Bare As You Dare!

Alexandra Szotka
March 17, 2014

WARNING: I will try to keep the images in this post PG-13, but there are no promises!

Two cool kids from GCI!

This past weekend I had the time of my life. As part of my study abroad experience, I set a goal for myself that I would try new things and meet new people. One of the things I decided to do was join the UCT Green Campus Initiative (GCI), which is basically a really cool environmental activist group that not only preaches environmental awareness, but actually goes and gets their hands dirty.


One event that the club decided to participate in for the second year in a row was the Cape Town Naked Bike Ride. This bike ride that is done throughout cities across the world works to raise awareness on reducing fossil fuels. This ride also promotes instituting bike friendly infrastructure in places like Cape Town, and just creating a greener world in general.  My brother (Hey Aaron, her is a shout-out!) decided to take part in a naked bike ride on his campus this past fall, and he claimed to have a great time, so I thought, “why not?” I recruited my friend Lilly to accompany me and we made a pact that bathing suits would be as “naked” as we would go. At 8 in the morning we met up with GCI on lower campus and began to paint each other with fun slogans like “Yes to Ass, No to Gas!” or “Clothes are Expensive, so is petrol.” We basically wrote anything that could serve as a double entendre between being naked and reducing our use of fossil fuels. I can’t lie, what I REALLY love about GCI, is that if you are part of the “Green Police,” which is basically the group that goes around actually taking part in fun Go-Green activities, you get to wear these super cool green jumpsuits. The first time I saw the jumpsuits I knew I had to be in the club. As a way of repping GCI at the bike ride, we were able to wear the jumpsuits if we wished. Lily and I rocked those jumpsuits while sporting the cool paint all over our bodies. Because many of the club members didn’t have a bike on campus, we were all allowed to borrow a “Jammie Bike,” which is basically a campus bike rental that UCT will be instituting next year. Some of the Jammie Bikes are already working, so we were able to use them without paying for the day.


Lily going green while waiting for the train!

Such Hippies!

Semi-naked and loving it!

Lots of butts

That’s me on the far right!

We were running late at this point and then found out that bikes could only be brought onto the train if we went into the last compartment. Luckily the 30 of us all fit inside, with people laughing as we struggled to squish our bikes together. Once we got to the Cape Town station, we were all prepared to jump on our bikes and ride on over the race. However, there was a flaw in our plans. Apparently, you have to pay for another ticket if you want to bring a bike on the train with you, a rule that we were not told when we had originally purchased our train tickets. This really bothered us because it showed just how unaccommodating Cape Town is for bike users. Luckily, the leaders of our group were able to schmooze the station manager into letting us go through the gate and pay on the way back, so we wouldn’t miss out on our race. I got on my bike and I felt like I was flying. I hadn’t ridden a bike in years and it felt really great to work those muscles! Of course once we got to the starting area, we found out that everyone had already left, but fortunately they would soon be circling around and coming back to meet us. We all got ready and 10 minutes later, 300 fellow environmental activists flew down the hill on their bikes, with more nudity than anyone could imagine. GCI joined in and as I looked around I could not stop laughing. This event was so fun because it was lighthearted while also supporting a really great cause. For the first time in my life I felt like a real activist for something, and of course it took being naked to feel that way. At the end of the race we all took the train back to UCT and then went out for lunch and drinks together. Lily and I made some really great friends and spent a considerable amount of time teaching South Africans how to speak in our American “accent.” Overall it was a good day of wholesome fun!

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Alexandra Szotka

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Alexa is a sophomore at Ithaca College studying both Public Health and Politics, while also hoping to dapple in her new found interest in gender studies. She grew up in Windsor, Connecticut, famous for being the first town in Connecticut. When Alexa doesn&#39;t have her nose in a book, she can be found singing, eating (especially anything pumpkin), being sarcastic or exploring the fantastic world that we are lucky enough to call home. Studying in Cape Town in a dream come true, and Alexa is ready and willing to soak up every last bit of adventure that comes her way!</span></p>

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