The Reasons Why Cyclists Strip Down For A Yearly Bike Ride Are More Than Skin Deep

"They feel what we believe and promote — that every body is beautiful."

Later this month, hundreds of people will take to the streets of Beantown on their bikes — many of them in the buff. The ninth annual World Naked Bike Ride Boston, scheduled for July 21 this year, is back and once again calling attention to important issues such as safe roads for cyclists, dependency on fossil fuels, and body positivity.

World Naked Bike Ride as a global entity has been around since the early aughts, but it wasn't until nearly a decade ago that it found its way to Boston — where anywhere between 200 to 300 people typically join in on the action. Vallente Romasanta, one of the 2018 ride volunteers, told A Plus that, though many people will be baring all, the organization wants everyone to know that you can be "as bare as you dare."

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Courtesy: Christopher Richards
Courtesy: Christopher Richards

"Everyone is invited to ride in what they feel comfortable in — there is no pressure to be naked," Romasanta explained via email, noting that the nakedness is a simple way to highlight the vulnerability of cyclists on the road. "Everyone is accepted."

Though this ride takes place throughout Boston, that doesn't mean the organizers work with the city — though it is the case in some locations. Romasanta said they are still "somewhat under the radar" but there is a growing amount of respect for what they do and strides are being made, specifically in regards to cyclists.

Courtesy: Christopher Richards
Courtesy: Christopher Richards

"Throughout the year, riders in the WNBR participate in rallies and events in the Boston area which support enhancements to the cycling infrastructure," Romasanta added. "Some of the WNBR organizers also participate in the Boston Cyclists Union, who have been very successful in influencing … decisions to make the streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians."

In addition to nudity not being required, Romasanta stressed that the ride is strongly policed to ensure it is a safe space. It has a code of conduct — similar to that of other rides throughout the world — that those partaking in the festivities must adhere to or else they'll be asked to leave. This is a place where everyone is welcome and where they can freely express themselves without fear of judgment.

Courtesy: Christopher Richards
Courtesy: Christopher Richards

The best part of the ride? Romasanta noted how it's an easy trek that takes place over just a few hours, goes for about 10 miles in distance, and is done slowly to accommodate cyclists at all levels of experience.

"For people who are self-conscious about their body, they quickly find how comfortable and 'normal' it is to be naked among other naked cyclists," Romasanta continued. "Everyone feels accepted no matter the body shape, race, color, gender, or sexual orientation. They feel what we believe and promote — that every body is beautiful. And, as we ride, we receive unbelievable support from bystanders."

Courtesy: Vallente Romasanta
Courtesy: Vallente Romasanta

For more information on World Naked Bike Ride Boston, visit the site here.

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