Ah, August…Our Time For Sweet Corn On The Cob, National Lazy Day (August 10), And The Philly Naked Bicycle Ride!

I like to think that I’m not prudish…

But I confess I was taken aback by this NPR story:

Not the part about covering their faces.

The “Naked Bike Ride” part.

Masses of people riding bikes, naked?

I’d never heard of this. 

Time to educate myself.

I went online and sure enough, there’s a website…

With a colorful poster…

And a Philly Naked Bike Ride scheduled:

Saturday, August 28

So…why a naked bike ride?

According to the website, the Philly Naked Bike Ride – or PNBR – is about “Riding together to promote fuel-conscious consumption, positive body image, and cycling advocacy.”

I can’t argue with any of that.

You don’t have to ride naked – it’s a “Bare As You Dare” event.  You don’t have to pre-register, just show up.  You don’t have to pay to participate, but donations are welcome.

And you don’t have to work up a sweat – the ride is not a race:

“The ride is a slow, conversational pace.  It meanders through the city of Philadelphia for a total of about 10 miles.  At this rate, it typically takes 2-3 hours for the front of the group to get from the starting location to the ending location.  It is NOT a race by any means!”

OK, but…the naked combined with the bicycle seat sounds like it could be…uncomfortable?  Worse?

That’s addressed on the PNBR website as well:

“You should try it!  Otherwise, we recommend wrapping something soft around your bike seat, such as a t-shirt, a bandana, a swatch of velvet, or anything else that will make your bum feel happy.  If you are renting a bike, we strongly recommend wrapping your seat.”

That last is a particularly good suggestion.

It turns out that the Philly event is part of something much bigger:

The World Naked Bike Ride – WNBR – is “an annual, worldwide bike ride that highlights the vulnerability of cyclists everywhere and decries society’s dependence on pollution-based transport.  It’s also a lot of fun and it’s free for all!”

Again, I can’t argue with any of that.

On the WNBR site I learned that:

“…the World Naked Bike Ride originated as a protest against society’s dependency on oil.  Today, especially in Portland, Oregon, many people ride to promote cycling not only as a viable mode of transportation, but a form which should be celebrated!”

And when they say “World,” they mean it – it’s easy to find images of participants from Vancouver to Zaragoza, Spain to London to Cape-Town, South Africa:

And not everyone is naked.  Some wear clothes, and some get pretty creative with body paint…

…Others with hats and costumes and anything else they think of:

Riders are cautioned, however, to…

“Carry your clothes with you, in case you wind up having a bike malfunction or needing to stop at a store to use the bathroom or grab some water, etc.”

So, naked bike rides.

Something I knew nothing about – I now know at least a bare minimum.

(I had to make at least one “bare” joke, didn’t I?)

The Philly Naked Bike Ride:  A good cause, could be fun.

So, if you happen to be in Philadelphia on August 28, stopped for a red light, and see this…

…You can close your eyes.

Or you can just…

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