Sunday, September 21, 2014
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Naked Bike Ride passes us by

This weekend saw the launch of the third annual World Naked Bike Ride, in which... well, I guess it's pretty self-explanatory: Naked people on bikes will be riding through towns all over the world. Except Philadelphia.

Naked Bike Ride passes us by

From the WNBR in Barcelona.
From the WNBR in Barcelona.

This weekend saw the launch of the sixth annual World Naked Bike Ride, in which... well, I guess it's pretty self-explanatory: Naked people on bikes will be riding through towns all over the world. And as I'm sure you have already guessed, they'll be doing it to raise, um, awareness of sustainable transportation solutions. And to drive home the point that there is no sustainability topic that can't be impoved by adding nudity.

This first portion covers cities across the Southern Hemisphere - where it's already almost autumn. The Northern Hemisphere gets a better deal (from a naked rider's perspective, anyway) with its events in balmy June.

But what's this? Of the dozens of cities on the itinerary, Philadelphia is so far not listed as a Naked Bike Ride participant! How can the City of Brotherly Love not have naked bikers when other, less "love"-based jurisdictions are flaunting them?

I asked Alex Doty, Executive Director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, what was going on and whether his group had a problem with naked bikers. Far from it, he said. "In fact, I think we should do the World ride one better in June and have the entire Bike Race go on naked." Doty did not explain how, in such a scenario, race announcers and commentators - or indeed, the riders themselves - would identify the members of different teams.

More seriously, though, Doty pointed out that rather than focusing on a one-day splash, the Coalition in May ("Bike Month")  is launching a program with the same goal of educating the public about bicycle options as well as bike safety, with an initiative called Bicycle Ambassadors. Throughout the summer they'll be appearing at events and sometimes right on the street to answer questions and gently prod the public bikeward.

But will any of the Ambassadors be naked? Doty allowed that he had not asked the question of any applicants so far and it did seem unlikely. "But I will promise you," he added, "that our Ambassadors will gladly talk to people who are naked. We will issue them special sunglasses for that purpose."

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Earth to Philly is a weblog focusing on earth-conscious technology, trends and ideas, from a Daily News perspective. We look at the "green" aspects of your home, business, food, transportation, style, policy, gadgets and artwork. If you have a Philly-related story, Click here to let us know about it!

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Look for Jenice Armstrong to supply tips on green living as well as occasional columns on the subject of Green. She also blogs at Hey Jen.


Becky Batcha stays tuned for the here-and-now practical side of conservation, alternative energy, organic foods, etc. - stuff you can do at home now. Plus odds and ends.


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Vance Lehmkuhl looks at topics like eco-conscious eating, public transportation and fuel-efficient driving from his perspective as a vegetarian, a daily SEPTA bus rider and a hybrid driver, as well as noting the occasional wacky trend or product. Contact Vance with your 'green' news.


Ronnie Polaneczky sees the green movement through the eyes of her 12-year-old daughter, who calls her on every scrap of paper or glass bottle that Ronnie neglects to toss into the house recycling bins. Ronnie will blog about new or unexpected ways to go green. She also blogs at So, What Happened Was...


Sandra Shea and the DN editorial board opine on any green-related legislation or policy. And we'll pass along some of the opeds on the subject that people send us.


Jonathan Takiff will be blogging mainly about consumer electronics - those things that we love to use and that suck too much energy. He'll spotlight green-conscious gizmos made in a responsible fashion, both in terms of materials used and the energy it takes to run them.


Signe Wilkinson draws the comic strip Family Tree, which follows the Tree family as they try to live green in the face of nattering neighbors, plastic-wrapped consumer products, and the primal teenage urge to spend vast quantities of money on hair care products of dubious organic quality.


In addition to these updates from our newsroom bloggers, watch for an occasional feature, Dumpster Diver Dispatches, from Philadelphia's original "green" community of artists, the Dumpster Divers. You'll learn about creative ways to reuse and recycle while you reduce, and about the artists who are making little masterpieces from what others throw out.

  • Dispatch #1: Margaret Giancola's rugs from plastic bags
  • Dispatch #2: Dumpster Divers in City Hall (Art in City Hall series)
  • Dispatch #3: Wild wood, New Jersey
  • Dispatch #4: Dumpster Divers award winners announced
  • Dispatch #5: From sweaters to colorful cuddling
  • Dispatch #6: Green artists retake South Street Sunday
  • Dispatch #7: Isaiah Zagar: He's a Magic (Gardens) Man





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