Summer is traditionally a time to dress down, yes? Or, for some of us naturists, not to dress at all.

In keeping with that theme, there will be several World Naked Bike Rides wheeling through cities around the world, including Montreal.

What’s it all about, you might be asking.

Well, it has little, if nothing, to do with nudism/naturism, though many naturists will use the opportunity to thumb their noses at the textile world.

Rather, the event is essentially about being kinder to the planet by relying less on automobiles and the fossil fuels they consume and more on pedal power.

But why the nudity, you might be wondering.

The WNBR organization says this in a quote on the World Naked Bike Ride — Montreal page: “We face automobile traffic with our naked bodies as the best way of defending our dignity and exposing the vulnerability faced by cyclists and pedestrians on our streets as well as the negative consequences we all face due to dependence on oil, and other forms of non-renewable energy.”

Another message on the Montreal organizers’ page adds this:

“In the beginning of WNBR, the message was balancing protesting against oil dependency and celebrating the power and individuality of the human body. In 2006, there was a shift towards simplifying the message and focusing on cycling advocacy. While the ride does include and appeal to participants from social nudity circles, the rides is not focused on promoting social nudity directly as much as cycling.

“Conrad Schmidt (a founder of WNBR) has pointed out that the most active support has coming from the cycling advocacy community, with groups such as Critical Mass. While we have been able to get many people from social nudity circles to take cycling more seriously, too, many people are coming to the event without really supporting the primary focus of the ride. Focusing on cycling helps clarify this.”

You will find lots more information about the benefits of cycling, both to the rider and to Mother Earth (think less pollution) on the World Naked Bike Ride — Montreal page.

The daytime version of the ride takes place on July 5 at 2 p.m., starting at Dorchester Square. The nighttime version takes place Aug. 1 at 10 p.m., again starting at Dorchester Square.

And, by the way, you are not required to be naked to take part in the event.

It’s a great cause! Enjoy . . .

— Jillian