Naked Bike Riders Travel Through Philly

Thousands of bicyclists in various stages of undress have pedaled their way around the city for Philadelphia’s annual naked bike ride.

The ride began at Drexel Park on 32nd Street and Powelton Avenue around 3 p.m. Saturday.

Debbie Kaighn, who was riding in the popular annual event for the third time, wore shoes, socks and body paint. On her front were streaks and splashes of yellow and green paint, and on her back was the message "Live free, ride nude."

"I'm a naturist, and I believe in body freedom," she said. "And I'm also a cyclist."

The 12-mile ride through the City of Brotherly Love is among many related to the World Naked Bike Ride movement. Riders on the twisting course wheeled through University City, around the Rittenhouse Square park, down to City Hall and through Chinatown. Giddy crowds cheered them on while shooting photos and videos on their cellphones.

Ed Blanton traveled from Arlington, Virginia, to ride nude in the Philly event for the fourth time "because I'm a bicyclist and it's fun."

He wore just a sign on his back: "The earth is the Lord's."

"I like to get this message out," he said before hopping gingerly onto his bike and riding off.

Other riders supported assorted causes, including breast cancer research. One had painted on his back, "Burn fat, not oil."

There was a bit of confusion this year after organizers changed the starting location only a few hours before the event.  The ride was originally scheduled to begin on MLK Drive before it was changed to Drexel Park. Several people posted on Facebook pages for the event complaining about the last minute change. Others posted that they went to the wrong location after missing the update.

The event, which takes place in cities across the nation, is meant to promote fuel consumption awareness, positive body image and cycling advocacy.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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