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article image8th Annual World Naked Bike Ride takes off in Philadelphia

By Marcus Hondro     Sep 14, 2016 in World
The weather is starting to turn but it was a warm day in Philadelphia on Sunday, September 10 for the city's 8th Annual Philly Naked Bike Ride (PNBR). More than 3,000 riders exposed themselves to the 'bare as you dare' event.
Body image highlighted
Philly's ride is affiliated with the World Naked Bike Ride, a phenomena that began in 2004. Dozens of cities worldwide stage a ride, holding them on whatever date the organizers from a city choose. The Philadelphia naked ride comes at the end of the heavy season of rides, most in North America take place in June, July or August.
The 12-mile naked bike ride in Philadelphia begins near the Philadelphia Museum of Art, right where actor Sylvester Stallone ran up the steps in the iconic 70s film 'Rocky.' Crowds gathered to cheer on the riders, many of whom had painted peace signs and other messages onto themselves.
The ride is about fun, peace, fuel conservation and celebrating the human body, organizers say. "Positive body image is something we all need a little more of," Philly ride volunteer Magda Esposito said, "and this is a fun and positive way to bring attention to it."
Naked rides worldwide
The website for the World Naked Bike Rde has a listing of all the rides that have taken place, all over the world, and of upcoming rides. It says riders should "wear as little as you can while still feeling comfortable" and you can ride whatever you want, skateboards included, so long as it's powered by you and not an engine.
The event is getting plenty of exposure worldwide and naked bike rides have taken place in more than 30 countries and 100 cities. The WNBR doesn't keep records but the largest naked ride ever may have been a 2011 night ride in Portland that had over 8,000 riders. It lasts about an hour and the route is lined with cheering spectators.
There are some countries, Australia and New Zealand among them, that host rides in March when it's warmer in their region. Heat helps when you're riding in the buff, naturally.
The list of countries that have hosted naked rides is a large one and includes: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, South Africa, Taiwan, the U.K. and Venezuela.
In Philly, rider Ben Heidari wrote 'Nude Not Crude' on his back. Heidari also reminded spectators that there wasn't anything unusual about what they were doing by writing 'Born This Way' underneath it.
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