Purple Hanging Loose - My First World Naked Bike Ride AND The 9 Reasons I'll Do It Again
The Summer Solstice - June 21, 2019 - brought forth much cleansing.
Within hours of putting my foot down on refusing activities, conversations, and relationships that are harmful to my psyche, I found out about the World Naked Bike Ride. Literally just 24 hours before the event. Didn't seem like a coincidence to me. I didn't have time to talk myself out of it, even despite my bell breaking the day before. And because I've been having some physical challenges that kept me from working out, my body wasn't as tight as I would have liked for it to be while being publicly nude. But what the hell, there was no better time to shed my inhibitions and usher in the the remainder of my year with my a new found awareness?
Friday night I ran to the local beauty store the night before to pickup some violet body paint to adorn my physique for the ride. I ended up getting violet body paint, which would benefit me creatively in the long run.
June 22, Day of the Ride
I woke up at 7:00 AM to give myself enough time to stretch since word on the street was that we were completing a 13 mile trek. I also needed ample time to allow my body paint to dry. My roommate graciously painted my mantra Bare With Me on my back, and I did an asymmetrical design on my breasts, complete with Colourpop's cruelty free pressed glitter and my violet Kryolan paint.
I didn't want to do anything too ornate because my designs were liable to get messed up during the commute to the meeting sight which was in the most unsexy part of DTLA. Also, not to mention I'd sweat it off anyway. But nevertheless, I jumped on the Redline with my bike for the first time, and traveling with my dear Amethyst wasn't as cumbersome as I thought it'd be.
Getting there was simple, and registration was even more simple. Being that WNBR is a non-profit, donation was optional. I was delighted to see that there were food vendors, though they were selling things I wasn't interested in (non vegetarian/vegan tacos and sandwiches, potato chips and sugar water, I mean juice and soda). But enough about the culinary and confections.
Here are the nine things I loved about my first World Naked Bike Ride experience.
1. Reactions of Bystanders
Some honked their horns in solidarity, while others whipped out their phones with their mouths completely open in amazement. People were waving from inside buildings, and hanging off their balconies to shout salutations to the group of nudie booties. But then you also had your very uptight folk who all but spewed obscenities, closing their eyes and wincing in disgust. I guess they forgot they were naked under their clothes.
2. Universal Comfortability
People of all shapes and sizes were participating, and it was comforting to see varying hueman forms. There were equally middle aged people as there were young people, saggy and firm parts, heavy people, skinny people, people of color, trans people; all those who were comfortable to be themselves.
3. Riding With Purpose
Each rider stripped down for a different purpose, making WNBR a unique fellowshipping experience. Many were advocating for biker’s safety, freedom, equality, body positivity, and sustainable transportation. We all pedaled for personal and political beliefs alike.
4. Non Lustful Energy
When I'm out and about in my scantily clad, people (ahem, men) all but approach me with their tongues out and in rare cases with their dicks in hand, salivating over the skin I choose to reveal. And I know that having an appreciation of the human body can sometimes cause one to fixate on the "perfect" breasts, six pack, or nicely groomed vagina. But everyone seemed to be pretty occupied with the enjoyment of their own swinging breasts and hanging testicles. I didn’t feel like I was being gawked at for the wrong reasons. I felt that my colordination was more of an attraction than my body itself.
Though, I did have to reprimand this one guy for touching my breast while we posed for a photo. I think he thought because it was my first time attending, I'd allow myself to be subjected to his sexual harassment, but I very sternly told him not to violate me, and I took the responsibility of removing his hand. After that I didn’t have other issues from him or anyone else for that matter.
Throughout the ride, there were several police escorts controlling traffic and guiding riders as we made our way through downtown, Highland Park and the bike path. I was actually quite surprised by how gleeful the LAPD officers were in their involvement. That was the first and only time I’ve ever felt protected by the police... Here's what LAPD has to say about nudity
6. Freedom of Speech
Much like myself, other riders plastered messages across their bodies.
The World Naked Bike Ride has been happening in LA for fifteen years. Some of the sponsors who are responsible to keep the wheels turning are Naturists in OC , Southern California Naturist Association, and Truenudists.com. At the registration site, there was a wealth of information on these organizations which included how to immerse yourself in the naturist community across southern California. If you ask me, this destroys the ignorant idea that nudists are weed smoking, mushroom taking, uncouth hippies.
8. Family Inclusive
It was surprising to see the amount of [clothed] children present. One child actually rode with us through the city and on the bike trail. I commend those parents for teaching their children about the natural aspects of our bodies, because huemans are the most porous in the earliest years of our lives. It's so important to be honest when speaking to children about nudity so that they don't grow up tainted by their parent's ignorant perceptions and lack of nudity normalization. Come to think of it, that probably explains why so many men don't know where or what the clitoris is, and women don't understand their menstrual cycles.
But moving on...
I felt a sense of community amongst the few hundred riders who participated. I made many beneficial contacts, with photographers, lawyers, and other entrepreneurs. But it wasn't about who was rich, who was poor, who was ailing or well, or how big of a social following they had. We were all the same, just as naked as the day we were born. It was only about why we showed up.
For the first time in a long time was comfortable being myself. I didn't care if a hair was out of place, or if a skirt was too wrinkled, or if my outfit was doing the most to warrant the wrong attraction. None of that mattered to me. I've been growing through a depressive phase, and I've been needing a change of scenery, in a place where I could let it all hang out.
Would I do it again, absolutely. I recently had a change of heart about my approach in how I embrace my nudity, and this was the first step towards that. My goal is to be completely liberated from the mental enslavement of body shaming.
I'm not afraid to say that being nude is beneficial for my mental health. This is only the beginning. Make sure you check out my recap video which was recorded by barefunart.
Follow my journey on IG @TheColorDuchess
If you'd like more information on the WNBR, here's their website for your education. http://www.worldnakedbikeride.org/