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The conversation went like this:
"What do you want to do this weekend? Let's go take some pictures."
"Um, okay, where?"
(Flipping through the Alibi...)
"Oh, wow, the first New Mexican World Naked Bike Ride is happening tomorrow in Santa Fe. Looks like 'Burque should be well-represented. Sounds like a great excuse to go take pics and get some great grub!"

14 hours later:
"We going?"
(I've been up since 5 am and went to bed at 1.) "Aughghgh... I dunno, you want to go?"
"I dunno."
"Flip a coin."
(Snooze)
"Okay, get up, we're going."

And thus, we went. Not being townies, we came up the back way through Madrid, which is always beautiful. We rolled into town roughly when the ride was scheduled to begin. The jump-off point was cleverly situated at the South Capitol Rail Runner Station (presumably so ABQ Folks could ride the train and join in). A small smattering of riders had already collected, along with a whole bunch of looky-loos (ourselves included), mostly with fancy cameras. The riders were more than patient with us.

Now, regardless of how you feel about the relevancy of the protest, or the means in which it was executed (yes, I read the responses to the thread announcing the ride), I ask you this: Where else can a bunch of crazy hippies take off (most of) their clothes and ride proudly through the city streets for a cause? (Okay, in the US, 26ish other cities, it seems!) That, fellow New Mexicans, despite our differences, is something we should all be genuinely excited about. Because that brothers and sisters, is what it's all about. People. Glorious people. Brave people. People engaging themselves in political discourse, via whatever (non-violent) means. People caring about other people. People caring about where the country is going. People caring about the planet. People who aren't afraid to put it out there. And, these folks seriously put it out there.

The level of negativity in the current political climate can be exhausting. Rather than criticize anyone for their methods, we should be celebrating how crazy-wonderful things like this are. And if that's not convincing enough, consider that not only do events like this enrich our lives, they completely freak out tourists. (I kid... mostly. The response of the crowd at the Plaza seemed really positive.) And, if you could have been there fellow native, oh, the smiles to be had! I submit to you that productive politics should be more about the positive... and there was joy and courage in this that we all could learn a lesson from. That, dear readers, is my thesis for the day. Do with it what you will, but more importantly- enjoy the photos!

(More images can be found on my Flickr account. Riders, I have higher quality images available, please contact me here if you are interested in copies. And, thank you for your enthusiasm and being such wonderful subjects! Everyone else, please do not reuse without credit or permission. Thanks!)

WNBR Santa Fe Plaza

lessgasmoreass

Bicycling Against Oil Wars

F the Man

Interview

fuelfreefool

CurbCarCulture

Views: 16

Comment by Ben Moffett on June 20, 2010 at 5:43pm
Smart group of gals. Not a boob in the bunch. Can't say that for the guys.
Comment by Benny the Icepick on June 20, 2010 at 9:26pm
Great photos, Aeaeae!
Comment by Aeaeae on June 20, 2010 at 9:44pm
Thanks! And Ben, there was indeed a boob (or actually two), but I wasn't sure if there was a nudity policy on the Fix so I kept it PG. Kenny, it really was fun to watch them roll through the Plaza. If you want to make someone smile, make them blush.
Comment by Lucky on June 21, 2010 at 12:26am
Great shots! I especially like the one on Flickr of the poor security guard. Why his day, indeed!

Seriously, though, I more than agree with your sentiment. We should be proud that we can protest in many ways and not have it be the end of the world. I don't know about this specific cause, or riding my bike to work (it's far and I'm lazy), but agitating for change is never a bad thing.
Comment by Aeaeae on June 21, 2010 at 12:07pm
Thanks Lucky! The cause(s) behind the ride are valid and important, and personally I enjoy an unconventional approach. Whatever it takes to get people's heads out of their bums. (Okay, perhaps that is somewhat overstated given oil spills seem to work brilliantly but are probably a bad plan on a regular basis to raise awareness.)

And, even those of us who can't ride our bikes everyday can do lots of things to help address the issue of dependency on a resource which is clearly not sustainable and drives us to some pretty messed-up political ends. We've all been hearing about them for a while. Taking those suggestions seriously doesn't really cost much in convenience and even though perhaps it doesn't seem like much of a contribution on an individual or family level, it has the potential to be huge on a larger scale.

To make just a few suggestions to folks: Watch how much packaging there is on the stuff you buy. Use glass or stainless containers at home rather than plastics. Use reusable bags at the store, and recycle the ones you get there! On a good day, I see maybe one other person where I tend to shop using them. Consider a more fuel efficient car, or better yet a hybrid. See if you can telecommute! Switch to plant-based cleaning products. Many of these options have added health and well-being benefits, may save you money, and aren't that big of a compromise.
Comment by Ben Moffett on June 23, 2010 at 5:43am
Good advice, Aeaeae, especially the last paragraph.
Comment by stef on June 23, 2010 at 9:43am
Want to save a ton of gas? Tune your damn car and check the tire pressure.

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