St. Louis' iteration of the World Naked Bike Ride is the third largest in the entire country.
Apparently, travelling fully nude in a tightly packed group of hundreds is not safe during a global pandemic. Who knew? And so it is with a heavy heart that we share the news that St. Louis' World Naked Bike Ride has been canceled this year due to coronavirus concerns, and will not return until 2021.
The event was scheduled to take place on July 25. Its cancellation was announced Monday night on Facebook
, and it comes as participating cities across the world are canceling their planned naked rides as well.
"The safety and experience of our riders has always been the most important focus for us and we feel the decision to postpone to 2021 is the right one and is in everyone’s best interest," reads a statement
. "The event takes 6 months to plan and thousands of dollars to execute. Based on the extreme disruption the pandemic has had, we simply don’t feel that it is feasible or responsible for us to move forward and put the safety of riders, crew, and community at risk."
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2020 would have been the thirteenth year for St. Louis' iteration of the event, which is the third largest in the nation and which brings people in various states of undress — from clothed to partially clothed to fully nude to somehow even beyond fully nude, if you can believe it — out in droves to roll through the Grove neighborhood as part of an expression of body positivity and a resistance to oil dependency.
And while it has occasionally been known to baffle and terrify the unsuspecting and puritanical
, it has mostly become a celebrated local tradition that is tolerated by government officials under the right to freedom of expression.
The new date for the event is July 17, 2021. "While we all wish we could joyfully ride through STL as always, instead we’ll plan on making the 2021 ride even better and truly look forward to safely enjoying it with all of you," reads the statement.
But fret not: As with most events these days, some aspects of the World Naked Bike Ride will evidently be going digital this year.
"In an effort to keep the spirit of the World Naked Bike Ride alive, keep you moving and elevate your spirit a bit, we invite you to join us on social media for a series of fun weekly activities you can participate in on your own time with just your bike, that beautiful engine that is your body, a helmet and a mask of course!" the statement says. "The first challenge will be posted next week, so please stay tuned, stay strong and stay healthy!"
What, exactly, these social media challenges will look like remains to be seen — but it's a safe bet you'll be free to "bare as you dare." Just make sure to give your neighbors a heads up before you hit the streets with your naughty bits blowing in the breeze. You owe them that much.
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