Years ago, when I was assigned to cover a nudist summer camp in Maryland for a leftist magazine, I braced myself for the unexpected.
In that bright Maryland summer sunlight, I saw unwieldy operation scars, bruises the size of Bulgaria, kneecaps shaped like hard volcanic ash, butts the size of South America, and excess arm skin that recalled the bloated iguanas of Puerto Rico. Stripped humanity up close is often not very pretty, and that’s why clothing (and some modesty) is needed to make it pretty.
As Mae West once observed, “My advice to those who think they have to take off their clothes to be a star is, ‘once you’re boned, what’s left to create the illusion?’ Let ‘em wonder. I never believed in giving them too much of me.”
The motley crew of blue-haired females and often heavily-tattooed cyclists in Philadelphia’s annual Naked Bike Ride makes it plainly obvious that many of the participants can’t quite live up to the ‘naked’ claims of the event. This fact becomes obvious when one notices how many riders opt for some kind of modest body covering, as if driven by a repressed morality that’s at serious odds with the leftist street theater narrative.
Body coverings take many forms — a vest, cape, loin cloth, etc. — but it can also be done by painting your body. Many of the riders in Philadelphia’s Naked Bike Ride paint their bodies as a way to cover their nakedness; in many ways the body paint acts as a woke version of the Adam and Eve fig leaf.
Paint your naked body all over in colorful configurations and the result, really, is a suit of clothes, the opposite of naked.
The world’s first naked bike ride took place in 2004 in Canada. The philosophy behind riding naked was, and continues to be, to draw attention to anti-fossil fuel causes and as a protest against body-shaming.
Body-shaming is a leftist concept meaning that one must be blind to the dangers of being overweight and to agree to pretend that massively overweight bodies are just as beautiful as those depicted in Renaissance paintings. To say otherwise is risking being called a heretic.
Naked bike rides are most popular in Left-oriented cities like Chicago, Seattle, Austin, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston and Philadelphia.
Portland, Oregon, the city that birthed the George Floyd riots in 2020, is the most popular city for naked bike rides. This should come as no surprise. Leftists like to strip naked for causes that have nothing to do with the issue at hand but nudity is a freaky way to draw attention to the event.
It also attracts exhibitionists.
But even in solidly leftist Portland, a naked bike ride is not without controversy. Several years ago, the Portland naked bike ride was criticized by a fellow activist because Portland in the year 1922 served as the western front for the Ku Klux Klan when it had 14,000 members statewide.
The main complaint of this activist was that the Portland bike ride is too white.
“The culmination of these factors has helped to make Oregon one of the whitest places in the world,” the activist wrote. “Given its historical limitations, the naked bike ride in Portland has been an overwhelmingly white activity by proxy, not intentionally, but no doubt as a consequence of historical and structural racism. “
The suggestion here seems to be: because Oregon is too white, something needs to be done. The forces of equity should forcibly integrate the state, ordering the majority of whites to move to Haiti or New York City in order to make room for more people of color so that the Naked Bike Ride is truly a representative “peoples” event.
The Philadelphia Naked Bike Ride came on the scene in 2009 to promote the idea that that drivers need to share the road with bicycles. Human nature being what it is, one naked event tends to spawn another.
The annual Cupid Undie Run began in Washington, D.C. in 2010 and was implemented in Philadelphia eight years ago as a charity run where participants strip down to their underwear in order to help find a cure for neurofibromatos, a nervous disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves of children in one of every 3,000 births.
“Register now to fundraise your pants off with hundreds of Philly runners in the nation’s largest underwear run,” ads for the Cupid Undie Run in February 2023, stated.
Any mention of the word ‘naked’ and ‘underwear’ gets the exhibitionists excited to show off their various body parts to a surprised and sometimes unwilling audience.
The undie run, like the naked bike ride, is spreading to other cities and attracting the same sorts of people, mainly leftist folks with nothing to do when there are no political demonstrations or riots to participate in.
Cupid Undie Run or Naked Bike Ride, both events attract the same sorts of people.
Looking at the online photo galleries of past Philadelphia Naked Bike Rides, for instance, it occurred to me that these really are pretty much the “same” people who blocked, or supported the blocking, of Philadelphia city streets during the George Floyd riots in 2020.
In the 2020 protests, there were many blue-haired girls who bared their breasts and stuck their tongues out at police and news reporters.
In some sense, of course, one can view the anarchists in body paint bicycling around the city as a madcap public “art happening.”
But since many on the Left have proven themselves to be lunatics when it comes to serious issues, why should anyone be surprised that when it’s time for these same leftists to “play,” the results would be anything but raw and low-rent?
Naked Bike Rides the world over have sparked many negative reactions.
In June 2022 in Coventry, England, a naked cyclist suffered a broken elbow in an attack by masked opponents of the ride who knocked two riders off their bikes. The year before, in July, a man with a paintball gun shot at naked cyclists taking part in the World Naked Bike Ride in Saint Louis. In July 2022, two naked cyclists were knocked off their tandem while cycling through Perthshire, England during their 837-mile route to raise funds for mental health issues.
While official notices for naked bike rides tend to emphasize social decorum and manners, especially since the bike routes in large cities pass unsuspecting pedestrians (and sometimes families with children), within the naked bike community there’s a subculture that takes great delight in after-ride photos in which riders frolic and mimic pornographic postures.
A website (road.cc 2022 News) has scores of archival images of naked bike rider erect penises. This gallery is a cavalcade of poses, sometimes complete with leather masks in the style of former Biden administration nuclear waste worker Sam Brinton.
These images are in direct opposition to the virtue-signaling behind an unsuccessful 2010 lawsuit which the Naked Bike Ride organizers in Philadelphia brought against Wild About Philly TV, an outfit that shot footage and interviewed riders for a documentary on the event. Because the video was sold on the internet, Ride organizers brought suit, characterizing it as “prurient and sexual—not in the spirit of the event.”
Even in ultra-blue cities like Madison, Wisconsin, liberal residents have complained that the shock of seeing so many nude and semi-nude bodies can trigger sexual abuse memories and the like.
In Madison, the naked bike route often isn’t announced until the day of the ride, meaning that people along the route aren’t given fair warning to avoid the trauma of witnessing leftist asses on parade.