After Montreal’s recent World Naked Bike Ride, the Montreal Gazette ran a letter to the editor from a reader who had witnessed the event and was upset by the fact that some of the riders iwere using rented bicycles.

“Do they just put the bike back in racks afterward?” the reader asked, before saying “I will never rent a bike again unless I have Handi-Wipes with me!”

Of course, we nudists/naturists would never put our bare bottoms on the seat of a rented bicycle or on any other public spot, be it mobile or stationary. We carry a towel of some sort for occasions like that, more because of what our bare bottoms might pick up rather than what they might leave behind.

The World Naked Bike Ride event wasn’t about naturism — it was a protest against automobiles, pollution etc., but some naturists no doubt took part. One of the organizers told me “Most people did as I asked by bringing a towel or to clean (the seats) after use.”

But somehow, the Gazette reader didn’t know about that.

I was thinking afterward that the next person to use a rental bike ridden by a bare-bottomed rider that day would probably be wearing clothes, anyway, so the seat would pose no health risk. But what about the bicycle handle bar and grips and brakes? The previous rider would have had his or her hands all over them, and God knows what germs were transferred from those hands to the bicycle.

Indeed, the hands probably would transfer more germs to a bicycle than a bare bottom would. And God knows what germs a pair of jeans might leave on the seat of a bicycle.

So, what is it about bare bottoms that frightened the reader so much?

Inquiring minds need to know.

— Jillian