The World Naked Bike Ride-St. Louis, a quirky body image awareness/protest event, stormed the Lou over the weekend on July 26th. With 2,500 riders–up from about 1,300 riders last year–it attracted 6,000 attendees. The marginally clothed troupe of bikers looped through South Grand, Cherokee Street, Lafayette Square, Soulard, and Washington Avenue before ending back at the Grove, a 12-mile extravaganza. While nudity is not mandatory for participation, each rider is encouraged to “go as bare as you dare.”
Contrary to what the reader might think, the St. Louis Police Department did indeed make an appearance, but on behalf of the riders. “Big thanks to The Grove neighborhood for hosting, to the St. Louis Police Department for ensuring our safety, and to our sponsors for supporting,” the organizers posted on their website July 27. So, why ride a bike naked with thousands of other people? The first organized World Naked Bike Ride event took place in 2004 and came to St. Louis in 2008 as part of an international effort to promote positive body image, challenge Western dependency on oil, and bring awareness to cyclist vulnerability on the road.
It then got increasingly wacky. Check out this guy’s camel bike:
This sailor couple in matching tutus:
Aaaaaand this gal’s rendition of “Starry Night”:
Definitely adds a little something extra, don’t you think? Naked bike riders, we have to hand it to you–that takes courage. Bravo.