The Chicago Project: Biking Naked

Ah, Saturdays in the summer.  How I love you.  This summer I’ve been keeping my weekends as clear as possible if only to fully enjoy the freedom of the moment.
This past Saturday I enjoyed what some might say is ultimate liberation – baring it all in public.  After letting the wind blow me from Pilsen to Ukranian Village and then to Edgewater Beach I biked back to the West Loop to participate in the best bike ride of my life…naked.
Okay…okay…so I wasn’t completely nude, but close enough.  I also wasn’t alone; there were hundreds of us and possibly a thousand closing down the streets downtown biking naked.  It was thrilling, scary and absolutely joyful to see people’s reactions to us biking down in the buff.
Things I loved:
  • All the body positivity surrounding the event – participants weren’t there to judge your body – you felt accepted no matter what you looked like
  • So many different people from various walks of life: old people, young people, big people, small people, black people, brown people, yellow people, tattooed people, white people…just wow.
  • “Less gas; more ass!” chants (even though I feel so crude swearing in chants so I obstained from actually chanting the word “ass” in public)
  • Feeling my bare skin against the night wind
  • All the body paint, creative masks, costumes and boomboxes attached to bikes
Things I didn’t like:
  • When a guy strikes up a conversation with you by saying “nice bike,” you’re not really sure that he’s looking at your bike…
  • All the people on the streets taking photos.  I almost yelled at them to just experience the moment with us rather than constantly try to capure it, but I didn’t.  It must have been the lack of liquor in my body.
So I was a little shy about taking my clothes off at first and biked a little less than half the ride with my tank top still on until a beautiful burlesque boy starting talking to me as we biked together.   “You should take it off,” he said.  “Really?  I dunno…”  “Yeah, you’ll feel so free and good, just do it.”
I did do it. I removed my tank top and revelled in the moment.  If my mother could only see me now (nope, she just gets to read about it) :)
I laughed a lot, smiled at people and felt so much joy at being the highlight of so many people’s  crazy weekend stories.  I wasn’t going to go home to call my friends to say, “You’ll never guess what I saw today!”  No I was going to tell them: “You’ll never guess what I did today!”

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