Q: What is Philly Naked Bike ride all about?
A: PNBR is about: Riding together to promote fuel conscious consumption, positive body image, and cycling advocacy. Ride with us and bring your own message!
Q: Whose idea was this anyway?
A: The Philly Naked Bike Ride is just one of many that are part of the World Naked Bike Ride movement. The first international naked bike ride was a collaboration between the World Naked Bike Ride group, which rode on the twelfth of June 2004, and the Manifestación Ciclonudista with its event on the nineteenth. The WNBR group is a creation by Conrad Schmidt to help coordinate a large international naked bike ride between many different activist groups across the world.
Q: Do I have to ride NAKED?
A: NO. PNBR is a BARE AS YOU DARE event. One of the best aspects of the Philly Naked Bike Ride is how creative people get with being nude in public. Have a good time and have fun with paint, hats, costumes, sunglasses and anything else you can think of. Carry your clothes with you though, in case you wind up having a bike malfunction or needing to stop at a store to use the bathroom or grab some water, etc.
Q: Is this LEGAL?
A: Well, we can only speak from experience. Our past 11 rides have gone without incident, and have been a blast. You can read Pennsylvania code and decide how bare you will dare. Please don’t be lewd, obscene, or engage in any sexual activity – that is an arrestable offense, it’s against our Code of Conduct, and we will enforce this law.
Q: Who can participate?
A: PNBR is accessible to all levels of cycling prowess: if you’re a team cyclist, alley cat hero, bike nerd, or a bicycle commuter — PNBR has something for everyone. Other modes of people powered transportation are welcome also.
Q: Do I have to register or sign-up for the ride?
A: No, just show up on the day of the ride.
Q: Why do you wait to announce the starting point and route 24 hours before the ride?
A: Great question!! The answer is long and heartfelt, so please read. First off, it’s tradition. We’ve always done it that way, and for good reasons:
A1. Tradition: PNBR started as a guerrilla event. As we told you above, we expected a couple hundred riders the first year, and we ended up with a couple thousand. We’ve built up our social media presence to keep people informed about the event. We use our social media outreach to cross promote other mass rides we’ve organized; clothed rides. But still so much fun 🙂
A2. In terms of practicality… giving little notice helps reduce onlookers and gawkers. For those that attended the 2019 ride that started at FDR, our pre-ride essentially turned into a drive by of lookers. The organizers noticed… mostly because we couldn’t get out of the park due to the line of cars blocking our exit. It took a police van blocking the line of cars to let us out. We want to avoid that.
We recognize that disrobing in public and riding bikes naked doesn’t come naturally or easily to everyone, and picking a secluded spot (we always pick a green spot, because who wants to get naked and body-painted on hot asphalt? Gross!) where riders can get naked, mingle, get comfortable and ready to ride.
A3. It’s the most important part… Safety. Most large green spaces that can accommodate our crowd don’t have great parking accessibility. With Glendinning for example… We’ve started there several times now, and if you’ve ridden, you know parking is tight. The SRT is beautiful and scenic during the day. At night, it’s pretty dark. We’d rather you park in a legal spot in center city where it’s well lit, where you’re not likely to be towed, and doesn’t require you to cross a dark road where cars go well over the speed limit. We wish it wasn’t so, so we plan to keep you safe and get you home in one piece with a tan and happy memories.
Realistically, if you can ride 10 miles for the ride, you can ride 1.2 miles from The Art Museum steps to the start point (if we’re starting at the Rock Garden). Yup, that’s how little it is. It takes 2-5 minutes, it’s downhill and there are public restrooms along the way!
We hope this very long explanation gives you a peek into our planning process. If you don’t like it, volunteer and change our minds 😛
Q: Do I have to register if I am a photographer/videographer and/or with the media?
A: Press/ Media- please have your employer issued press badge.
*Riders are allowed to take photographs with the permission of their subjects.
**For the comfort of our riders, we no longer issue photo passes. As stated previously, if you’re riding, you can take photos as long as you have received permission from your subject.
Q: Is there a fee to participate?
A: PNBR is free. However, donations are welcome to help in the successful organization of the ride.
Q: Why is it called a naked bike ride if not everyone is naked?
A: It’s an invitation to be naked but we’re not going to be militant about nudity. We want people to be as comfortable and have as much fun as possible, no matter how much or how little of their body is exposed. All World Naked Bike Ride events are As Bare As You Dare!
Q: Isn’t it uncomfortable to sit on a bike seat naked?
A: Not really. You should try it! Otherwise we recommend wrapping something soft around your seat, such as a t-shirt, a bandana, a swatch of velvet, or anything else that will make your bum feel happy. If you are renting a bike, we strongly recommend wrapping your seat.
Q: How fast or how long is the ride?
A: The ride is a slow, conversational pace. It meanders through the city of Philadelphia for a total of about 10 miles. At this rate, it typically takes 2 hours for the front of the group to get from the starting location to the ending location. It is NOT a race by any means! In fact, we keep it slow on purpose: Nearly half of our riders are new to cycling, which is exciting because one of the goals is to get more people interested in using bikes as a mode of transport. However, that means that they may be a little wobbly on two wheels. We also want people of all abilities to be able to participate.
What we have found in the past is that when the people in the front go any faster than a crawl, it creates a gap between the faster group in the front and the slower group in the back. Cars coming from different directions then try to squeeze through this gap in the column, making it very dangerous for the riders who happen to be somewhere along the edges of that gap at the moment. An important goal is to keep all 2,000-4,000 riders safe. If we let the front group go fast, then the back group gets left in danger. So, if you like to go fast, sign up to be a street team member and you’ll get to zip up and down the column and speed ahead of the pack! Otherwise please plan on relaxing and enjoying the ride. If you’re new to a bike or it’s been a while, you will be in good company!
P.S. Want to be a speed demon at the Naked Bike Ride? Volunteer for the Street Team! Send an email to: email@example.com with “Volunteer- Street Team” in the subject line.
Follow these links for info about CycleScenePHL and Philly’s Leisure Cycling that takes place year round.
Q: I don’t have a bike/ I don’t know how to ride. Can I still participate?
A: Of course you can! We welcome all forms of Human-Powered transportation. You can bike, rollerblade/skate, skateboard, ride a scooter, jog… heck, you could probably walk it!
Q: Where can I park?
Q: What should I do to prepare for the ride?
1. Read and follow this: Code of Conduct
2. Make sure your bike works.
3. If you need to rent a bike, check with local bike shops for daily rentals. Please wrap your seat!
4. Please keep your clothes/phone/keys with you in case you need to leave the ride or if you get separated from your group!
5. Things you’d normally have on a bike ride: helmet, patch/tube, water, sunblock, cash, etc.
Q: What’s the route?
A: The starting location and route will be announced 24 hours before the ride. Please follow us on Social Media and this site for all updates.
Q: Where is a good spot for me to watch the ride?
A: If you’re not ready to ride with us yet, and you want to check out what the ride is all about first, here some popular spots you’ll want to hang out on ride day:
- Rittenhouse Square
- Independence Hall
- City Hall
- Logan Circle
These are some main points we try to pass along during the ride each year, for some additional spots, check out our Social Media for teaser shots of this year’s route.
Q: How many people participate in the Philly Naked Bike Ride?
A: When the organizers planned the first PNBR back in 2009, they anticipated between 200 and 300 riders. Instead they got 2,000. Since then we have had between 2,000-3,500 riders every year.
Q: I have a question that isn’t addressed here. Who can I contact for more info?
A: Send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
post a comment or message our Facebook page, we will respond as soon as possible.
Congratulations! You made it to the end of the FAQ’s! Now go out there and invite your friends and tell them why they’ll love riding with us.