Someone Rode a Hubway Bike With No Clothes During the ‘Naked Bike Ride’
But don’t worry, the company says they give the bikes a good scrub down.
That was the first comment made when the World Naked Bike Ride announced that Boston’s fully-nude trek through the city would take place on June 29.
By all accounts, the annual sans-pants cycling event was a huge success with little to no problems (or clothing), but some of Hubway’s bikes didn’t dodge the bare behinds of people wanting to take part in the liberating two-wheeled adventure.
As can be expected, those who may not have heard about the naked ride in advance of its fourth annual event were surprised when they came upon a large group of cyclists riding bareback along Newbury Street and Massachusetts Avenue. In one photo, a passenger in a car turned to their right to find a group of attendees with nothing but bags strapped to their backs, sitting atop their bicycles without any clothing to separate their skin from the seat. One of those bikes happened to be a rental from Hubway.
It’s technically not against the rules to take a spin on one of the bikes in the nude, according to Hubway GM Scott Mullen, since the company doesn’t “have an explicit ‘don’t ride Hubway bikes naked’ clause” in their official agreement when someone rides a Hubway bike. However, the nudity does violate a part of the clause that says riders won’t break any Massachusetts laws, which includes being fully nude in public. “Users of the system agree not to ‘violate any applicable federal, state, or local law, including those for bicycle riders’ when they approve the user agreement,” Mullen said.
Despite the fact that the Naked Bike Ride is meant to show the vulnerability of riders on the streets while promoting alternative modes of transportation—and be a little cheeky at the same time—this particular Hubway customer seemingly violated the “indecent exposure” portion of the Massachusetts General Laws, which can carry a $200 fine and six months in prison if the cops feel inclined to intervene. Not to mention that a lot of people who utilize the system were none too pleased with his actions. “If you’re going to ride nude, how about having the decency to not do it on a public bicycle?” one person wrote on a Reddit thread of more than 100 comments, many of which discussed things other than the use of the Hubway bike.
As for the uncouth decision to place his nude body against the seat of a bike shared by others in Boston on a daily basis, however, Hubway representatives said they have that part covered. “Our fleet team touches every bicycle once per month. This includes a mechanical check and a cleaning.”
In the meantime, riders might want to bring some Clorox wipes with them … just in case.