PHILLY NAKED BIKE RIDE (PNBR) - An Annual WNBR Event Since 2009
We rode for the 7th straight year on Saturday August 29, 2015
- PNBR is the biggest ride on the U.S. East Coast and one of the largest in the world! (see Previous rides data)
- Riding together to promote fuel conscious consumption, positive body image, and cycling advocacy - from the WordPress blog FAQs
- Bare as you dare - full nudity is allowed by police and has occurred in all PNBRs with no riders cited or arrested
- donations to this participant-funded event are greatly appreciated! -> donate via secure PayPal
There is no sign-in, registration or entry fee for the ride. Riders should check the links below for current information, mainly in the summer months.
and the following sites:
Date: TBA 2016
Location: Location and route map will be revealed on the above websites about 24-48 hrs before the ride
Note inaccurate rider estimates reported in recent years, based on email list sign-ups and Facebook group members. More accurate counts based on videos of each year's group are given in the History section below.
- 2010: "Philly's 2d annual Naked Bike Ride set for Sunday", Philly.com, Sep 3 (archive)
- 2011: "Philly Naked Bike Ride", Philadelphia Weekly, (archive)
- 2012: "The Philly Naked Bike Ride 2012", Philly.com, Aug 24 (archive)
- 2013: "Cyclists Bare All At Naked Bike Ride In Philadelphia", CBS Philly, Aug 24 (archive)
- 2014: "Philly Naked Bike Ride 2014", PHL17, Sep 6 (archive)
- 2015: "The Philly Naked Bike Ride is this Saturday: Why it’s legal, and what Indego says about it", Billy Penn (Spirited Media), Aug 27 (archive)
For more stories search PNBR on DuckDuckGo
PNBR has been held each year since 2009, on a Saturday or Sunday in late August or early September, usually in mid-to-late afternoon. PNBR is one of a few WNBRs that occurs on a different date than the synchronized rides which occur on the second Saturday of June for the Northern Hemisphere cities. The first ride was organized for Labor Day weekend to minimize any potential trouble with residents and police as most of Philadelphia's population travels to the New Jersey beach towns (the "shore") or the Pocono mountains for one last summer fling that weekend. Riding near this traditional date has continued but has shifted back a week to avoid a Labor Day weekend music concert now held each year on the Ben Franklin Parkway.
Philadelphia's first ride was on Sunday, September 6th. The main organizer estimated "more than 700" riders assembled along the Schuylkill Banks trail for the inaugural ride (see archived article). No videos of the entire group passing by have been found so far to check the estimate. Riders and onlookers were separated at the Locust Street entrance to the trail. Riders assembled on the lower trail between Walnut and Chestnut streets while onlookers were encouraged to watch the meet-up and cheer from the elevated ramps and walkways between the two bridges. A small changing/body painting area was set up beneath the ramps between Walnut and Chestnut for riders wanting some privacy to get ready. The non-riders at the meeting place were excited and supportive. With over 1,000 people at the site, including spectators, there were only two reports of crude or aggressive behavior by non-riders before departure.
Preparations were completed within an hour and a half. There was communication with police at the meeting site and an escort was provided. The PNBR drummers marched down the trail to start the ride. The Philadelphia Police were outstanding: respectful and supportive; stopping traffic at major intersections, and staying throughout the route. An errant rider led a group of approximately 40 on a fast paced, and at times difficult, alternate route. They made it to the after-party unscathed.
The route was about 4 miles long and went from the Schuylkill Banks trail to Rittenhouse Square, along Market Street, around City Hall, past Independence Mall, thru the 5th Street tunnel and ended at 5th and Fairmount. Getting off the street and into the after-party was time consuming, but police continued to help direct traffic and riders until the intersection was cleared.
The second ride was on Sunday, September 5th and had awesome weather with around 1150 riders along Market Street based on an actual count from a video of the entire group (note: turn off 3D in video options before viewing). The group gathered in the Lemon Hill area near Boathouse Row in east Fairmount Park for body painting and other pre-ride activities. There were a few accidents during the ride but luckily only mild ones. It was about a 4 mile ride that lasted for about two hours and ended at the Piazza at Schmidt's in the Northern Liberties neighborhood.
The third ride was on Sunday, September 4th. About 1200 riders attended based on an actual count from a nearly 10-minute-long video of the entire group. The weather appeared to be cloudy but warm based on minimal clothing on spectators along a rain-free street. The group gathered at the boathouse on the west side of the Schuylkill River in Fairmount Park before setting off on a trip of probably about 8 miles winding past the Art Museum and through Center City ending at the Piazza once again.
The fourth ride was on Saturday, August 25th. About 925 riders attended based on an actual count from a video of the entire group along Market Street. The ride began at Columbus Blvd and Washington Avenue in the Washington Avenue Green and an adjacent parking lot. The weather was warm but cloudy with a small chance of rain though only a light sprinkle fell for just a few minutes while the group was still assembling. Police asked the group organizers to leave a little earlier than planned due to a request from a Sweet 16 party happening in a building within sight of the start location. Police blocked Columbus Blvd to help riders get off to a quick start westbound on Washington Avenue and also blocked some major intersections along the route. Leaving early combined with the chance for rain probably caused the lower rider count from the previous year. The riders went along a 10 mile route thru South Philly, around Rittenhouse Square, the Ben Franklin Parkway, City Hall, Independence Mall, Old City and thru the 5th Street tunnel. The ride finished at the Piazza again for the third year in a row. An informal clothing-optional party continued in the Piazza.
We started from an empty lot adjacent to the southwest side of Penn Treaty Park on the Delaware River and rode a full ten miles across the city to the Art Museum, down the Ben Franklin Parkway, around Rittenhouse Square and City Hall, along South Street and back up through Old City and the 5th Street tunnel to finish at the Piazza.
The weather was absolutely gorgeous, 85 and sunny, though perhaps a bit too sunny for the shadeless starting point. The pace of the ride was slow most of the way, but with a few faster sections and a few stops. It took about five minutes at a good pace (see video2 above) for the whole pack to pass an intersection on Spring Garden St.
New owners at the Piazza put the kibosh on the naked after-party at PYT that we had enjoyed the previous three years, and the attempted hangout in the parking lot next door was spoiled by, well, parked cars.
The sixth ride was on Saturday, September 6th. Much lighter turnout of about 850 riders based on an actual count from a video of the entire group. The lower number is probably due to an inaccurate weather forecast for thunderstorms, heavy rain and high winds. On ride day only a few minutes of very light drizzle occurred while riding near the Art Museum and there were no high winds or lightning. Weather was very warm but mostly cloudy when we started once again in the empty lot adjacent to Penn Treaty Park. The approximately 10-mile-long route passed thru Chinatown, along the Ben Franklin Parkway, past the Art Museum, around University City, back into Center City, around Rittenhouse Square, City Hall, Independence Mall, the 5th Street tunnel and back to the starting point after about 2 hours. A nice relaxed after-party and informal yoga session occurred for an hour or so, then the police dispersed the remaining crowd of riders from Penn Treaty Park. Some clothing-required parties for PNBR riders were held in bars near the Piazza.
The seventh ride was on Saturday, August 29th. Based on actual video counts of riders, there were about 925 (video1-copy video1-original) to 1050 riders (video2) at various points along a shortened 8 to 8.5 mile route. The riders completed the route in about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Plans to go 10 miles changed along with the start location after Fairmount Park police and Philadelphia police told the organizers to leave the park as they did not have a required permit for a gathering there. Philadelphia police also requested that the group leave earlier than planned from the new starting location at Drexel Park in University City, either due to the lack of a permit once again or because residents adjacent to the park or visitors to the park made complaints. No arrests or any troubles ensued at any point and the ride was another success on a mostly sunny day with highs in the 80s. Route went around University City, into Center City, around Rittenhouse Square, City Hall, Independence Mall, the 5th Street tunnel, Chinatown, Center City again, along Broad and South Streets, and finished in the athletic fields adjacent to the west side of Jefferson Square in South Philly. Clothing-optional parties were held that night right after the ride at Isaiah Zagar's warehouse art studio in South Philly, and at a few bars in the city that were liberal enough to allow nudity.
Stats for 2015
All stats are based on riders appearing in video1 linked above. About 925 riders appear in that video but only 900 were most easily identified.
- 69% male (624 riders), 31% female (276 riders)
- 59% of males went fully nude (367), 37% went shirtless (230), 4% wore top and bottom (27)
- 10% of females went fully nude (28), 62% went topless (171), 28% wore top and bottom (77)
- 44% among all the riders went fully nude (367 + 28 = 395)
- 63% were either fully nude males/females or topless females (395 + 171 = 566)
- 12% wore something on top and bottom (27 + 77 = 104)
- Flickr: 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 (all are 18+ groups so an account is required)
- Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia Blog, 6 Sept 2009: Philly Bike Coalition Flickr
- Philadelphia Weekly: 2009 ride by Jeff Fusco
- Vimeo (search="Philly Naked Bike Ride") (set Mature content filter to show everything)
- YouTube (search="Philly Naked Bike Ride") (account required for some videos)
- YouTube playlist for 2015