Originally Published: September 11, 2017 6:01 a.m.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — And they’re off — the bicyclists and their clothes.
Thousands of nude cyclists set off on a trek around Philadelphia on Saturday for the annual Philly Naked Bike Ride.
About 3,000 riders in various stages of undress pedaled a 10-mile (16-kilometer) course taking in sights including Independence Hall and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where Sylvester Stallone sprinted up the steps while training as Rocky.
Participants in the ride can go as bare as they dare. Some were in their birthday suits while others sported underwear or body paint and glitter.
Olivia Neely, who was topless, was riding for the first time, inspired by the recent end of a romantic relationship.
“I just broke up with my boyfriend and wanted to have a sense of freedom,” she said. “I did it for me, not for anyone else.”
The ride is to protest dependence on fossil fuels, advocate for the safety of cyclists and promote positive body image.
Friends Lindsay Meehan and Michelle Astringer rode together and helped each other get painted. Meehan is a first-timer at the PNBR while Astringer is a regular.
Meehan said she decided to take part because eating disorder recovery and body positivity are “a big part of my life.”