The annual Philly Naked Bike Ride is this weekend, bringing thousands of cyclists together — both clothed and unclothed — to advocate for body positivity and the fight against climate change.
Thousands of cyclists will pass by various landmarks this weekend, including Rittenhouse Square and City Hall.
Each year, the ride aims to promote body positivity, and folks can either be fully clothed, wear body paint, or nothing at all. Oren Roth-Eisenberg helps promote the event every year, and according to him, the ride isn’t a race — but a party.
“It’s an organized and disorganized ride,” Roth-Eisenberg said. “It’s more casual and like a fun flow over like a really slow ride over that 12 miles with different stops in between. It’s meant to be accessible for everyone of all body types and all skill sets.”
He’s ridden in nearly all the rides. He said the Naked Bike Ride allows people to hang out — and occasionally have paint and sparkles thrown at them.
“I’ve continued to be shocked how when you’re in a sea of naked people, it’s like nobody’s naked,” Roth-Eisenberg said. “Just being in this like mass of bodies and paint and flesh and fun that you can’t really replicate.”
Street Team Captain and Lead Facilitator Wesley Noonan-Sessa said the ride also acts as a protest against fossil fuels since it encourages more people to ride their bikes in Philly. He hopes it gets people to take their feet off the gas pedal and on some bike pedals.
“When you’re in a large group of people riding in a city, it’s not as daunting as if you’re riding alone,” Noonan-Sessa said. “And maybe it’s a first step in.”
According to NPR, cars and trucks account for roughly a quarter of all the country’s greenhouse emissions, and stopping climate change would require those emissions to sink to almost zero.
The 14th Philly Naked Bike Ride takes place Saturday at 2 p.m. The bike route will be unveiled on the event’s website 24 hours beforehand. There’s no need to sign up and it’s free to ride.
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