Photo: MikeDotta/Shutterstock

This Year’s Naked Bike Ride in Portland Will Be Pandemic-Proof

by Eben Diskin May 6, 2020

COVID-19 has led to the cancelation or postponement of most of the world’s major events, but one event is still happening right on schedule: the World Naked Bike Ride in Portland, Oregon. Although cities like St. Louis, London, and San Francisco canceled the event, Portland, Oregon, is insisting that it still takes place on June 27. But it’ll look a little different this year.

Usually, naked bikers gather at a set time and location. This year, however, participants are being encouraged to strip down and ride wherever they want, whenever they want. So, while the riders won’t all be riding together, they’ll still be riding nude around the city of Portland — only separately, so Portlanders shouldn’t be surprised to see the occasional solo nude biker out and about.

Pedalpalooza, the organization that oversees the event, said, “It might take even more courage than usual, but if any city has the creativity to make it fun, it’s Portland.” On Facebook, it added, “We simply must put the safety of Portlanders first.”

The event’s goal is to call attention to society’s dependence on pollution-based transport, as well as promote body positivity and cyclist safety. Last year, the ride drew 10,000 participants. Due to these large numbers, it’s clear that holding the event in the traditional fashion would be a violation of social-distancing regulations. The new format might be a departure from the familiar, but with so many determined cyclists around Portland, it’s bound to be a success no matter the format.

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