'Philly Naked Bike Ride' participants required to wear only one item — a face mask

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Naked bikers are set to hit the Philadelphia streets in a couple of months for an event that won’t require clothing except for one specific item – a face mask. 

The annual Philly Naked Bike Ride is officially scheduled for Aug. 28, organizers say. The free-spirited ride – which encourages nakedness and has been labeled as a “bare as you dare” event – will require masks based on the city’s earlier coronavirus restrictions.

This year’s event is being called: “The Mask Edition,” according to promotions posted on social media. 

Last week, Philadelphia officially lifted most of its COVID-19 rules, including limits on capacity and social distancing requirements for businesses and events.

Organizers of the ride said they have yet to discuss the recent changes in the city’s coronavirus guidelines, so they are “going to stick with our initial mask guidance.” 

Lead organizer Wesley Noonan-Sessa noted they’ll wait to hear what the city says in the coming weeks. 

The annual event typically sees people gather at a local park to disrobe and paint their bodies before saddling up with thousands of riders on a 10-mile course throughout the city. Riders normally take in sights that including Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.

Olivia Neely, a topless cyclist wearing body paint, motions before the start of that year’s annual Philly Naked Bike Ride in Philadelphia on Sept. 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Dino Hazell, File)

The bike ride will promote positive body image, cycling advocacy, and “fuel conscious consumption,” organizers said. 

“One of the best aspects of the Philly Naked Bike Ride is how creative people get with being nude in public,” according to the event’s website. “Have a good time and have fun with paint, hats, costumes, sunglasses, and anything else you can think of.”

The annual ride was canceled last year due to the pandemic. In their decision, organizers said they hoped the city would be “farther along in the reopening process to make it feasible to hold this year’s event.”

“After much debate, we feel that canceling this year’s event is the most responsible thing to do,” they added, at the time. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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