Showing some skin, Burlington style

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to get naked. Again.   In fact, on Dec. 9 at 12:01 a.m. UVM students will be stripping down and participating in the Naked Bike Ride for the 27th time. The tradition owes its existence to Erica Kutcher, a former UVM student and Outing Club member who first biked naked in 1996. It is unclear if Ms. Kutcher knew exactly what she was starting, but since then, it has been off to the races and off with the clothes. The event has undergone many changes since its inception, but one thing has remained the same: the love students show for their unique tradition.   The rules and regulations imposed on the event in recent years — while grumbled about by a few — did nothing to curb attendance or enthusiasm for the Naked Bike Ride.   In many ways, the regulations have added a feeling of security to the event and made students more comfortable. Seeing security guards keeping back crowds of gawkers with cameras certainly makes The Cynic staff feel safer.   There is something very UVM about doing laps sans pants with a mix of friends and total strangers. The Naked Bike Ride is an event that brings everyone together to celebrate not only the end of a long semester, but a unifying school spirit.   We may not pack the fan sections for all of our Division I sports teams or rock the most school swag, but we will come together for a a few frigid circuits to celebrate our collective UVM-ness.   Whether you bike, run, longboard, rollerblade, skip, dance or hop, the Naked Bike Ride allows you to express yourself in one of the most liberating ways possible.   It is perfectly UVM. A school made up of free spirits that pride themselves on individuality gets to be at one event together, while having the opportunity to put their own flare on how to they express themselves.   From body paint to homemade rides, anything is game at the Naked Bike Ride. You never know what you might see. And that’s part of the fun.   Getting to hear the cheers of the crowd as the participants pass by lap after lap is an exhilarating moment for people who may never have scored a winning touchdown or performed on stage.   The Cynic believes the Naked Bike Ride is a can’t-miss experience. At some point in your time at UVM get out, get naked and get biking.