Did you know that there is such a thing as nude cycling? You may not have come across cyclists on weekend group rides with no clothes on, but naked cycling is more common than you may think.
There are many nude cycling events all over the world every year, and they are becoming more popular. During these events, thousands of people gather to go nude cycling together. Their goal is to deliver a vision of a cleaner, safer, body-positive world.
In this article, we will give you 15 facts and tips about nude cycling. So if you have ever thought about what naked cycling may feel like, you will be fully up to speed.
Are you ready to learn about a whole new discipline of cycling?
#1. The First World Naked Bike Ride Event Was Held In 2003
The World Naked Bike Ride was conceived by Conrad Schmidt in 2003. He had already organized a few naked cycling events for the Peace/Artists Against War group.
The idea was to protest against the world’s dependency on oil while celebrating the power and individuality of the human body.
In 2006, he shifted the focus of the event towards simplifying the message and focusing on cycling advocacy.
#2. Nude Cycling Isn’t Always Well Received
As you can imagine, the World Naked Bike Ride attracts lots of attention in all of its locations. Participants are often arrested during the events, as they don’t always fit in with local laws.
For example, two male cyclists were arrested during the 2005 WNBR in North Conway, New Hampshire. They were charged with “indecent exposure and lewdness.” However, they agreed to have the charges reduced to “disorderly conduct” and paid a $300 fine. Most of the fine was paid for by the WNBR Legal Defense Fund.
During the 2005 event in Chicago, six male cyclists were charged with public indecency, resulting in fines.
These are just a couple of examples of the many arrests over the years for nude cycling. But if you are planning on taking part in a nude cycling event, make sure you know how to stay on the right side of the law.
#3. How People Stay Out of Trouble
Nude cycling is limited to the event’s venue. If you decide to ride to the venue in your birthday suit, you may upset members of the public and the police.
Nude cycling event organizers set a meeting point where riders can arrive, strip off as much as they dare, and roll out on their bikes. It is best to stay fully clothed outside of the parameters of the event.
#4. “Dressing Up” Is A Thing
Many nude cycling participants embrace body paint. You can often find people decorating each other at the start line.
Expect to see strategically painted flowers, cosplay, and people painted head to toe as aliens and smurfs. This gives the event a more fun atmosphere, and it is hilarious to see people’s creativity.
Body painting also makes the nude cycling participants feel less exposed. The paint almost acts like a costume and helps with the cyclist’s confidence.
#5. It’s Not Just Bikes
The World Nude Cycling Day tries to be as inclusive as possible. Therefore, if you don’t have a bike, you can bring pretty much any mode of human-powered transport you have.
Many people do the event on skateboards, inline skates, rollerskates, rollerblades, etc. You can even walk the route if you want to, but bear in mind it will take longer, and you won’t be able to keep up with those with wheels.
You will find a whole host of contraptions used for these events. For example, it is not uncommon to see roller skates, unicycles, tricycles, chopper bikes, tandems, recumbents, and rickshaws. The only sort of bikes that are not allowed would be petrol-powered motorbikes and scooters.
#6. People Ride Shared Bikes!
People often ride publicly shared bikes during one of these nude cycling events. This is kind of cool and funny while being convenient if people have traveled by train or bus to get there.
However, if you decide to do this, respect the bikes and clean the saddle once you have finished with it! It is also a good idea to clean the saddle before you sit on it. Remember, many people use these bikes every day, and they are kept outside pretty much their whole working life.
#7. You Don’t Have To Be Naked
The World Naked Bike Ride’s dress code is “As Bare As You Dare.” Therefore, you don’t need to ride entirely exposed if you don’t feel comfortable.
This falls into the inclusiveness of these nude cycling events. Nobody should feel pressured or uncomfortable about joining in.
Participants are not excluded or discriminated against based on levels of clothing, body paint, or anything else. Just remember to wear sunscreen on those exposed parts!
#8. There Is Always A Great Afterparty
Most naked cycling events have post-event festivities. These afterparties are usually in a local bar, so you will want to wear some clothes for this.
Most people ride with a small backpack to carry their streetwear and slip back into it when they finish their ride. It also gives them somewhere they can put their wallet so they can enjoy some post-ride beers.
#9. Riders Like To Communicate Their Own Messages
The World Naked Bike Ride has its own messages, “protest oil dependency,” “curb car culture,” “real rights for bikes,” and “celebrate body freedom.” But, organizers encourage people to communicate their own messages.
People relay their messages in several ways. For example, they write slogans on their bodies, attach flags and signs to their bikes, or wear props.
You can learn a lot about the world by listening to what issues are important to the other naked cyclists at the events.
#9. It’s Not A Race
A nude cycling event isn’t the place to chase Strava segments. These events are casual and more about the message than finishing quickly. However, you might not want to hang around if it is cold or raining.
Each of these events has hundreds or thousands of participants, so many people will be riding at your pace. Therefore, you won’t be pedaling all on your own at the back of the pack.
The organizers make sure that naked cycling is as safe as possible, as most courses are closed to traffic and have a police presence.
#10. You Have To Prevent Saddle Sores
Even though these nude cycling events are not long, there is a certain amount of chafing with your bike saddle.
Some saddles are more suited to naked cycling than others. For example, if your saddle has exposed seams, tears, or is frayed, you may want a seat cover or consider upgrading it.
Many people cover their saddles with a soft hand towel for comfort and hygiene. But you may want to check out our blog on what causes and how to prevent saddle sores.
#11. You Can Remain Anonymous
This goes back to “dressing up.” If you are concerned that work colleagues, customers, family, etc., will see you, you can disguise yourself in many inventive ways.
Your disguise can be simple from a mask, bandanna, or sunglasses. If you wear these with a hat or wig and keep toward the center of the pack, you should be able to remain anonymous and out of any press photos.
#12. Spectators Are Usually Naked Too
Some people like to join in the fun without jumping on their bikes. You will see naked spectators standing on the sidelines at these nude cycling events.
This demonstrates that even those that aren’t taking part respect the cyclists and the messages they want to convey. It also speaks volumes for the inclusivity of the event, leaving no one out.
#13. There Is A Code Of Conduct
At World Naked Bike Rides, everyone is expected to conduct themselves appropriately. Therefore, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about sleazy individuals and dodgy behavior.
The event rules include:
- No gawking or oggling
- No touching without consent
- No commenting on other people’s bodies
- No lewd or sexual behavior
- Don’t take pictures of people you don’t know
- Don’t dring or take drugs
- Wear a helmet and bike lights if necessary
#14. Nude Cycling Is Becoming More Popular
Every year more cities hold nude cycling events. You can attend a naked cycling event in at least 120 cities across 40 countries. Many people make the event part of their vacation, while others travel to as many as possible each year.
#15. You Can Go Naked Mountain Biking Too
Usually, people try to protect themselves as much as possible while mountain biking. But a select few like to strip off and hit the mountain bike trails.
In 2021, mountain bike clothing and accessories brand Race Face celebrated the World Naked Bike Ride with their Huck Naked video. The video is pretty funny and features some great riding with some potentially painful crashes. At least the riders are wearing helmets!
Now You Know All About Nude Cycling
Could this be the next big thing for you and your cycling buddies? Or will you be attending the next World Naked Bike Ride incognito wearing a big hat and sunglasses?
If you found this article helpful or entertaining, check out the blogs below for more expert cycling tips: