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Philly’s famous Naked Bike Ride hits the streets Saturday for the first time in two years, with a remix of its traditional body-positive message.
For the first pandemic-era ride, the rule is “clothes off, mask on.”
The event, which first came to Philadelphia in 2009, was founded to help promote positive self-image for all body types. This year’s ride has a list of goals that include raising awareness about fuel consumption and “economic sustainability.”
Organizers revealed the route Friday evening. From the start point of Glendinning Rock Garden in Fairmount Park, it takes riders through tons of different neighborhoods.
The path curves down the Schuylkill River Trail, winds around the Art Museum, jumps over to 34th Street, crosses the river again at the South Street Bridge, and rounds Rittenhouse Square. It uses 3rd Street to slide through Old City and into NoLibs, then doubles back across Spring Garden to Chinatown before zipping up the Ben Franklin Parkway and ending behind CCP at Matthais Baldwin Park.
It’s a 12-mile, mostly flat circuit. Meetup time is 4:30 p.m. and the ride leaves at 5 p.m.
Riders should expect to navigate the usual downtown traffic — which is part of the fun, as passersby gawk at body paint and creative cover-ups, or the lack thereof.
Saturday’s weather forecast does show a chance of rain, and it’s not clear if there’s a contingency plan.
There is an after-party at the Raven Lounge on Sansom Street, and it’s also clothing optional. (Again, mask up indoors.)
Organizers wrote on Facebook that the ride’s mask mandate was not their choice, but came from city regulations. Current health department rules require face coverings at outdoor gatherings larger than 1,000 when people aren’t seated. Bike seats don’t count, and as one of the largest such rides in the nation, Philly’s event regularly draws several thousand participants.
To add some weirdness and joy to the face covering requirement, there’s a contest for the best decorative mask. A YouTube video explains the guidelines.
As with previous years, the organizers are also reminding participants and observers about the PNBR rules of conduct. Sexual harassment, unwanted comments about physical appearance and photography without consent will not be tolerated, they say.
“Ultimately, one of the goals of the Philly Naked Bike Ride is to desexualize nudity and to encourage everyone to embrace nudity as a normal, enjoyable way of life,” organizers wrote in the conduct guide. “Following this policy will help further this goal and teach all of us how to be better people in general.”
A last-minute “Wooder Ice Ride” starts Friday at 6:30 p.m. at the Art Museum and hits up two of the city’s best water ice spots: Siddiq’s in West Philly and Pop’s on Oregon Avenue. No word on the amount of apparel you should wear for the pre-event.
Wondering whether you can rent a bicycle to take part? Indego never said you can’t use bike share, and in past years, several people have.
Whether or not you’re stripping down to mount a two-wheeler, you can show support by picking up branded merch online. Use the discount code “weride2021” for 15% off, this weekend only.
As PNBR enthusiast and onetime City Council candidate Joe Cox posted on Facebook: “If you don’t want to see naked or half-naked people” Saturday afternoon, make sure to avoid the area, because they’ll be out in full force.
Check FB for more updates: facebook.com/pnbrfan