Biking in the Buff
The Local East Village
July 21, 2011
By Laura E. Lee
Among some hardcore cyclists, wearing a helmet is considered a little square. For this Sunday’s nude bike ride, wearing anything at all might seem a bit prudish.
Like modern-day Lady Godivas, local bikers will strip down and pedal around town as part of New York City’s third annual World Naked Bike Ride.
“It really is about environmental consciousness, first and foremost,” said Paul Nocera, one of the ride’s organizers.
Biking in the buff promotes cycling as a safe and fun mode of transportation while offering a visual demonstration of the vulnerability of cyclists, both in terms of bike safety and larger environmental concerns, he said.
The event began in 2004 with two nude cycling groups protesting dependence on oil but the message has evolved to include support of the struggles in the Arab World, solidarity with the people of Japan and protest against vehicular dominance, police harassment and nuclear energy, according to the group’s Facebook page.
But photographs from previous events show the ride isn’t all serious political action. Participants are encouraged to ride as “bare as you dare” and to decorate themselves with brightly colored body paint.
Only one person was ticketed last year for blocking traffic and no one received citations for nudity, Mr. Nocera said.
Participants will meet in the East River Park at Delancey Street at 4 p.m. when the full route will be disclosed. The ride concludes with an afterparty at Time’s Up, an environmental organization in Brooklyn.