CHICAGO, June 11 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of cyclists stripped naked and took to the streets of Chicago for the 14th annual World Naked Bike Ride on Saturday night.
The ride stretched 14 miles (22.5 km) between tourist areas and parks, celebrating the beauty of people and freedom from oil.
The event drew recurring participants like 23-year-old Anastacia Favela from South Side, Chicago, who came to celebrate her body image. "A lot of people are out here to show that they love themselves and accept themselves," she told Xinhua.
"We're taught to be ashamed of being naked, but the world should see this as a celebration of the human body," she said.
Riding with Favela was her friend and first time naked bike rider Annette Gavron, who rode to combat body-shaming. "People should be free to express themselves," she said.
Another first time rider Alfonso Blanco Jr. saw the event as a unique and positive way to bring the community together. Blanco was one of several body painters who decorated participants with artistic designs and statements for change.
"The movement from oil reliance is a very green message, that's what World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) highlights: an earthly message to focus on more green transportation," Blanco told Xinhua.
With Bicycling Magazine naming Chicago the most bike-friendly city in the nation, the push to cut back vehicle emissions and ease off oil dependency is growing. Cycling events are a regular occurrence during Chicago summers and next year the WNBR is expected to return with more riders and even less clothing.