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!”