It's me, your old pal GlitterGuts...
I just wanted to warn everyone that if you're uncomfortable with nudity, you've just clicked on the wrong page. This album is full of real people, real naked, and if that's something you don't want to see, you should probably click the back button on your browser and check out the rest of the site, where nudity is pretty sparse.
Onto the event.
The world naked bike ride is one of the most fun events you could ever be a part of; it happens every year, and nobody does it bigger than Chicago. I'm not sure of the tally for this year yet, but 2008 saw over 1,700 riders. There's something awesome about taking over the streets on bikes, and it's even better when both lanes are filled a couple city blocks long with nude and costumed people. It's more than a little taboo, but not at all wrong, and nothing reinforces that more than riding past Lincoln park/Wicker Park/Boys Town/Rush Street bar crowds standing outside gawking, knowing full well that they aren't having nearly as much fun as you are.
The event is a lot of things. It's a parade, a party, and a flash mob, but it also serves a couple higher purposes: one is to protest the use of vehicles that pollute the environment and leave us dependent on oil, to reclaim public streets for public use, and to promote bike use, cyclists rights, and body image tolerance. (I'd like to make the official claim that we have the lowest carbon footprint of any party photoboothists out there... I haven't actually looked into this, but I did find out that I can fit a miniature version of the mobile photobooth on the back of one cargo trike, and still have room for a cooler).
As per usual the police were really cool and accomodating, the riders were friendly and helpful, impromptu dance parties formed on and off bikes throughout the ride, and shit went off surprisingly smoothly.
The only frustrating thing is that I was only able to get a small sampling of the people there, maybe fifty out of over a thousand, and the people with the most elaborate paint jobs and costumes were still getting painted and costuming while I was shooting. For a bigger picture of what the event was like, check out www.worldnakedbikeride.org and chicagonakedride.org
Thanks to the fantastic Kelly for painting our backdrop especially for the event, and much love to my friends in the Rat Patrol for hanging around the photobooth and making me look less like a creeper with a camera.
Here are some of our favorite shots from the ride. The link to the whole sets is at the bottom of the page. NSFW means NOT SAFE FOR WORK! Look at these someplace you won't get fired.