I’ve got a pretty fond memory of riding down Market Street in just my underwear and sneakers, seeing a newly-minted married couple walk off Dilworth Park and pose for photos with a background of scantily-clad and naked people on bicycles. I raised my fist to the couple as I rode by, and that moment (and others) was captured by their wedding photographer, then shared with some local and national news sites.
The picture, taken by JPG Photography, is below.
That was the seventh (I think!) Philadelphia Naked Bike Ride and, for me, it’s a happy yearly occurrence.
The Philadelphia Naked Bike Ride is this weekend and will mark its 10th year in existence as a nearly-10 mile ride in support of cycling advocacy, body positivity, green transportation, and other issues.
This year’s event will take place on September 8th at 5pm, with cyclists getting the starting point on Friday afternoon. The event is free and, though the ride will take off at 5, pre-ride festivities, which include body painting, will begin at 2:30pm at the starting point.
I’ve always enjoyed myself at the Naked Bike Ride, and so does basically everyone who’s participated, as far as I can tell.
I reached out to some participants to ask why they continually get naked (or, “bare as you dare,” as the ride’s suggestions state) to take a fall bike ride each year.
“Philly Naked Bike Ride is my favorite day of the year, I tell people it’s like my Christmas,” said rider Oren Eisenberg. “It has an atmosphere that’s tough to put into words. It’s quirky, it’s vibrant, it’s overwhelmingly positive, and it has purpose. I love having a platform to promote body positivity, destigmatize nudity, and promote safe cycling infrastructure all in one shot. And it’s inclusive; we span all ages, all races, all sizes. But let’s face it, it’s pretty damn fun to just be riding around the city as a hoard of naked folks with smiles on our faces.”
Added David Snelbaker: “I love the sense of community. It is an uplifting experience; it is a fun opportunity to stand up for clean air, clean water and getting off fossil fuels.”
“Positive protest expression for Body Positivity, removing stigmatism’s on nudity, clear statement against Rape Culture,” said PNBR organizer Ron Ashworth. “And it’s just Damn fun to ride though the streets of Philadelphia naked, with 3500 of my closest drinking friends. Love the Energy!!!”
For those interesting in participating, send an email to Phillynakedbikeride@gmail.com and you will receive an email announcing the meet-up spot, likely Friday afternoon. For more information about the ride, past rides, and the After Party, check out the Philadelphia Naked Bike Ride on WordPress.
Part of the fun is the public on the sidewalks cheering us on, instead of just watching the Parade go by.