Philadelphia

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Home > List of rides > US > Philadelphia - Google this ride!

Next ride

Date: TBD 2018 (usually late August or early September)
Time: ride usually starts about 5pm and ends about 7pm; pre-ride activities begin a few hours before the ride
Location: revealed about 24 hrs before the ride, along with the route, on the official WordPress blog site and the following social media sites:

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2015 pnbr logo.jpg

PHILLY NAKED BIKE RIDE (PNBR) - An Annual WNBR Event Since 2009 - Riding together to promote fuel conscious consumption, positive body image, and cycling advocacy

  • There is no sign-in, registration or entry fee for the ride
  • Bare as you dare - full nudity is allowed by police and has occurred in all PNBRs with no riders cited or arrested
  • PNBR is the biggest ride on the U.S. East Coast and one of the largest in the world! (see Previous rides data)
  • If you'd like to offer your creative organizational skills or have questions not answered in the PNBR WordPress blog's FAQs, please send an email to phillynakedbikeride@gmail.com with Volunteer in the subject line if you're volunteering


Media coverage

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.

2016 poster
"Bikers in the buff ride through Philadelphia’s streets", Associated Press, Sep 9 (archive) - the AP continues to simply re-print an incorrect guesstimate from years ago
"The Philly Naked Bike Ride was more than just nudity", The Tab, Sep 13 (archive)
"Philly Naked Bike Ride takes over streets of Philadelphia", NJ.com, Aug 29 (archive)
Audio interview with a PNBR organizer, Deep Green Philly, Aug 23
"Philadelphia Naked Bike Ride hits the streets" (video interviews with riders), Philly.com, Aug 26
"Philly Naked Bike Ride 2009", Philly.com, Sep 6 (archive)

For more stories search PNBR on DuckDuckGo

History

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 Northern Hemisphere cities. The first PNBR was organized for Labor Day weekend of 2009. Riding near this traditional date has continued but has shifted back or forward by one week to avoid a Labor Day weekend music concert now held each year on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

2017

2017-Ben Franklin Parkway

The ninth ride was on Saturday, September 9th. Based on an actual count of riders appearing in a 12-minute video of the entire group of riders, there were about 1150 participants (count rounded to nearest 25) passing along Locust Street at 17th St., just east of Rittenhouse Square. The group gathered once again at Glendinning Rock Garden for pre-ride activities beginning at 3pm and rode about 7 miles from 5-7pm into and around Center City traveling southeast along the Ben Franklin Parkway, south along 19th St. to and around Rittenhouse Square, east along Locust St., south on Broad St., east on South St., north on 3rd St., west on Arch St. and then back along the Parkway ending in Eakins Oval for a group portrait around the George Washington statue across from the Art Museum steps. The weather was substantially cooler than for most rides with a high in the low 70s, a cool northerly breeze, partly cloudy skies but no rain. Otherwise, another successful event with lots of cheering and smiling crowds of warmly-dressed spectators along much of the route. Once again there was a police chase car blocking for the riders at the rear of the group. Several impatient car drivers were observed blasting horns and slowly squeezing thru the group at the intersection of South St. and 8th St. and several other determined car drivers decided to merge onto the road right into the group and ride along for some time. No serious accidents have been reported. After-parties were held at four establishments, two of which were stated as clothing-optional during restricted hours and one gay bar held a fully nude gathering for males only. Unfortunately, the main after-party location's management decided to end the optional part much more quickly than was expected and bottoms were required. No reason was given, and no refunds of cover charges either.

No statistics have been compiled for this year and probably won't be as, based on the count video, the gender mix and amount of clothing on participants seemed to be about the same as in the last two years (see below).

2016

2016-Rittenhouse Square

The eighth ride was on Saturday, September 10th. Based on actual counts of riders appearing in full-length videos of the entire group of riders, there were about 1025 participants passing Independence Hall (video1) and 950 several miles later into the ride on 38th St. in University City (video2) - both counts rounded to nearest 25. The weather conditions: high of 95 degrees, partly sunny, high humidity, no rain. The route was about 11.5 miles long and began at Glendinning Rock Garden in Fairmount Park. The riders passed by the Art Museum, City Hall (southbound), the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, City Hall a second time (westbound), through University City, back to Rittenhouse Square, along South St. and finished at Washington Square (map). The ride took about two and a quarter hours to complete, from 5-7:15pm, at an average speed of slightly more than 5mph, finishing just at sunset. The ride attracted a police car escort at some point shortly after the start, which stayed at the rear throughout the remainder of the ride, blocking car traffic from getting too close to the last riders. A clothing-optional party was organized once again at Isaiah Zagar's warehouse art studio in South Philly, while three Center City bars also held parties for riders.

Statistics were only off by a percentage point or two from the numbers for the 2015 ride (see below).

2015

2015-City Hall

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 two points along the route (both counts rounded to nearest 25). The riders completed the 8.5 mile 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 (map). A clothing-optional party was held that night right after the ride at Isaiah Zagar's warehouse art studio in South Philly, and other parties were held at a few bars around the city.

2015 Statistics

All statistics 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)

2014

2014-riders along 2nd St.

The sixth ride was on Saturday, September 6th. Much lighter turnout of about 850 riders (rounded to nearest 25) 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 the riders 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 Northern Liberties bars.

2013

2013-Penn Treaty Park

The fifth ride was on Sunday, August 25th. Around 1150 riders (rounded to nearest 25) based on actual counts from videos of the entire group: video1 and video2.

The ride started from an empty lot adjacent to the southwest side of Penn Treaty Park on the Delaware River and went 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 at Schmidt's.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous, 85 degrees and sunny. 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 that had been enjoyed the previous three years.

2012

2012-riding queen

The fourth ride was on Saturday, August 25th. About 925 riders (rounded to nearest 25) based on an actual count from a video of the entire group along Market Street. The ride began at Columbus Boulevard 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 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 at Schmidt's again for the third year in a row. An informal clothing-optional party continued in the Piazza.

2011

2011-painted lady

The third ride was on Sunday, September 4th. About 1200 riders (rounded to nearest 25) - the highest PNBR count to date - 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 about 8 miles winding past the Art Museum and through Center City ending at the Piazza at Schmidt's once again.

2010

2010-Superman and posse

The second ride was on Sunday, September 5th and had awesome weather with around 1150 riders (rounded to nearest 25) 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.

2009

2009-Schuylkill Banks

Philadelphia's first ride was on Sunday, September 6th. The main organizer estimated "more than 700" riders assembled along the Schuylkill Banks section of the Schuylkill River 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; however, there is a very good overview video.

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.

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