Naked Running Pioneer Wants You to Strip, Do Bay to Breakers
|Well, U got R attention...|
"It was a total lark. It was one of those things where you get a hair up your ass to do something and don't let yourself back down," he says of his decision to "streak" the B2B 20-odd years ago.
"So there are thousands of people in this mob and the gun goes off -- bang! -- and I strip off my clothes. And nothing moves," recalls a laughing Van Sicklin, tracked down at his Oakland auto mechanic shop. "You stand there and stand there and the people around you draw back. And I stumbled after the first mile or so, and there's my big ass sticking up in the air. But [nudity] keeps you running, let's put it that way."
|Ed Van Sicklin, clothed|
The inaugural nude contingent literally ran into problems. While there were no laws against nudity on the streets of San Francisco, those hoping to parade au naturel in Golden Gate Park require permits. So when the "nudipedes" hit the park, the cops moved in.
Van Sicklin et al. may not have had pockets, but they did have a lawyer. SF Weekly tracked him down in Ramah, N.M., where's he's lived and worked for the past 14 years. Obviously, he remembered this case ("nudipedes" don't come up in the legal canon all too often).
"I can't recall the name of the judge we went in front of, but he dismissed all the charges," said the lawyer.
By the way, that lawyer's name: Will Stripp. Yes, Will Stripp represented the nudists. When asked if he was chosen for his legal acumen or name, Stripp answered honestly: "I think it was both."
Van Sicklin's days of whizzing through San Francisco sans apparel are through. But when asked any advice for would-be nude runners, he responded enthusiastically. "Oh God, absolutely do it," he said without hesitation. "Absolutely -- and get like-minded people if you can."
Photo of nude runner | Jim Herd