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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Boobs and Naked Cyclists

posted by on June 21 at 16:45 PM

Pirates + Flying Spaghetti Monster

Hopefully my post doesn’t steal thunder from anybody else here writing about the Fremont Solstice Parade… though, to be fair, the “nude cyclists and drum-circle floats” description isn’t exactly breaking-news material.

This was my first year to see the parade, and I had a fine time watching nude, color-coated folks biking around. Also enjoyed the set of people dressed as parts of a sandwich who would often crunch into each other to form up Voltron-style. But I felt really odd watching the biking part of it, though not out of prudishness. Rather, the happy, hippie, and shameless biking seemed muted by the crowd watching it—mostly assholes and yuppies. This is who you’re showing off for? The khaki-short entourage who feels compelled to point out when a pair of breasts “looks like udders”? Yeah, well done, Jacob. Who needs good vibes? I figure the nekkid folks would be better off finding their own meadow to bike through, but as has been pointed out to me, maybe even the hippies have a little Girl inside of them that wants to Go Wild.

Anyway, I had fun. Since the Stranger Flickr Pool is currently lacking in nudity, a few photos taken by my ladyfriend are up after the jump to protect the three of you who work and check Slog on a Saturday… the rest of you with better photos, get ‘em up there.








RSS icon Comments


It's a good point, Sam. I'm a long time cyclist, and I lost interest in the parade audience long ago. I still do it because I know many of the cyclists, and it's a fun thing to do with a few hundred friends. The best part of the ride is usually not the parade itself, but the trip there from the painting location. Over the years, we've gotten painted in Ravenna, Ballard, Queen Anne, and now Belltown, and it's the unsuspecting neighborhoods we pass through that are the most fun.

Posted by Ivan Cockrum | June 21, 2008 4:54 PM

"khaki-short entourage" -


Those guys are just as bad as the ones who who take their daughter for a bike ride wearing blue jeans and a polo shirt.

Posted by PC | June 21, 2008 5:11 PM

Let's not hate on the crowd too much. From where I was standing the old people and yuppies were enjoying it just as much as the gays and hipsters.

Maybe attending this will help everyone to loosen up a little.

Batman, if you're out there, do you and the Joker need a Robin?

Posted by Mike D | June 21, 2008 6:03 PM

Only an asshole would call a gigantic crowd "mostly assholes and yuppies." Its a fricking community. Everybody should come. Even you. If you judge people by what they wear to a parade then you, my friend, are also shallow. And by yuppie, (an old eighties term...I think officially dead in early nineties) I assume you mean people with jobs? Who are young? Who are able to give money to the people collecting at the gates to support community causes? Grow the fuck up.

Posted by josephine | June 21, 2008 6:16 PM

What I love most about non-conformists is how much they love to deride those who fail to conform.

Posted by Giffy | June 21, 2008 6:34 PM

I like josephine's comment, particularly b/c I wore khaki shorts and consider myself neither a yuppie nor an asshole. You have to admit though that it wouldn't be a Seattle event (or blog) without pretentious hipsters making you feel that your wardrobe isn't ironically similar enough to the one you wore when you were an 8-year old in the Midwest.

Posted by tim | June 21, 2008 6:36 PM

You anecdotal fuckwad.

Get over yourself and thank your lucky stars that something like this exists.

Posted by Non | June 21, 2008 6:41 PM

Damn! I didn't wear an ironic t-shirt or jeans made for a nine year old! I knew I would face the scorn of SLOG Hipster douchebags. Great post Sam. Your best since your last incredibly boring post about video games.

Posted by Dr R | June 21, 2008 6:42 PM

"... assholes and yuppies?" You're which?

Posted by oneway | June 21, 2008 6:57 PM

Josephine's is the unofficial Slog comment of the week.

Posted by bob | June 21, 2008 7:04 PM

Yeah, josephine is right.

God, Sam.

Posted by elenchos | June 21, 2008 7:16 PM

You mean, all of those Yuppies who have the money to buy the things that your paper advertises (and thus lives on).

You're a fool, dude.

Posted by Oliver | June 21, 2008 7:22 PM

Thanks, Josephine. I think you speak for a lot of us.

Posted by RainMan | June 21, 2008 7:23 PM

@4: It wouldn't matter if those jerkwads mocking the naked bicyclists with sexist comments were dressed in spandex or "cool" clothes--they'd still be assholes (and better dressed than me). I've got nothing against yuppies, unless they happen to be dicks. I just don't get what motivates a painted hippie to bike in front of a crowd that generally has no interest in joining in the fun, save a noticeably cute swarm of children. Would YOU bike naked in front of that crowd? If so, chime in. If not, then you're making a stink about something I wasn't even talking about.

Posted by Sam M. | June 21, 2008 7:24 PM

Well, the frat element was there, but they always show up -- some backwards cap khaki boys elbowed into me in the Art Car area, clutching tallboys in paper bags. There are always going to be young fools who have to slag off whatever's going on to seem cool in front of their friends. Nothing new. But, how cool was it to see JP Patches?

Posted by --MC | June 21, 2008 7:30 PM

I love the solstice parade because for the most part everyone is really friendly and I get some great photos out of it. To be fair, though, some of the people at the parade /are/ assholes, particularly the ones who go out in the middle of the street even if they don't have press passes and get in everyone's way and the dudes who heckle the ladies who choose to wear underwear.
Sorry, Josephine, but as a linguistics student I feel compelled to inform you that you can't just declare a word dead and make it disappear.

Posted by Meghan | June 21, 2008 7:33 PM

Everybody, next year, please only to bother to show up to watch the parade if you have sleeve tattoos and multiple piercings, and are wearing an ironic tshirt, skinny jeans, leather wristband(s) and porkpie hat, and, if it's cold enough, a Western longsleeve shirt. It would help if you have a drug and/or coke addiction, and are seriously hungover. Please make a note of it, and see you next year.

Posted by Tired of yuppies | June 21, 2008 7:34 PM

Sorry ToY, I'd dress that way if I attended the parade but I get ill every time I venture off The Hill. I'll see you at Cafe Presse.

Posted by hillster | June 21, 2008 7:39 PM

Whoa! Sam commenting @ 14 is an even bigger asshole than Sam blogging.

Posted by RonK, Seattle | June 21, 2008 7:46 PM

I almost forgot. Monica Guzman wrote an insightful post about how the Solstice Parade is more than just naked bicyclists. Maybe the naked cyclists are to blame for overshadowing everything else and attracting all those dudebros in the first place?

Posted by elenchos | June 21, 2008 7:47 PM

I love the blogosphere.

when you call a crowd a bunch of assholes and yuppies you can't back out and say you were misunderstood. Why don't you just tell us to lighten up Sam? It was obviously a joke. Or maybe you really are upset that assholes ruined your nude-biker perving experience?

Posted by tim | June 21, 2008 7:53 PM

Sam it's no wonder you got fired from your job at Amazon*

*the temp agency that placed you there

Posted by matt | June 21, 2008 8:00 PM

For all those who are spazzin' out in these comments...

Our little group, Sam M. included, totally dug the parade. We cheered heartily for bubbles and squirt guns and random hugs, as well as every lovely person who was brave enough to bike naked. And yes, listening to several squares make disgusting comments about women who are not rail-thin with perky breasts kind of ruined the mood a little for us.

FYI #7, we contributed money to help support next year's parade so we feel that thanks has been given to those lucky stars. Looking forward to next year and the day I have the guts to give a flying fuck about crude yuppie comments.

As for those who are jumping to the conclusion that Sam dresses and is a Capitol Hill hipster, mais non. I'd pay to see him don a pair of skinny jeans and a v-neck t-shirt because it would be the funniest shit to ever go down in Wedgwood.

Lastly, I'd like to thank the Masonic Lodge for providing free snacks, hot dogs, water, and facilities to weary festival goers. That was totally awesome.

Posted by bemaha | June 21, 2008 8:05 PM

Sam, don't fabricate things. You're starting to sound like Blaire.

Posted by bemaha 2.0 | June 21, 2008 8:10 PM

@20: you win the insight award for today. Ninety percent of the douchebags would stay home if there naked bicyclists did the same.

I don't know where Sammy gets the impression that the naked bikers are hippies...I saw mostly yuppies and frat types, trying desperately to be "arty" and "edgy".

The whole naked bike-riding thing needs to go away. It's not interesting, it's not unique, it's not artistic, and it stopped being about "celebration" after the first "organized ride". Now it's about a bunch of irritating douchebags, trying to show off.

Posted by A Non Imus | June 21, 2008 8:31 PM


Not me. Mónica Guzmán. I didn't even go to Fremont today; I was out all day shopping for baby hats and getting schooled on car seat installation.

Posted by elenchos | June 21, 2008 10:01 PM

I have to agree about the crowd comments.

This was one of my rare years just watching and not being in the parade, and I ended up next to a married couple - and the guy was totally obsessed - and commented repeatedly on - naked breasts.


The bizarre thing is his wife said a friend of hers sells leather goods, and that leather and feathery chaps sell the best in the three months before gay pride parades in most of the country.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 21, 2008 10:04 PM

#25: Exactly how do you judge a naked/painted cyclist as yuppy or frat type? Was it their hairstyle hidden under the flowers and helmet? Was it the clothing they wore? Oh I know! It was the cool tatoo you spotted, or what just paint? Come on!

Perhaps it's just you who judge the cyclists as trying to be this or that. Until you're at the painting party participating and being part of this sudden community, and not just coaching from side lines, you may never understand what folks are "being" and that there's no "trying to be" going on here.

Posted by Nuff Said | June 21, 2008 10:12 PM

@27 forced me to imagine a naked Will in Seattle riding through Fremont. I fear my penis may never work again.

Posted by Big Sven | June 21, 2008 10:18 PM

Let me just add one final thought: I ride a naked bike every day. With clothes on.

Posted by elenchos | June 21, 2008 10:45 PM

@29 - well, there was that Westercon PR piece ... but you're not my type.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 21, 2008 11:22 PM

I went to lunch with my wife here in Denver and someone at the next table was talking about the nude cyclists at the Fremont Solstice Parade. If that ain't a sign that this has jumped the shark, I don't know what is.

(I think @ 1 has the right idea, though... do it in other neighborhoods... or better yet, do it in Kent, or maybe ride around Pastor Hutch's church. That would be daring.)

Posted by Matt from Denver | June 21, 2008 11:50 PM

Wow, who knew that a parade could make so many people so angry.

Posted by Sad Comment | June 22, 2008 12:18 AM

I know! Who would have thought Fremont could generate so many angry people?

Posted by kid icarus | June 22, 2008 12:23 AM

'Yuppies'? Really? Seriously?

Posted by levide | June 22, 2008 1:07 AM

@28: well, it ain't a perfect science, but when the naked douchebag in question is riding an expensive road bike, it's a pretty strong sign that he's not a hippy.

Same goes for the people naked except for their backwards baseball caps and skateboards, dudes walking around showing off their cock as if it were gold bar, and the naked yuppies carrying multi-thousand-dollar photojournalist gear to capture the "action" while riding through the crowd.

Posted by A Non Imus | June 22, 2008 2:21 AM

This was the parade I started to think the cyclists are getting to be too much of a production and seem kind of out of place with the rest of everything going on.

If you had to pick one word to describe what the Solstice Parade is all about, it would be "yay!"

If you had to pick one word to describe what the cyclists are becoming, it'd be "HEYLOOKATME".

Posted by brent | June 22, 2008 2:57 AM

The misses and I never stop quietly perving on everyone, so that was nothing new.

The floats this year were rather lackluster compared to last year's though. They had that awesome pyramid/egyprian themed procession last year. It was awesome.

This year we get Gitmojesus. When that one walked by, with no music, the crowd fell silent, and some old hippy guy next to me yelled "woo hoo, this one shows that summers here?".

Posted by joh | June 22, 2008 7:45 AM

Sam, your obsession with nudity in the post, from the title to the request for more of it in the Flickr pool, betrays you as one of those assholes that only sees one thing while looking at the parade.

You, sir, are a douchebag.

Par for the Stranger's course.

Posted by Perv-o-meter | June 22, 2008 8:33 AM

Re: lack of naked pics in the photopool. It would help if the pool was set up allowed people to non safe tagged photos.

Posted by nic | June 22, 2008 8:42 AM


When the fallen Statue of Liberty thing went past, a really old woman next to me starts frantically asking no one in particular, "What? What does that even mean? I'm confused. Do they hate freedom?"

I explained that they were "concerned for the welfare of Lady Liberty, ma'am" and she stopped looking like she was about to keel over.

So I agree. More crazy creature costumes and half-assed mythology. Less hooded convict Jesus with cross unless you're going to spell it out for the young'uns and the old'uns.

Posted by bemaha | June 22, 2008 8:42 AM

One of my favorite moments was when a couple of older women, probably in their sixties, white-haired, well-dressed, came up beside me and asked if they'd missed anything.

"Just the naked people," I said.

"Oh, we were hoping to see some of those!"

"Don't worry," I laughed. "There'll be more."

Just then a nude biker dude cycled past, and the women were like, "Phwoar! Big one!" and elbowing each other in the ribs. It was very cute. That made up for the nitwit who was there with his girlfriend and kept shouting at any naked women passing by to "work it".

Despite the nitwits, I like all the nudity, and the fact that it still makes people uncomfortable and irritated. Those dirty show offs! Yeah! The one I thought totally rocked was the dirty show off with the heart painted on the tip of his cock. That made me laugh.

Posted by Ramdu | June 22, 2008 10:08 AM

more labels for the labelers (from New York Magazine):

"Yupster (yuppie + hipster), yindie (yuppie + indie), and alterna-yuppie. Our preferred term, grup, is taken from an episode of Star Trek (keep reading) in which Captain Kirk et al. land on a planet of children who rule the world, with no adults in sight. The kids call Kirk and the crew “grups,” which they eventually figure out is a contraction of “grown-ups.” It turns out that all the grown-ups had died from a virus that greatly slows the aging process and kills anybody who grows up."

Posted by josephine | June 22, 2008 8:37 PM

Damn, there's some big yuppie rage going on in the comments today...

Posted by johnnie | June 22, 2008 9:01 PM

Nice pic of Tiberio after the cut (last one).

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 22, 2008 11:09 PM

I worked the Festival.

Typically I work on the craft line at the Pike Place Market, where the ratio is: lots of nice people in a day to one or two jerks. At Solstice, the ratio was completely reversed and only got worse later on as people started getting drunk.

You know who goes to the Fremont Solstice Festival? Douchebags. It's not a community; if it is, they are not a powerful majority. The vibe was not friendly and mellow the way one would except, it was harsh, mean, and demoralizing. I did not make enough money to justify putting up with 12 hours on my feet dealing with there people.

Posted by Whiskey Tango Foxtrot | June 23, 2008 7:52 AM

@46 - That sucks. I'm really sorry you didn't have a good experience this year. (And I'm not being Slog-ironic, I actually mean it.)

I thought it was one of the best years in a while. Big, big diverse crowd. Lots of kids, lots of old people. Lots of khaki-wearing frat boys, lots of fixie-riding hipsters. Lots of art-damaged burners, lots of wide-eyed civilians. People looked like they were having fun, grooving on the vibe and the weather.

Can't we all just chill out together?

Posted by Soak It Up | June 23, 2008 9:52 AM

What a lot of anger and spewing! As with every recent year, the Parade is a great event and the vibe is generally mellow. Sam & #23: If you hear stupid sexist comments, you should politely call them on it as you should in most public situations, and leave it at that. #46: You are conflating the Parade and the Fair. The Parade draws thousands, including many of us who live in Fremont. And then lots of us go back up the hill to party (it's "the day" for yard parties in Fremont).

Please stop being so judgmental. What are you all so angry about? We've got lots of problems in Fremont and Seattle, but the naked bicyclists and the Fremont Solstice Parade are not among them. Go vent some of your bile on the City Council and Mayor for not giving us a good enough transportation system so people have to park all the way up to the Zoo just to come see the Parade.

Posted by Toby | June 23, 2008 10:10 AM

This was my first year experiencing the Solstice Parade's naked bicycling. I'm curious to know, since (1)I'm a grad student in urban planning, (2)my car is a honda accord, (3)I live in a studio apt., (4)I take the bus EVERYWHERE, (5)I spent my undergrad at The Evergreen State College (in Olympia),(6)I make my own hummus (7)I like to wear high heels to work, and (8)I rode naked in body paint this past Saturday.....SO...WHAT DOES THAT MAKE ME? A hipster? A yuppie? A hippie? A gurp? A....what were some of the other terms you guys have been throwing around? WHO CARES!?! STOP WITH THE BASE CATEGOERIZATION, FOLKS. IT'S DIVISIZE, DEMORALIZING, AND USELESS TO ARTICULATE. Instead, let's talk about the positive components of this event: (1)it brings people together for an off-the-wall experience, (2)it loosens up our sense of what is and isn't appropriate, (3)young and old assemble for the same/similar purpose, and (4)it was a hell of a lot of fun to bike through my own neighborhood in the buff! I'm already planning for next year. I love this city--ESPECIALLY the fact that one can be a million different things and still not fit into any of someone elses neatly packed categories. ;)

Posted by Planner09 | June 23, 2008 12:40 PM

I got busted for riding naked w/o paint by Mac Davis a parade organizer. I wasn't considered art. I was by myself so I was an easy target. Saw others not painted. Didn't feel like causing a scene so I put my pants back on. Made it 1/2 way and a friend got a nice picture so it was worth it. So how much paint do you need to qualify as "art"? Otherwise good times. Crowd was a nice mix of folks. Like the naked roller bladers and skate boarders. Next year I won't wait for the last minute and paint.

Posted by Old Mesenger 82 | June 23, 2008 4:38 PM

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