A Lot of Naked People Biked Through Philadelphia This Weekend

It was the 14th annual event of its kind held there

Naked cycling returned to Philadelphia this month.
Getty Images

Plenty of people bicycle through cities everywhere in the world, but virtually all of them have one thing in common: they’re doing so while clothed. This was not the case in Philadelphia on Saturday, August 26. The streets of Philadelphia that Bruce Springsteen sang so memorably about were populated by cyclists in varying states of undress, guiding their vehicles through the urban landscape. It was, in fact, the 14th time this organized event had taken place.

Writing at the Associated Press, Tassanee Vejpongsa and Ron Todt have more details about the race, which covered 13 miles of terrain. And, for the record, participants were not required to do so completely in the nude. The race was also not limited to bicycles; according to Vejpongsa and Todt’s reporting, participants used everything from skateboards to scooters to their own legs to make their way through Philadelphia.

Visit the website of Philly Naked Bike Ride and you’ll see a motto that covers a lot of ground: “Cycling Advocacy. Body Positivity. Fuel Reduction.” And one first-time rider, Christopher Jordan, told the Associated Press that his participation had a lot to do with feeling comfortable in his own skin. “It’s just feeling comfortable with your own body and it’s OK to look at other people too, compare or not compare or just see how other people feel comfortable in their own bodies,” Jordan said.

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Philadelphia’s naked ride is far from the only example of the form. Naked bike rides are popular in Europe, and have been held in cities like Brussels and London. For some cyclists, riding a bike while naked might be the most freeing experience in the world; as the organization behind Philadelphia’s event points out, there are numerous reasons to take part.

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