The monthly Pittsburgh Underwear Bike Ride promotes positive body image and safe cycling
It’s that time of year again, when it is warm enough to get outside and ride your bike — in your underwear. Founded in 2012, the Pittsburgh Underwear Bike Ride is rolling into its ninth season. The first monthly group ride is Thursday, June 25th at 8 p.m. Only minor modifications are required due to coronavirus. The ride will still start at the intersection of 46th Street and Butler Street, but “[We] are asking everyone to wear masks before, during, and after the ride,” organizer Scott Kowalski explains. This first ride of the season is to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and to celebrate Pride Month. The Underwear Bike Ride has always focused on inclusivity and positive body image, but Kowalski is encouraging attendees to make signs and show support however they feel comfortable. In order to mitigate a large gathering, there is currently no afterparty planned so that folks can safely social distance and head home as they see fit.
Exactly what is the Underwear Bike Ride?
It’s pretty much exactly that: a group bike ride through the city, wearing your underwear (or whatever you feel comfortable in; not everyone strips to their skivvies). The route varies each month in order to provide a safe way to explore different neighborhoods as a group. It is free to participate and suitable for casual cyclists. The ride is all about “having fun and promoting a positive self body image.”
In March, we interviewed organizer Scott Kowalski for The Slaw — our podcast about Pittsburgh places and Pittsburgh people. In the episode, Kowalski, an avid cyclist and biking advocate, reveals the number one rule for attending the Underwear Bike Ride: Don’t be a jag. He shares some highlights of the ride and gives some safe cycling advice.
Additional 2020 ride dates
What to know if you go
All rides are on the last Thursday of the month, with an 8 p.m. start time (rain or shine). The underwear bike ride always begins with a quick speech by Kowalski and folks are encouraged to check their brakes, chain, and tires prior to start. Additional guidelines are posted on their website. You can also follow the Underwear Ride on Facebook.
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May 2018 Underwear Bike ride!! I only started going to this event last year but it’s easily become one of my favs. Promoting body positivity AND safe city cycling at the same damn time. Special thx to @scott.kowalski72 for organizing! Next ride is Aug 30th leaving Leslie Park at 8pm and ending at Spirit!! Come ride with us!! 🚴🏼♀️🚴🏼♀️👙👙🚴🏼♀️🚴🏼♀️✨✨ #pghundiesride #pghunderwearbikeride #underwearbikeride #bodypositivity #cycleawareness #citybiking #babesonbikes
Somehow you still want more info on riding around tahn in your gutchies?
Here’s some additional coverage:
- Underwear Bicycling and Pittsburgh’s Burgeoning Beer Scene, October Magazine, 2017
- Biking Around in your gutchies: The Underwear Ride, Bike Pittsburgh, 2015 – thanks to Bike Pittsburgh for putting this in true Pittsburgh terms. (Gutchies is a term your grandma might have used to refer to your underpants)
- What’s the skinny: Pittsburghers strip for Underwear Bike Ride, Pitt News, 2015 – This article from the Pitt News offers some of the history of the Pittsburgh Underwear Bike Ride.
This post was originally published in 2019 and was updated with the 2020 ride information
Header photo credit: Pgh Underwear Ride Facebook page.