If you are like most, you just read the term “Nude Biking,” and assumed it must be a joke. No one rides a bike in their birthday suit, do they? Well, you might be quite surprised! This expressive activity is a lot more common than you think. Now, before you just strip down, hit the streets, and assume it is going to be widely accepted you should know that most people participate in this activity to protest or make a point.
Individuals participating in nude biking typically do so to raise awareness for a particular cause. This could be anything from taking action for a cleaner environment to promoting bicycle riding as a smart and eco-friendly means of transportation.
Nude Biking is Liberating
Despite what some may first believe cycling nude has absolutely nothing to do with pornography.
Tip: Take Anti-Chafing Measures
Practitioners claim that the experience is special, unique, and liberating. When you think about the bra burning days of the 1960s during the women's liberation movement, it actually makes sense that biking in your freest form would be empowering.
Many people find the feeling of nakedness to be exhilarating. Nude biking is merely a representation of a liberal lifestyle. Some enjoy an adrenaline rush from riding naked. Then, there are naturists who simply enjoy the simplicity.
Where to Ride?
Nude biking is probably not something you can get away with your hometown. In most cases, individuals participating in this activity do so as part of an event. Naked cycling riders are becoming increasingly popular in more free-spirited cities, such as San Francisco, Lima, Canberra, Portland, Karlsruhe, Manchester, and London.
Nude Biking Events
If this is something you would like to do make a point to participate in one of the major nude biking events. Riders make a statement, have fun, and meet other cool people. Below are a few to check out. Whatever you choose, you should be open-minded and leave your shyness and self-critical thinking at the hotel. They have no place at one of these events.
If you hear negative words coming from the crowd block them out. Focus on the wonderful people surrounding you.
World Naked Bike Ride
Without a doubt, the World Naked Bike Ride is the most well-known event of its kind. This clothing-optional bike ride was started to deliver the vision of a safer, cleaner, body-positive world.
Conrad Schmidt conceived the idea for the event in 2003. The first event took place in 2004 in collaboration with Spain's Manifestacion Ciclonudista. The Spanish event had taken place numerous times prior protesting oil dependency. In 2004, the first World Naked Bike Ride took place on 4 continents, in 28 cities throughout 10 countries. By 2010, 74 cities in 17 countries participated.
Nude biking in the WNBR does not just take a stand against oil dependency though. It also promotes body-positive values, rejecting shame and projecting a positive self-image. It essentially promotes self-empowerment.
The Solstice Cyclists
If nude biking is something that interests you, but you are not sure you are ready to be totally exposed, head to Seattle, Washington, on the third Saturday in June for the Solstice Cyclists.
Participants emphasize body painting. Believe it or not, being covered in artistic paint does make you feel a little less exposed.
What started as a dare in 1992 with a few streakers has turned into a major event that attracts hundreds of painted participants. The ride begins in the neighborhood of Fremont right before the Solstice Parade.
Pedalpalooza takes place in Portland every June. This three-week extravaganza consists of a number of events, one of which happens to be riding nude. There are often naked races and off-road events.
Germany is famous for its numerous naked cycling tours, most of which take place around Karlsruhe. These events are considered recreational, not political, and they were some of the world's first organized naked rides.
Tip: Participate in Pre-Ride Festivities
There is almost always some pre-ride fun with great music and body painting. You will feel a lot less self-conscious during the event if you get the initial shock over with.
If you are just not comfortable exposing it all wear underwear or a bathing suit. If you look around you will see lots of other people doing this, too. You can paint right over this base layer, if you want.
Don't think everyone watching the event will embrace the idea with open arms. You can expect a mixed reaction from the crowd. Some will cheer you on while others will have a strong opinion against the act. Of course, many just stare and are completely speechless.
Nude Biking Essentials
Tip: Buy a Bike seat cover
You don't notice those rips, frays, or jagged seams in a bike seat until you try nude biking.
These seemingly small irritations can be a big pain in the butt. Using a nicely padded bike seat cover is recommended. This is especially important with a rented bike.
Liberation does not necessarily include your head, especially if you will be cycling around traffic. A helmet is always recommended, and may be required depending on the event or area.
You will also need shoes. Riding barefoot is not an option and wearing flip-flops is not recommended.
One of the most important things to buy is colorful body paint. Some events have artists available to turn you into a walking masterpiece. Since you won't have pockets, you may want to carry a cycling backpack. You will also need to stay hydrated, so a water bottle is essential.
Nude Biking On YouTube
They say that a picture worth a thousand words. There are so many cycling movies. You are invited to watch this sample video about nude biking: