The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

World Naked Bike Ride Is Back This Weekend To Show Chicago Some Skin

By Rachel Cromidas in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 6, 2017 8:16PM

(By Layne Dixon/Chicagoist)

Show Chicago some skin, and your pro-environment politics in the process, this weekend during the annual World Naked Bike Ride.

The massive group bike ride, now in its 14th year, will have riders gather in a semi-secret spot Saturday evening, where they'll strip down under the setting Chicago sun and possibly don glitter and costumes before getting ready to ride through the city streets all evening long. Seriously, come prepared; the ride will cover 14 miles and wind down just before midnight.

It's an opportunity to stop traffic and show your support for the environment—at a time when the United States is bafflingly no longer signed on to the Paris Accord—while sort of skirting the law: It's the Chicago Police Department's policy to embed bike cops with the riders, and they refrain from ticketing riders for traffic violations or nudity and are mostly there to keep the event safe.

"This is an annual event and poses no public safety threat," CPD said in a statement to Chicagoist last year. "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."

There are World Naked Bike Rides in cities around the world, but thankfully you don't have to get fully naked, or even ride a bike, to participate in the fun. The ride requires participants to ride a "person-powered vehicle" (as opposed to motor-powered), and asks riders to use their discretion when it comes to getting naked. Expect to see strategic use of body paint, pasties and swimwear.

The gathering usually begins around 6 p.m. Saturday and departs before sundown (after 8 p.m.) for a semi-secret route around the city that usually runs well into the night. Here's our write-up on last year's festivities. The World Naked Bike Ride Chicago Facebook group has more of the details.