Tips For Joining the Naked Bike Ride Through Boston

On June 28, cyclists can take their clothes off and pedal through the city.

Naked Bike Ride photo Uploaded by S. Mirk on Flickr

Naked Bike Ride photo Uploaded by S. Mirk on Flickr

For the fifth consecutive year, cyclists from the Greater Boston area can take a ride through the streets without their clothes on.

On Saturday, June 28, the World Naked Bike Ride, where hundreds of attendees shed their clothes, mount their rides, and pedal through several neighborhoods to call attention to the vulnerability of cyclists, is coming back to Boston.

According to event details, riders will meet at the bandstand on Boston Common at 9 p.m. before they strip down to their skivvies and set out on the trip down Newbury Street, Massachusetts Avenue, and over the bridge into Cambridge. At the end of the route, organizers will host an after party (clothing required) where cyclists can mingle with each other. The exact location for the meet-and-greet has not been announced, but updates will be posted on the event page started by the organizers.

In 2012, just 45 participants mustered up the courage to join the event and ride bare-back through the streets. Last year, that number doubled, and the promoters are expecting yet another increase for the 2014 naked journey. “We will be focusing on…raising the fun level from 10 (max) to 11!,” organizers said.

Last year, event orchestrators told Boston that the purpose of the ride is to show that Boston has a “friendly, fun, and traffic-law abiding bike group,” while at the same time demonstrating how exposed cyclists are on the city streets—literally. “Boston is becoming more and more bike aware, which is so wonderful, and we hope that our ride encourages more people to hop on two wheels,” they said.

The ride coincides with an international trend, called the World Naked Bike Ride, that started in Spain in 2004. Since its inception, hundreds of cities across the globe have hosted their own versions of the naked trek. If you’re bold enough to join the nude party, here are some simple tips to make the best of the evening:

Don’t be that guy (or girl): One year, someone without a bike decided it was a good option to use a Hubway—that’s a public bike many people make use of—during his ride to Cambridge. That means for about an hour someone’s bare backside was rubbing up against a seat that some people cozy up to when they commute to work. At least bring some sanitizing wipes.

Wear a helmet: This way, if you accidentally take a spill, the only thing that will sustain a few cuts and scrapes will be every other part of your body besides the most important part: your brain!

Bring extra clothes: The idea isn’t to show up nude, bike nude, and then hang out at the after party while still nude. Organizers stress the fact that participants should bring with them an extra set of clothes—or some type of cover up—so they don’t get stopped individually while riding toward the meeting spot, or when they are leaving the gathering at the conclusion of the evening. It’s also important because whatever establishment they go to likely won’t let riders linger around sans pants while sipping a beer. Clothing is optional for participants, but pasties, body paint, thongs, merkins, spandex, and tighty-whities are highly encouraged, organizers said.

If you don’t want to be on the Internet, don’t go: Or at least cover up a little. We live in a time where everyone has a phone, so when someone sees a gaggle of naked cyclists cruising down the busy streets of Back Bay, the first thing they’re going to do is start recording—and sharing it with their friends. If you’re not comfortable having your naked image passed between bystanders, and possibly ending up on places like Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit, it’s probably best to either wear some type of clothing or covering over your private parts, or at least a mask making it harder to identify you.