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Philadelphia bike riders bare it all to raise awareness. Credit: Pete Lodato

It's not every day you go for a run and see 1,000 naked people riding past you on bikes, skateboards and unicycles.

But that's exactly what Engineering senior David Loewy saw as he jogged down the Schuylkill River last Sunday.

Loewy had the opportunity to witness Philadelphia's first Naked Bike Ride, an event organized to raise awareness about fuel consumption and promote cycling advocacy, positive body image and economic sustainability.

Clifford Greer, the lead organizer of the Philly Naked Bike Ride, estimated that over 1,000 people participated in the four-mile bike ride.

Participants had to sign up to receive the meeting place and time of the ride. The route was then communicated to everyone who showed up that day.

Participating riders were not required to be completely naked during the event.

"We invited riders to ride with us no matter how they felt about nudity," Greer said. "There was no requirement of minimal or maximal dress."

He said nudity is a great tool for protest and helps celebrate the "power of human beings to get themselves around and make the world a better place."

Although the bikers encountered a few aggressive individuals along the way, Greer said that the public responded well to the event.

"They saw that we were peaceful and the message we were spreading was positive," Greer said.

College senior Julia Shatten, who participated in the ride, said she found out about the event a few hours before it started and "just couldn't resist."

"It started as a fun thing that I didn't want to miss, but then once the ride started I got really into the themes of it," she said. "It was the best night of my life."

Loewy, who coincidentally had the opportunity to witness the Naked Bike Ride on his evening run, said he had no idea the event was occurring until he noticed a naked woman dressed in paint on the side of the path.

"Five minutes later the whole thing started … 25 minutes of naked people riding their bikes," he said.

Loewy said that although the riders caught him by surprise, he thought the event was hilarious.

"There were even police cheering them on. Everyone riding just seemed really happy to be there," he said.

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