Naked people will once again ride bikes through Philadelphia — but must still mask up

After the COVID-19 pandemic shut down last year’s bike ride, the annual Philly Naked Bike Ride is back with only one dress code requirement: you must wear a mask. 

Why ride a bike naked for 10 miles you say? The event aims to promote positive body images and love for cycling, an environmentally friendly mode of transportation no matter what you’re wearing (or not wearing).

Masks are required during the ride despite Philadelphia’s mask mandate being lifted for those fully vaccinated and outside. Restaurants still must operate at 50% capacity although the distance between chairs will be reduced from 6 feet to 3 feet. While indoor catered events can operate at 25% capacity and outdoor events at 50% capacity. 

Although most of the city’s COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, the bike ride organizers haven’t had a chance to re-strategize their plans. Lead organizer Wesley Noonan-Sessa told NBC Philadelphia they’re “going to stick with our initial mask guidance.” 

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On August 28, participants can wear as much or little clothing as they’d like. Although the majority nude event isn’t legal, as of 2021, the bike ride hasn’t experienced issues with Philadelphia police, according to its website.

It’s also a scenic route and not a race, with opportunities to pass by monuments including Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which was featured in the “Rocky” movies.

The ride, which takes about two to three hours to complete, is part of a larger organization, called World Naked Bike Ride, which plans naked bike rides across the world. People have biked naked in New Zealand, Argentina, Japan, Canada and over a dozen other countries.

In Auckland, New Zealand, the message of the bike ride was to highlight the country’s oil dependency and “the negative social and environmental impacts of a car-dominated culture,” according to its website. 

During the Philly Naked Bike Ride, participants are known for sporting unique hats, glasses and outfits. A body paint area is provided where participants can draw items, pictures or share a message. 

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