Ride Naked (or in tweed): Unique bike events promise fun

By Columbus Alive
From the May 30, 2013 edition

Riding a bike is inherently fun for Brian Pace, but he understands others might not feel the same.

So he started riding naked.

Or rather, he brought the international bike ride, World Naked Bike Ride, to Columbus. That was four years ago. Now it’s one of the city’s most popular bike rides, with more than 1,000 people expected to participate during the June 15 ride.

“The [bike] revolution isn’t going to touch anybody if it’s not fun,” said Pace, 32, of Weinland Park.

But fear not, Tobias Funke. Never Nudes are welcome, too. In fact, Pace said riders are encouraged to be “as bare as you dare.”

That could mean getting some well-placed body paint from CCAD students at the bike fair that takes place prior to the ride. Or wearing a merkin (seriously, you can make one at the fair). Or using your own hand-painted, strategically placed tube sock (again, seriously, the fair, yes).

Whatevs, the choice is yours. The point is, loosen up with your bike, Pace said.

“Truthfully, I think we need to have more fun in Columbus on bikes,” he said.

Tweed Ride Columbus

Riding naked (or anywhere close) not your idea of fun? No worries. Just dress up in tweed.

This biannual ride is also growing in popularity since beginning three years ago.

“It’s been fantastic,” said Jess Mathews, one of the organizers of Tweed Ride Columbus. “People come decked out in this period clothing, bikes are old school, and everybody really looks forward to it.”

Sadly, you just missed this spring’s ride. It was held May 20, but another one is scheduled for some time in the fall.

Year of Yay!

Get your urban explorer on with this series of monthly rides put on by Yay Bikes! Aimed at riders of all levels, these rides feature monthly themes, are slow and usually last between 15-25 miles.

Rides left this year include tours of Columbus bakeries, cemeteries, interesting grocers, hidden gems and more.

“It’s not so much that it’s just a fun ride,” said Meredith Joy, director of Yay Bikes!. “There’s a whole point to it that’s key to facilitating long-term behavior change.”

The idea, Joy said, is to offer fun, interesting rides where people who maybe aren’t regularly on bikes get a chance to experience the city on two wheels.

“We’re trying to teach people how to ride on the road, very explicitly, that’s based on the love of the city and social relationships,” she said. “The people they meet, the instructors they encounter and seeing the city from a new angle, like, ‘Oh my god, I didn’t know Campus was this close to Downtown,’ or, ‘Look how beautiful the Scioto Mile is.’”