THE LARGEST FREE BIKE RIDE in Portland also happens to be the nakedest bike ride in Portland: The annual World Naked Bike Ride on June 16 draws roughly 10,000 people biking as bare as they dare. We asked some pros for... uh... just the tips.
• Consider your disrobing plan. Except for the hardcore Crocs-only nudists, most everyone shows up to the ride clothed and then strips down minutes before the start. At that point, "You will soon discover that you are more comfortable naked because you're going to be totally out of place if you keep your clothes on," says veteran ride organizer Stephen Upchurch, who recommends stashing your togs in a pannier or basket.
• Fanny packs are modesty flaps; says Bike Smut film festival organizer Reverend Phil Sano. Point taken. Also useful for staying discreet: a mask.
• Wear some damn clothes. Namely, shoes and a helmet. Cheek-to-seat action is not so bad, but tender-foot-to-pedal is no fun.
• Pack a tool. Like, a multi-tool, pump, and patch kit in case you break down, which is one of those things that is not hilarious at the time. The ride also has roving mechanics on hand, just in case.
• Don't be drunk. You're riding naked with thousands of people. Crashing will hurt. And, besides, Portland police politely escort the ride and will ticket you for biking while intoxicated, says Upchurch. "Many fine establishments will be happy to serve you a drink after the ride," he adds. "Some may serve you naked if you just haven't had enough."
• Say cheese! If you wish to avoid the adoring crowds that cheer, snap photos, and occasionally spank riders, stick to the middle of the pack and ride in the middle of the road. "Folks are often worried about the perverts," says Sano. "Well, they exist. If you are gonna be in public space with a few thousand other naked bikers you might suffer some awkward moments." Sano also offers this concise tip on how to tell if you are one of the unwanted pervs in question: "You are alone and you are not riding a bike."