Oppor­tu­ni­ties for nude cycling abound all over the US. Fes­ti­vals, parades, and gath­er­ings have rec­og­nized naked cycling as a sub­stan­tial expres­sion gain­ing more par­tic­i­pants with each race. Some ride for the thrill, while oth­ers employ their nudi­ty as a protest against car­bon emit­ted by motor vehi­cles. What­ev­er your moti­va­tion for undress­ing and ped­al­ing beside your fel­low bik­er, events nation­wide sup­port your boldness.

Portland’s Ped­al­palooza
Port­land cel­e­brates its cycling com­mu­ni­ty by host­ing a three week bik­ing extrav­a­gan­za dur­ing June (8–29) called Ped­al­palooza. This fes­ti­val of click­ing gears and spin­ning spokes con­sists of numer­ous events such as bik­ing while dressed up as the Smiths, bike main­te­nance instruc­tion and of course, rid­ing nude. Each year, mul­ti­ple par­ties of naked rid­ers swarm Portland’s streets and side­walks at dif­fer­ent times dur­ing the event. 2012 involved the Sun­ny Naked Ride, the Fig Leif Naked 10K Off-Road Bike Ride, and World Naked Bike Race. Also, since cit­i­zens cre­ate these activ­i­ties, you may con­sid­er orga­niz­ing your own cloth­ing option­al ride and add it to the Ped­al­palooza calendar.

Portland’s Pedalpalooza

World Naked Bike Ride
The largest and most pub­li­cized naked cycling event, the World Naked Bike Ride, occurs in mul­ti­ple cities and coun­tries. From Los Ange­les to New York City, cyclists shed their cloth­ing in order to protest oil depen­den­cy, cul­ti­vate body-pos­i­tive val­ues and inspire com­mu­ni­ty involve­ment. The dates of the World Naked Bike Ride vary, but they usu­al­ly hap­pen dur­ing the spring and ear­li­er sum­mer months. Despite laws reg­u­lar­ly ban­ning such expo­sure, city police usu­al­ly ignore the demon­stra­tion unless overt­ly obscene ges­tures are used.

World Naked Bike Ride

Crit­i­cal Mass
Crit­i­cal Mass is an event where cyclists ride through par­tic­i­pat­ing cities to raise aware­ness about bik­er rights and fur­ther estab­lish the bicy­cle as a legit­i­mate vehi­cle. The idea orig­i­nat­ed in San Fran­cis­co dur­ing 1992 and spread across the coun­try, occur­ring month­ly in places such as Port­land, Seat­tle and New York. Although it’s not specif­i­cal­ly “naked” ori­ent­ed, many cyclists take the oppor­tu­ni­ty to go bare. San Fran­cis­co is espe­cial­ly notable for these dar­ing indi­vid­u­als who risk chills and sun­burns in the most inti­mate of areas to rep­re­sent the vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty bik­ers face on roads filled with motorists. If dri­vers don’t notice cyclists out­fit­ted with reflec­tors, maybe they will when they are undressed.

Critical Mass

The Sol­stice Cyclists
On the third Sat­ur­day of June in Seat­tle, peo­ple cov­ered only with paint mount their bicy­cles and ped­al through the city’s streets. These folks are cel­e­brat­ing the sum­mer sol­stice by show­ing all for the sun­shine and cheer­ing crowds.

The ride begins in the Fre­mont neigh­bor­hood (also known as “The Cen­ter of the Uni­verse”) right before the offi­cial Sol­stice Parade. Orig­i­nal­ly intend­ed as a joke by streak­ers in 1992, the nude bik­ing stuck, grad­u­al­ly gain­ing par­tic­i­pants and nation­al cov­er­age over the years. Typ­i­cal­ly, cyclists par­take in a paint­ing par­ty pri­or to the event where they can meet, apply a dec­o­ra­tive coat­ing and stoke the group’s con­fi­dence. Once the paint has dried, they ride to the parade’s site where floats, bal­loons, and baton throw­ers fol­low behind them.

The Solstice Cyclists