the drivers on US 101 got quite the unexpected show. Heck, the riders didn’t even know what the course would be until we’d done it. It was kept a secret because nobody wanted the nightmare of zillions of spectators heading downtown to a specific location. At end of day, it was a great experience. Not quite bucket list caliber but still well worth a bumpy ride on a poor seat.