Norristown Resident Modestly Participates in Philadelphia Naked Bike Ride

man with glasses on bike
Image via Montco NORML at Facebook.
Geoffrey Smith.

Norristown resident Geoffrey Smith braved his first Philadelphia Naked Bike Ride last year when an event organizer — who is also a friend — invited him.

Smith wasn’t quite ready to strip completely in 2021, and that decision was perfectly okay. The free-and-breezy celebration is designed as public commentary on body acceptance, meaning participants are encouraged to reveal, or conceal, as much as they’re comfortable with.

For this past weekend’s epidermal excursion, Smith’s second outing, he got a little braver, removing his shirt.

“It opened my mind up,” Smith said of the experience. “It affects your mindset in regard to body space. And it’s such a positive environment.”

The ride’s directors expend much effort to ensure the overall vibe remains fun and supportive. No one is required to bike completely in the buff (although many do). And cyclists receive an extensive list of dos and don’ts to make everyone feel comfortable.

“The riders are such cool individuals. And we go through some great neighborhoods. There were people on the side of the road cheering us on. In South Philly, they were banging pots and pans,” Smith said, describing the 12-mile route that began in Fairmount Park and ended near the Delaware waterfront.

“It changes perceptions,” he continued. “Over time, you don’t see naked people, so it’s not as much of a shock.

“It leaves people with a good mentality,” Smith said, giving his final assessment of the 2022 Philadelphia Naked Bike Ride.

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