Pittsburgh ‘Underwear Bike Ride’ promotes positive self-image
You don’t have to get dressed up for this event.
In fact, you are encouraged to not wear much.
The Pittsburgh Underwear Bike Ride is Thursday.
Held the last Thursday of every month from May until October, the event is about having fun and promoting a positive self-body image, said organizer Scott Kowalski.
“Most people struggle with some sort of body image,” said Kowalski. “It’s about being comfortable with yourself. There is no judgment here. Some people ease into it with shorts and T-shirt and then work their way into underwear.”
Kowalski took over the helm of the ride in 2016 from founder Victoria McGrath who started it in 2012. She had lived in Milwaukee, Wis., which had a similar event. When she moved to Pittsburgh, she brought the idea with her.
Riders gather at 8 p.m. at 46th and Butler in Lawrenceville. The ride concludes at Ace Hotel Pittsburgh in East Liberty.
“We don’t have a lot of rules, but the main one is ‘Don’t be a jagoff,’” Kowalski said. “We want everyone to have a good time.”
Participants are urged to wear helmets, use lights and to not text and ride. Kowalski suggests participants stay behind the leaders, keep right, be respectful of other riders and drivers, and know the route.
Each ending point is different. The route is in the seven- to 10-mile range,and it’s for all skill levels. The final ride is Halloween-themed.
This event began with 30 people and at one time had 360, but usually has between 150-200 participants. It is a “ride at your own risk” event.
“We have had people say they were tentative about doing it but once they did that ride changed their life,” Kowalski said. “People smile and have fun.”
- June 27 Pittsburgh Underwear Ride – June – Ace Hotel Pittsburgh, East Liberty
- July 25 Pittsburgh Underwear Ride – July – Spirit, Lawrenceville
- August 29 Pittsburgh Underwear Ride – August – Harris Grille Downtown
- September 26 Pittsburgh Underwear Ride – September – De Fer Coffee & Tea, Strip District
- October 31 Pittsburgh Underwear Ride – Oct – Over the Bar, South Side
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 412-320-7889, [email protected] or via Twitter .