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Masks only for Philly Naked Bike Ride this summer

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Philadelphia’s guidelines for mask use could change before the late August Philly Naked Bike Ride, so the requirement could change.

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia bike riders won’t need their shirts, pants, skirts or even underwear — just a mask.

Organizers of the annual Philly Naked Bike Ride say this year’s event will take place Aug. 28 and will require masks, based on the city’s earlier coronavirus restrictions.

The city lifted most of its COVID-19 rules this week, citing an increase in vaccinations and a decrease in cases. But ride organizers said they hadn’t had a chance to chat since the city’s guidelines changed so for the time being, they’re “going to stick with our initial mask guidance.” Lead organizer Wesley Noonan-Sessa said they’ll keep an eye on what the city says in the next month or so.

Ride participants, sometimes in the thousands, usually gather in a park to strip off their clothes and paint each other’s bodies before carefully hopping on their bikes. The naked ride is to promote positive body image, advocate for the safety of cyclists and protest dependence on fossil fuels.

Riders pedal a 10-mile (16-kilometer) course while taking in sights including Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s steps, featured in the “Rocky” movies.

The coronavirus pandemic slammed the brakes on the ride that had been planned for last year. Organizers said then that canceling the 2020 event was “the most responsible thing to do.”

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