There are many things that, to me, as an outsider, are very Portland — beer, roses, cycling, coffee, and being weird. Keeping true to one of Portland's adopted mottos, "Keep Portland Weird," the Naked Bike Ride rolled through town yesterday. One would think that hey, sure, some people could come out and it'd be funny but not that well-attended — but you would be wrong. Thousands of people flocked to the event — I can't say how many, but it's an expected 8,000. There are a lot of questions I had before attending this bike ride. Would I get sick of seeing so many naked people? What exactly is the point of all this? And, most importantly, how do you ride a bike with, you know, your junk in the way?
I still don't know how people managed the genital-on-a-bike-seat situation, but I officially saw more naked people last night than I have collectively in the rest of my entire life. And after initially not really knowing how to get someone's name without looking at their naked parts, I think you just get really used to all the naked people running around — my only trouble was trying to squeeze through a crowd without hitting someone's butt with my camera. And, well, trying to find appropriate pictures to run online in a photo gallery for The Oregonian.
I consider last night my official welcoming to Portland because of the true cultural celebration that is being weird here. I had a blast as you only can with a group of naked cyclists, even if I was clothed.