Five tips for your first NW naked bicycle ride

As summer approaches, bicyclists across the region are gearing up and stripping down for not one, but two naked Northwest rides.

Naked bicyclists with censorship barsThe attention these bare bikers seek is not on their bodies, but rather on society’s dependence on fossil-fueled travel. They use nudity to draw attention to their cause: reducing peoples’ “indecent exposure” to pollution and creating a community through bike travel.

Eager cyclists can participate in Seattle’s Fremont Solstice Parade on June 18 as well as World Naked Bike Day on June 25 in Portland. Thousands are expected to flood the streets, creating a fun and high-energy spectacle.

If you’re a nude newbie who wants to get in on the fun this year, here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. While having a comfortable seat and disposable seat cover are important for naked bicycling (especially if you're borrowing a friend's bike), what’s most important is having a seat.

  2. Mountain bikes with thick tires are good for keeping you steady in slow traffic, but your street cruiser will work just as well. But please, let’s all just agree that a recumbent bicycle is NOT the best choice for this particular activity.

  3. While some bicyclists prefer to go entirely au naturel, others want to get a little more creative with a costume. Start with shoes and a helmet, then flesh out your look with some rad accessories or body paint. It’s practical, too – proper and strategic paint can make the difference between a parade and a citation.

  4. If the weather’s nice, remember to use sunblock on areas that aren’t normally exposed to the sun. While you’re at it, pack a first-aid kit. Let’s face it, your chances of getting road rash are a bit higher in this situation.

  5. Despite the free spirit of the event, you should pack some clothes for before and after you ride. (Please don’t be that guy or gal riding public transit wearing nothing but a fanny pack!)

You can read more about Seattle’s Fremont Solstice Cyclists and Portland’s World Naked Bike Day. Have fun!

(Editor's note: This post has been updated since it was originally posted on 6/18/15.)

by  Erin Osgood

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