Philly Naked Bike Ride bigger than ever?

Philly Naked Bike Ride is Philadelphia’s own edition of the World Naked Bike Ride; as their website states, “PNBR is about: Riding together to promote fuel conscious consumption, positive body image, and cycling advocacy.” From my first experience of the World Naked Bike Ride in Madrid in 2009, I also learnt that it is the best way to have a bike tour through the city – with hundreds of fun people as a company and central streets being cleared of cars. So I thought it’d appropriate to visit the first historic capital of the United States on such an occasion. In most cities in Northern Hemisphere, World Naked Bike Ride takes place on the second weekend of June, but Philadelphia hosts one in August, so I wouldn’t have to skip the ride in NYC this year in order to go to Philly. Although I was happy with how New York’s naked bike ride went this year, I have to admit it is dwarfed by the ride in Philly with its 3000+ participants.

As my friend from Philadelphia who gave me a lift to the city wanted to volunteer before the ride, we arrived a couple of hours before the official start. There were numerous signs and volunteers on the bike lanes that directed bikers towards the starting point.

naturist 0000 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

The lawn next to Penn Treaty Park was already filling up with people, and as soon as the first one got naked many others followed the trend; body painters were getting busy too.

naturist 0002 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

Then more friends from NYC arrived, and after we covered ourselves with enough glitter (with the assumption that there is no such thing as too much glitter),

naturist 0006 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

we went on to make new friends and share glitter.

naturist 0008 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

Green, for the political statement.

naturist 0015 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

Meanwhile, the lawn got really packed and the bikers were lining up in preparation for the ride. This was another opportunity to make new friends, like this fellow in romper suit.

naturist 0016 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

The organisers and volunteers of PNBR were dismantling the stands and cleaning the park, a good tone for environmental demonstration.

naturist 0023 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USAnaturist 0024 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

Some participants had to do last minute fixes…

naturist 0025 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

So the delay time was not wasted,

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and the energy was high when the ride finally started.

naturist 0000 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

The work of volunteers continued in regulating the traffic and directing the ride, and they did a great job, all went smooth. This is quite impressive given the mere number of cyclists. We filled up the street as far as you could see in both directions.

naturist 0046 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USAnaturist 0050 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

That’s what you call a critical mass! In the tunnel, it was even more evident.

naturist 0114 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USAnaturist 0115 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

Below is an arial shot.

PNBR air view

By the way, although the vast majority of participants rode typical bicycles, you could see a wide spectrum of  engine-free modes of transportation.

naturist 0026 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

Of course, there was a tandem bicycle – perfect for a well coordinated couple, as it provides better power-to-weight ratio.

naturist 0030 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

And this guy on the tall bike certainly had the best view.

naturist 0096 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

Those two ladies had a leisurely ride without having to pedal at all, thanks to a friend who didn’t mind being their rickshaw.

naturist 0111 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

There were some BMX bikers too, but unfortunately there was not much chance for them to show their skills, but I’m sure it was a pretty intense exercise anyways, as most of the time during our 2-hour ride they had to pedal standing.

stepper bike at PNBR 2013

So as this guy on a stepper bike (not sure which is more difficult).

naturist 0119 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

But why limit yourself with bicycles? Roller skates

naturist 0121 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

and skateboards were a popular choice too and proved to be good alternative for commuting in Philly.

But I saw a couple of people who went even further: they ran the whole route. One of them, even barefoot. Why not, human body is capable of amazing physical endurance.

I myself was ‘just another’ cyclist on the ride, except that I was busy taking a lot of pictures for this report (most of the photos here are by me, but some are from the PNBR flickr pool).

And there were a lot of notable characters worth mentioning:

naturist 0009 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

The Mexican wrestler;

golden lady (I know how it feels to be covered in gold ;-) )

and the winged lady;

the romper suit guy again;

the naked chef;

naturist 0102 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

pink-red guy and his dog;

naturist 0072 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

the tall bike guy again (he quite literally stood out in the crowd);

naturist 0094 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

Deadmau5 (or rather his fan, judging by the absence of the tattoos);

naturist 0086 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

and this fellow with the first aid kit was conveniently easy to spot too (not that anyone ended up needing it, as far as I know)… Oh wait, I think he just missed this dude who seemed to have got himself seriously wounded before the ride even started…

naturist 0010 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

Don’t worry, he was actually just promoting the ‘Naked and Scared Challenge’ at Shocktoberfest, “Pennsylvania’s Premier Haunted Scream Park.”

By the way, the success of Philly Naked Bike Ride has drawn an even bigger company to promote itself by distributing free drinks to energise the participants. Nothing wrong with that!

naturist 0001 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

And definitely there was an impact on other citizens of the city.

naturist 0051 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

Most importantly, car drivers seemed to be happy with the ride, even though we took over the streets for a while.

naturist 0054 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

Some cheerers had even prepared quite affirming posters for us.

naturist 0123 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

And even entire families went out of their houses to cheer to us!

naturist 0068 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

I’m pretty sure those tourists on the bus got some good memories; and perhaps next time, they will take a bike tour instead. Speaking of which – as I mentioned, it was my first visit to Philadelphia,

naturist 0039 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

so I enjoyed the views of the city on the way,

naturist 0048 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

especially when we rode between Philadelphia Museum of Art

naturist 0063 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

and Logan Square and the City Hall;

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riding through some narrower streets was fun too.

naturist 0088 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

The ride ended at a parking lot near Piazza.

naturist 0125 Philly Naked Bike Ride, Philadelphia, PA USA

Here is the view from above.

Unfortunately, unlike in previous year the after-party was no longer clothing-optional, as the condominiums surrounding Piazza pressured its owner to make participants of the Philly Naked Bike Ride to be no longer naked around there. The party at PYT bar was still fun, but there was a rumour that Piazza owner also has a swimming pool, which would be a great alternative for the after-party next year. That would be great, but regardless of that, Philly Naked Bike Ride has established itself as a massive event with a lot of fun and big impact.

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9 Responses to Philly Naked Bike Ride bigger than ever?

  1. gracefulas says:

    Great photos – a truely inspirational event – wow!

  2. Pingback: Philly Naked Bike Ride bigger than ever? « Naturista Paulista

  3. naturistapaulista says:

    Fantastic!

  4. Pingback: some upcoming events this month | Active Naturists

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