This weekend, hundreds of local bike enthusiasts will dare to bare it all in the name of safe cycling.
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The fifth annual World Naked Bike Ride Boston will kick off Saturday night at Boston Common, welcoming anyone with a pro-nude attitude and a passion about Boston's bike community.
"It’s very invigorating and fun to be totally nude on a bicycle," said lead organizer Sara, who asked that her last name be withheld. The 28-year-old Somerville resident decided to bring the global ride to Boston to raise awareness about the vulnerabilities of cyclists on city streets.
Portland, Oregon's Naked Bike Ride ride attracted an estimated 9,000 people earlier this month.
About 100 people turned out for last year's Boston ride, but Sara said she hopes to double that number this weekend.
Danvers cyclist John, who also asked that his last name be withheld, said he strips down to sandals and a helmet for the ride to promote body acceptance andalternative, human powered transportation.
"I have always really enjoyed bicycles, so when I heard about the [naked ride] and what it stood for, I knew I had to get over my irrational fear of nudity and join in," said John. "We peacefully present ourselves and coexist on city streets for a few hours and no one is worse off for it."
The public response is generally positive, according to Sara, who said police are usually helpful during the ride, despite laws about public nudity.
"It's a riot. When was the last time you saw 100 naked people riding past you?" said Sara. "The joy is contagious."
The Au Naturale details:
Full nudity is welcome, but not required.
Participants can opt to be fully clothed, or wear body paint, glitter, pasties, and "tighty whities" to help them feel more confident.
Cyclists will meet at 9 p.m. at the Boston Common Band Stand; the ride leaves at 10 p.m.
No registration is required.
The route travels through from Boston, Somerville and Cambridge.
Participants are asked to arrive clothed and leave clothed.
More information is available at Worldnakedbikeride.org.