Sunday, August 21st, 2016
Today is the last day of the Olympics and I’m sad to see them go.
For the first few days, I was having trouble getting excited about them. Of course, there were a few exceptions like men’s swimming and men’s basketball. I realized that I was missing the narrative – learning background on some of the athletes and following their journey throughout the games. I was watching these events, but I didn’t know anything about the athletes. Then it was on to the next event with people I didn’t know. I was trying to figure out who would be household names after the Olympics, and I didn’t think anybody would. I realized some of these feelings are because I was watching mostly on the nbcolympics.com and on the NBC sports channels on PlayStation Vue. Sometimes on nbcolympics.com, they have 4 boxes showing 4 events at the same time. Sometimes I like consuming media that way, but that’s not what I wanted for this.
After the first few days, I really started getting into it more. Watching rugby, swimming, and basketball, track, and volleyball soccer really got me into it. I started hearing names over and over like Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky that I think will be household names. I read complaints about the prime-time coverage on NBC itself, that it had too many commercials and too many pre-taped packages. I figured that’s where I needed to go get the drama. Once I did check it out, I really enjoyed it. I got emotional watching it a few times. I also started watching coverage using the NBC Sports app on Apple TV and Xbox One. Including the opening ceremonies, I watched at least some on 13 out of the 17 days.
I’m going to miss tuning in every day. I’m going to miss Bob Costas. I’m going to miss hearing the Brisco County Jr theme. Part of me wishes that we could have summer Olympic games more often, but I know it wouldn’t be as special if they occurred more frequently. A friend had the idea of going to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympic games. It’s an awesome idea! Let’s see if that happens.
A couple of days ago, Portland had it’s annual World Naked Bike Ride. Events like this are held in different cities across the world. Every year since I moved to Portland, I’ve wanted to take part in this event, but I always backed out the day of for some reason or another. I didn’t feel like going out for some reason or it was too cold or I didn’t want to go alone or I didn’t like how I looked. This year the weather was perfect, I had people to go with, and I don’t care how I look.
Alex and I had been talking about the ride for months, so I’m glad we were able to go together. Along with us were a couple that I know through Alex, Bill and Steve. We met up at Alex’s place and rode our bikes to the park where the ride was starting. It was a long ride to the park, partially because we got lost. I was already tired by the time we got to there. I really need to stop skipping cardio days at the gym. Apparently you could start getting naked at 8 and we got there shortly after 8, so there were lots of people already unclothed. Our clothes quickly came off and we found a spot to wait in. While we waited we ate some food and took in all the sights and sounds. It was just so much fun being around so many naked people. Yes, I like being naked and looking at naked people. No, not everyone was completely naked. From what I saw most of the women and a decent amount of the men were only partially unclothed. Some people were fully dressed. Some people had on body paint. I think I will do that next year. There was a playground in the park and surprisingly there were children playing while they were surrounded by thousands of naked people. They were eye level with my crotch and the only time I was uncomfortable was when we were looking for a bathroom and went near the playground. I know this event is supposed to be a protest again oil dependency, but for me it’s just about having fun being naked and about being comfortable with your own body.
The ride was supposed to start at 9, but it was about 9:30 before we were finally on the road biking. The route took us through the streets of Southeast Portland. The streets were blocked off. There were so many people along the route watching, cheering, taking pictures, etc. There were lots of people watching with their children. I could hear that some of children were amazed to see so many naked people. It didn’t take long for the group I was with to get separated, but we weren’t really trying hard to stay together. I only saw a couple of accidents. I narrowly avoided a few crashes when people would suddenly swerve over in front of me without looking to see if anyone was in their path. The ride was 6 miles long, a lot of it going downhill, so it wasn’t too bad. My butt did start hurting after a while and there were things sticking to my seat, but I managed. I actually never saw Bill and Steve again the rest of that night. The route took us close to Alex’s place. Alex and I met up near the end destination after the ride, put some shorts on because it was getting a little chilly by this time, and rode the short distance back to his place. After that I headed home.
I’m glad I finally got around to participating in the naked bike ride this year. I hope to do it again next year. Maybe I can convince some more friends to come along.