Tuesday, 7 June 2016
The Naked Bike Ride
For audio click here
A naked bike ride? Carrie looked at Lucy. Was she being serious? Did she really want them to go on a naked bike ride? True, it did sound fun; Lucy had done a good job in selling it. She’d promised a carnival atmosphere; loads of people, booze, music, body paint and laughter, so Carrie was tempted. But there was one problem, in fact quite a few problems. Being stark boob naked in broad daylight. Being stark boob naked on a bike. Being stark boob naked riding through the middle of Cardiff. Being stark boob naked on a Sunday afternoon, it made it all a bit daunting. She barely liked getting undressed in front of Craig and they’d been together three months, there was no way she could go naked in front of the whole world. As fun as it sounded, she’d say no.
Carrie looked around wondering what the hell she was doing there. She’d said no, yet she found herself sitting on her bike wearing nothing but a layer of body paint. She hated Lucy sometimes. She just wouldn’t take no for an answer. But to be honest it wasn’t so bad. The sun was shining high in the Cardiff sky and the other bike riders didn’t even give Carrie a second glance. Everyone was naked and somehow that made it all okay. When they left the start line it would be safety in numbers. Carrie would hide in the pack, make sure she was in the middle so her naked flesh was seen by the few not the many.
Those at the front were just beginning to move. Lucy was chatting to a bloke called Ed who had one of the smallest penises Carrie had ever seen on a grown man. Typical Lucy, she could pull anywhere.
“Stay close to me,” Carrie said. “You’ve got my things.”
“Stop worrying, it’ll be okay.” Lucy patted the rucksack as if to prove the point and then started cycling.
With the sun up above and the wind in her hair, Carrie was beginning to forget she was naked. Okay, the seat was a bit more uncomfortable with nothing between her naked backside and the plastic and there was a bit of a breeze in her unmentionables, but it was fun. The people of Cardiff seemed unperturbed by the wall of flesh that moved through the busy shopping streets. In fact, they seemed to rather enjoy the spectacle; the naked cyclists were putting smiles on people’s faces. The only problem was that Ed was a much faster rider than Carrie, and Lucy was determined to keep up with him, leaving Carrie further back. But it didn’t matter, she was enjoying herself.
Then disaster struck, a gear change, a clanking noise and Carrie looked down to see her chain dangling from the cogs. Cyclists glided past her, no one stopped to help and suddenly she was alone. The whistles and bells receded into the distance. The wall of flesh became a faint blur. Like a wounded animal she’d been abandoned by her pack, left to the clothed predators who prowled the pedestrian precinct. She held her bike and wondered what to do. Lucy and Carrie’s phone were miles away now.
Carrie knew how to fix her bike; on any normal day the chain would be back on by now and she’d be cycling like the wind trying to catch up with her friend. But this wasn’t a normal day. The problem as she saw it was, to fix it, she would need to crouch down, and crouching down naked in the middle of a pedestrianised area was not something Carrie really wanted to do. Already she could feel their eyes, she could sense their disapproval, she could hear the cat calls. She cursed that bitch Lucy for getting her into this and then deserting her.
Men, mostly men, started shouting. Not offering help, just offering unhelpful advice.
“Need a ride?”
“I’d offer you a hand, but I wouldn’t know where to put it.”
They seemed to be inching closer.
Carrie had no choice, she had to get the chain back on. She took a deep breath and was about to bend down when she heard it. It was one whistle, then a bell and then another, then a cacophony of sound. Carrie looked up to see the swarm of naked riders was heading back towards her. At their head was Lucy and Ed. The wall of flesh circled her; hidden from view, she crouched and adjusted her chain then hopped on her bike. As soon as she was ready the procession moved off again. Carrie breathing a sigh of relief in the middle of them. Relief this time, but she promised herself, she’d never do a naked bike ride again.