The blue tutu rides again

On a hot humid Saturday night, this happened again.  If you look for it, you can see a glimpse of blue tutu in one of the photos there.*

While my outfit was more or less the same as last year (I’m thinking about mixing it up a bit for future rides), I did make some signs for the bikes this year.

Don’t let the paint think for you

0726141851-00 - CopyThis year’s temps were quite a contrast to last year, when it was chilly even before the sun went down.  Turns out ninety degrees and humid isn’t too bad when you’re biking [mostly] naked, and after wondering all day if the ride would be rained out, I wasn’t complaining.

We had a few new friends join us for the ride this year (including Rebecca over at Fiets of STyLe), and it was fun to experience the ride with them.  The route provided a really wonderful look at a number of St. Louis neighborhoods, and the 12 miles seemed to fly by (though we weren’t going all that fast, of course).

While passing by some hotels in downtown St. Louis, one of my fellow riders shouted [to some tourists], “Welcome to St. Louis.  We just do this spontaneously every Saturday night,” and I rather wish that were the case.

I was sad when I realized we were almost back to The Grove (the ride’s start/end point), especially because, similar to last year, the ride itself was definitely the high point.   We did hang out for a bit afterward, and ran into some other friends, but we made it a pretty early night (maybe the after party was more exciting after 10pm?).

On Sunday, G made a strong case for participating in next year’s festivities by running around the apartment wearing a cape and a mask . . .


. . . and not much else.  There were a couple of other little ones there last night, and I’m very tempted to bring him next year, at least for some of the pre-ride festivities.  Pretty sure he’d steal the show, riding around on his balance bike in that cape!

*Now that I look closely, the blue tutu glimpse on the KSDK website is me, but it’s a photo from the 2013 ride.  I’m wearing my [old] yellow helmet (helmet now is white), and there are no signs on my bike.  Guess they didn’t send anyone to cover this year’s ride?

World Naked Bike Ride!

Well, I did it!  Despite serious fatigue on Saturday evening (following a morning of gardening and an afternoon of toddler wrangling), I resisted the urge to just spend the night curled up on the couch and miss out on yet another World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR).

I loved experiencing the positive energy and camaraderie of the Tour de Fat ride in D.C., and that, combined with the fact that we’ve been talking about doing this forever, provided the necessary motivation.

We returned from the garden (sans toddler) and ate a quick dinner, after which I donned my blue tutu and hopped on Baby Jake.  We rode to the rendezvous point/pre-party on South Grand, where we made some final outfit adjustments.

The ride is part protest against dependency on oil and other nonrenewable resources, part celebration of bodies and positive body image, and part really fun group bicycle ride, summed up nicely in this quote:

It’s time to put a stop to the indecent exposure of people and the planet to cars and the pollution they create.

Clothing ran the spectrum from nothing (except footwear — I didn’t see anyone barefoot, though I wouldn’t count it out) to totally PG, family-friendly beach wear, which we’d already discerned from previous years’ pictures.

In this age of digital media, where everyone has a camera and can post to the internet in seconds, we opted for a middle road.  You know, just so there’s nothing scandalous that would mar my future run for president.


We fed off the energy of the crowds that lined many portions of the thirteen mile route through the streets of St. Louis, and, while our ride certainly caused delay for some motorists, they didn’t seem to mind, given the free entertainment.

With over 1500 participants, this was the largest WNBR in St. Louis to date, pretty impressive for an all volunteer-run event.

My only complaint about the ride itself (and the pre-party), was the smoking.  I would love to see the ride become a smoke-free event.  I’m not sure where that would leave the men who stuffed their cigarette packs in their underwear, hoping to compensate  for certain, um, shortages, shall we say, but my lungs would really appreciate it.

Barring the ride going smoke-free, we’re planning to bring water guns next year, so we can help put out fires (guy who puffed a cigar for half of the ride, I am looking at you!  Actually, I was this close to walking up and pulling it out of your hand and smashing it under my running shoe).

Other complaint about the event?  The after-party.

The route ended in The Grove, at an outdoor event sponsored by HandleBar and Atomic Cowboy.  By that point, I seriously needed a restroom (having not relieved myself in alleyways along the route, the toilet of choice for numerous other riders).  After looking in vain for port-a-potties, we headed to HandleBar, hoping for a restroom and the chance to purchase some food.

Instead of welcoming the riders, as one would expect given their sponsorship of the event, HandleBar was charging a five dollar cover for the evening.  Seriously lame, guys!  I was planning to buy food, but you just lost some business.

We crossed the street to Atomic Cowboy (no cover) and joined the growing bathroom queues.  Afterward we grabbed a table and waited in vain for someone to take our food order.  We even resorted to eating our own snacks, sure that that would attract attention, but no.

I finally hopped up and approached a waitress who had just delivered an order to a table across the room, only to have her completely and blatantly ignore me.  (Was it the petals?  Would less clothing help?)

We finished our own snack and headed to the outside “party” area, where I hoped to find an awesome dance party in progress.  Not so.

In addition to being lame in general, there were far too many “spectators” at the after-party, people who were creepily milling around, not following the [un]dress code at ALL.  A private event just for riders (and perhaps appropriately clad friends) would be much better.

Final verdict on my first WNBR: the ride itself was great — I’m very glad we did it, and I’m looking forward to next year!

The after-party?  Seriously anticlimactic! It needed restrooms, food, less fully-clothed people, and more dancing.

Barring those changes, we agreed it would have been fun to have a group of friends to hang out with at the end.  So, who’s joining us next year???

Happy things: Blue tutus and chocolate peanut butter bites

A quick glance at the title may throw you, but this post is not completely random.  Nope!  In fact, it’s about bikes and food, with a few green notes for extra credit — completely on topic.

While I rode in the Tour de Fat bicycle parade sans costume (i.e., wearing regular clothing), many riders outfitted themselves in creative ways.  One of my favorites was a woman wearing a blue tutu.  I coveted that tutu and decided that somehow, a tutu would factor into my World Naked Bike Ride get-up.

Yep, that’s right, after talking about it for three years, we’re actually going to ride in the StL edition of the World Naked Bike Ride this year!

In 2010, it just didn’t happen for some reason.

In 2011, the event was either right before or after Gabriel was born, so I was either feeling very pregnant (and hot and lazy) or recovering from his delivery.

Last year (2012), I just didn’t have the energy to makes plans for the event itself, child care, etc.

So 2013 will be the year.  And it will involve this fabulous bright blue tutu that I made yesterday (when I should have been prepping for a job interview that I have later this week — oh well, perhaps I can add “Tutu Maker” to my resumé).


Turns out making a tutu is rather simple.  I made it even easier by re-purposing the elastic waistband from a pair of Matthew’s old, worn-out boxers.  Now for the rest of my costume . . . .

On to the chocolate and peanut butter!

I’ve wanted to do some baking for over a week now, but the hot weather does not inspire one to crank up the oven.  No-bake recipe to the rescue!

A couple of weeks ago, I flagged this recipe for Reeses peanut butter no-bake bars, and yesterday, I no-baked them in my kitchen.  Actually, I went a step beyond no-bake and used solar heat to melt the butter and chocolate.


I put both in metal dishes (for optimal heat transfer) and set them on the blacktop pavement (hotter than lighter-colored sidewalk), both covered (and one weighted) to keep out any critters.


Butter halfway melted and a before picture of the chocolate.  The butter melted very quickly.  The chocolate melted almost completely (and would have melted fully if I gave it more time) — I stuck the pan in the toaster oven for just a minute or two to finish the job.

I made a half recipe (in an 8×8 pan), which was a good amount, as these are really more conducive to being eaten in tiny squares (like candy) rather than big pieces.  I used semi-sweet chocolate instead of milk chocolate (of course!), and  added a quarter cup of almond meal (for the half recipe) since the mixture seemed a bit runny (perhaps due to using natural peanut butter).

No final result pictures, but after setting up in the fridge, they popped right out of the pan, looking like those pictured in the recipe link.  Delicious!