PDX Day 1: My stupidest accomplishment
PDX Day 2: Happy hour indeed
PDX Day 3: Portland so far
PDX Day 3.2: FUPD has assumed control
PDX Day 4: Laughs, libations, and lost chances
PDX Day 5: Cherubs, rainbows, and unicorns shitting Portland glitter cupcakes
PDX Day 6: Homebound
“Cherubs, rainbows and unicorns shitting Portland glitter cupcakes” is the way that a good friend of mine described my trip to Portland.
That’s a fair assessment.
Today, Sat, is the day of the World Naked Bike Ride. I have plenty of photos to share, but first, I want to show you how I spent the earlier part of the day: I did a photo shoot with Portland Model Floofie. She was a joy to work with: She has a captivating, mysterious beauty. She moved so eloquently in front of the camera, and to top it off, she has a gracious personality. Here are a few previews of the very sexy Floofie:
Okay, now let’s talk about this bike ride! The World Naked Bike Ride is an annual, worldwide organized event that takes place in cities all around the world. Technically, it’s a political protest and demonstration that has something to do with our dependence on oil. Yeah, yeah… sure. There really wasn’t any talk about politics or oil, this really was just a celebration of being AWESOME! The ride started at an empty lot near downtown PDX.
9:00pm: I arrived an hour early, the ride offiicially began at 10. When I arrived, I was fully clothed, and as you can see, there was a good mix of clothing / nudity occurring.
9:30: some entertainment began:
9:40: as the time progressed, more and more people got naked.
9:45: more nakedness. This is where it got interesting. When I first arrived, I was feeling a bit bashful about tearing all of my clothes off and walking around totally naked. I decided to just hang out in my pants and shirt until right before it was time to depart, at which point, I’d finally get stripped down. As 10pm drew closer, I found myself feeling increasingly uncomfortable being clothed. I felt like a weirdo, because I was wearing clothes. I thought that it would be impossible to ever feel WEIRD for being clothed, but it only took 45 minutes to happen. Finally, I couldn’t take it any more, and, I got ready to ride.
If my daughters are reading this… Ummm… girls, I’m sorry. This is what being awesome looks like. Someday maybe you’ll understand. I think you should do this, too, when you are a bit older. Let’s make sure to alternate years though. Is that okay? I mean, I think you should do the ride, but I think we can do without running into each other there. Anyway, these kinds of things happen when you are a grown up. Sorry, someone had to break it to you.
10:00pm: Pretty soon, basically everyone is naked. It’s time to ride!!
Here’s a video from someone on the side of the road that gives a fairly good idea of what it was like:
This photo also gives a good perspective on the mass of ass that was the Portland Naked Bike Ride:
Organizers estimate that 10,000 people participated. In the straight stretches of road, I’d look forward, and for as far as the eye can see, it was just blinking tail lights and ass. It was a full on parade – Police escorts, baracaded streets, and thousands of people lining the road cheering and giving high-fives to the riders as they’d pass by. I made a point to high-five as many spectators as possible as I’d ride by with my manhood flapping in the breeze. I high-fived so many people, my hand hurt by the end of the night. The whole ride lasted for 2 hours, and covered about 7 miles, winding through downtown Portland. I’ll attempt to answer a few common questions about the ride:
Q: What did you sit on while you rode?
A: My bike seat. And no, it did not chafe. It was very simple.
Q: Did you get… uh… you know…. excited, being around all those naked people?
A: Only once, and that wasn’t until after the bike ride. There was a moment during the naked dance party when I started feeling somewhat tumescent, but it never did come to full fruition. That would have been wierd, because I would have been the only guy with a boner there.
Q: Did you see anyone getting aroused?
A: Not a single one, and I saw more cock than I ever wanted to see.
Q: (nobody asked this, but they should have) How about the breast situation, what was that like?
A: I did not see a single fake set of breasts there – unless you count the fake boobs that one of the transsexual guys had pasted onto himself along with his bad wig and failed attempt at make up. Those Portland girls rock the natural breasts – and many of them were aaaaamaaaazing.
Q: Was it cold?
A: Not the least bit. It even rained slightly, and that felt really good. I’m not gonna lie, riding through the streets naked was not just hilarious, but strangely sensual. Not sexual, but sensual. Two different things.The cool air rushing over all parts of your body feels… fantastic.
Q: Did you see anybody just busting out and having sex?
A: No. I know this may sound counter intuitive, but the whole vibe was very non-sexual.
The ride culminated where we began, and the riders migrated to the river front, where a spontaneous dance party broke out. The Love Bomb Go-Go Marching Band joined us, and provided music:
The whole scene was surreal. Thousands of naked people dancing to this funky marching band on the bank of the Williamette River, with the city scape of downtown Portland in the background. It was beautiful, and crazy, and bizarre, and hilarious, and moving, all at the same time.
A most serendipitous thing happened while I was at the giant naked dance party. I was chatting with a girl and it came up that I’m from Utah. She mentioned that her boyfriend was needing to get back to Utah ASAP, and that he was going to be hitch hiking back. I asked where he was trying to go, exactly. “Logan”, she said. “HA! I’m driving to Logan tomorrow”, I replied. I almost regretted speaking so soon. The serendipity of the situation almost demanded that I offer him a ride back to Logan. I was loathing the idea of being stuck in a car with some strange dude for 12 hours. I debated trying to find some way to wiggle out of it what I was about to say. “He should just ride home with me tomorrow”. I said it. Here’s the thing. What are the chances that, out of 10,000 naked cyclists, this dude, who needs a ride to an obscure town in Utah, would run into ME, who is driving there tomorrow? Seriously?! What are the chances that this would happen? I had to do it. This was just far too unlikely to be ignored. This trip has been all about living big, taking chances and doing new things… refusing to help this guy would tarnish the whole spirit of this trip. I’ve been the recipient of so much kindness and hospitality during my stay here, it would be supremely shitty of me to fail to return the favor. And besides, what’s the worst thing that could happen? I carry a gun with me, and if he became insane or dangerous, I could just pull over and force him out of the car at gunpoint. That’s about as bad as it could get, and that’s not even that bad. I gave him my contact info and told him we’d be leaving at 11 the next morning.
After wandering around the party a while longer, my mind echoed with the words of Lao Tzu and realized that the master had completed his work – it was time to leave the party. There were more after parties I could attend, but, ultimately, I had the experience I was after, and it was time to pack up and move on to the next adventure. I put my clothes back on, loaded my bike on my car, and headed up to the Alberta Arts District for some late night food and drink. I had passed this interesting spot on several occasions – a restaurant made of a couple of retrofitted school buses and some picnic tables. It’s called the Grilled Cheese Grill – and that food was damn good. Nothing fancy, just tasty and soul soothing. They specialize in grilled cheese in it’s many incarnations. I had a cheeseburger that was prepared grilled cheese style. *Delicious*. Following that, I wandered into a small tavern that elected to put off last call until 2:30 am, which gave me time to enjoy a few glasses of draught cider. For those of you who have not tasted the greatness of cider, allow me to explain. This is apple cider that has been fermented and thus carbonated. It’s like Martinelli’s sparkling cider, but more flavorful and less the fizz is more smooth. This is the way God intended us to drink our apples.
While I was sitting at the bar enjoying my second glass of cider, a strong case of deja vu descended upon me. I rarely experience deja vu, so when it does happen, my attention is grabbed. I had the distinct feeling that I had been sitting in this exact seat, in this exact tavern, drinking this exact cider, with the exact people around me before. I have no idea how to explain it, but it further reinforced this notion that I feel at home in Portland.
Portland, you are a glorious, beautiful, peaceful, amazing phenomenon. Thank you for an amazing time. It makes me sad to know that tomorrow I’ll be leaving – but for the time being, my work here is done. I have much work to do in Salt Lake City. I will be back.
Tomorrow: a hippie & a rat, the toothpick forest, and the long road home
P.S. Here’s one more photo of Floofie to cleanse your palate after having to see all of those naked bikers:
Seriously Portland, I love you. I think the feeling is mutual. Can’t wait to do it again.