Cape Town...Bare As You Dare

Take it all off people” I hear shouted from the police car. The police man's uniformed arm is stretched out the open window. He is holding his cell phone camera. His face is wrinkled from smiling. He squints into the Cape Town Saturday morning sun. He is directing the busy traffic, 300 bicycles and their “bare as you dare" riders. 




A chorus of “I am cycling on the road...where is my bike lane?...” ricochets off the surrounding picturesque surroundings. The city is hugged by bare natural beauty on all sides, nestled into the base of Table mountain on one side and exposed to the Atlantic ocean on the other. It's a stellar location for the third annual Cape Town World Naked Bike Ride.

A blur of fleshy hardly dressed people perch on top of tandem bicycles, unicycles, mountain bikes, and racing bikes surround me as I pedal along thinking this is a great way to end the Cairo to Capetown leg of my world bicycle tour. I hold my camera in one hand and the handle bars in the other, trying to stay balanced and ride Pandemic The Blushing Magic Bicycle. My legs are pedaling, my psyche is giggling while my eyes stare at 4 bare bums. Ok, I can be a grown up about all of this nudity I reason to myself after catching myself staring at all the naked men and definitely, (if only for a moment), breaking the well known naked etiquette rule of no ogling.

What a Great Funny View For a Solo Female Cyclist!

The painted slogans scribbled across the bare backs read “less gas, more ass”. I stop mid ride to adjust my “top”, a punctured bicycle tube that I fashioned into a tube top. I immediate realize that this crowd is not exactly going to care if my tube top actually did slip down, which it had.



As I stand to the side of the road adjusting my “tube top”, two naked men on a tandem bicycle pedal by me. The man on the back wobbles, his naked body flaps in the breeze and he falls off the back of the bicycle. He quickly gets up and starts running down the street trying to catch up to his tandem partner who is doing his best to not cause a collision in the crowd of bicycles. 

After all my sardonic remarks about cycling in 40-53 degree heat dressed in hijad in Sudan, Egypt, Iran, India and NW China, cycling while being free of clothing restrictions might just be the best fun a solo female cyclist can ever have. I smile to myself as I stand to the side, my top now adjusted, I start taking photos. I am thoroughly entertained by the nude tandem escapades. And, chuckling way too hard to care about the exact definition of “bare as you dare” as the trail of bicycles make their way into the city center, near the end of the World Naked Bike Ride. An event intended to remind the world that cyclists are vulnerable (naked) on the roads. That bicycles are a environmentally friendly form of transportation and a great way to meet people especially while cycle touring in Africa.

Solo Female Cyclist in Ethiopia








3 comments:

a said...

What fun! Can't wait to get to Africa next year myself. Although not necessarily entirely by bicycle!

Anonymous said...

Good for you! I've wanted to do one of those rides, but don't know if I'll ever have the courage to do so.

Jo Charnock said...

It was great to meet you in Cape Town, no matter how briefly. Good luck with the rest of your travels - did you manage to get on that yacht?

Skalatitude..."When humans and nature are living in harmony there is magic and beauty everywhere"

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