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World Naked Bike Ride Is Back On Chicago's Streets This Weekend

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Jun 10, 2016 3:49PM

World Naked Bike Ride Chicago, photo by Aaron Cynic/Chicagoist

Chicago's nudists with an environmentalist streak are hitting the road again this weekend for the annual World Naked Bike Ride.

The celebrated event, in which Chicagoans decked out in glitter, costumes and not much actual clothing gather at a semi-secret spot and then bike through the streets, halting traffic and calling for an end to the city's reliance on cars, is in its 13th year. In past years, the Chicago Police Department's policy has been to refrain from ticketing the riders for nudity, but to ticket riders or make arrests for illegal activity. Police also have bike cops stationed along the route, which ride organizers do not revealing to the public until the evening of the event.

"This is an annual event and poses no public safety threat," CPD said in a statement to Chicagoist. "Chicago Police will monitor the event to ensure the well-being of participants, onlookers and citizens in general. As needed, officers will monitor traffic conditions along the planned bike route in order to facilitate efficient flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic."

World Naked Bike Ride takes place in cities around the world—in the northern hemisphere, the event is always on the second Saturday of June. You don't have to be naked, and you don't even technically have to be on a bike to ride—just make sure you're operating a "person-powered vehicle" (as opposed to motor-powered) and you "bare-as-you-dare." In some cities, that means streaking at your own risk; thankfully, Chicago is a bit more lax about nudity in this case, and you can always take a page out of other, veteran riders' books and make strategic use of body paint and pasties.

The ride drew over 2,000 participants in 2014, and organizers say they expect it to be bigger this year. The gathering usually begins around 6 p.m.; the ride takes off before sundown.
To comply with the law, ride organizers have laid out some rules for riders, including no drugs or alcohol and leaving no trash or litter lying around.

If you join the ride, don't forget the unofficial slogan: "Less gas, more ass." Here's a (yes, NSFW) video of last year's festivities: