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naked bike ride 2019
Photograph: Neal O'Bryan

World Naked Bike Ride won’t streak through Chicago in June

The annual clothing-optional gathering has postponed its 2020 jaunt through the city.

Zach Long
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Zach Long
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Summer in Chicago usually means festivals, block parties, outdoor concerts, fireworks and one evening when a group of scantily clad cyclists cruises through the city. But change is afoot this year as residents adjust to a new reality, and the annual World Naked Bike Ride is rolling with the punches and postponing the event, which was originally scheduled to take place on June 13.

RECOMMENDED: See photos from previous editions of the World Naked Bike Ride

In late April, the World Naked Bike Ride Chicago Facebook event page was updated with a statement that read, "This event should be presumed postponed, 2020 date TBD." Longtime World Naked Bike Ride organizer Steven Lane confirmed the indefinite delay of the event, telling us that "World Naked Bike Ride planners in Chicago are looking to wait it out and see if it will be safe to gather by the end of summer."

Founded in 2004, the Chicago iteration of the international event series invites cyclists to come as "bare as you dare" and take part in a ride through the city that typically lasts late into the evening. The nearly-nude pedal-powered gathering isn't a chance for exhibitionists to show off in public; the function is meant to call out society's dependence on oil and promote body positivity.

If the World Naked Bike Ride takes place at some point this summer, we expect it will look quite different than previous editions (the use face of coverings and other forms of personal protective equipment seem likely). But organizers seem ready to adjust and continue the tradition if they feel that it's safe enough to move forward with the event. "If we get a green light from officials while it's warm enough, we're going to get a Chicago Naked Bike Ride in for 2020," Lane told us.

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