2022’s Best Cities for Naked Biking


Some cyclists love feeling the wind in their hair. Others like to feel it all over — so much so that a global movement has brought this special group of cyclists quite literally out of their shell.

In the U.S., the World Naked Bike Ride takes place between June and September. Butt (’scuse our pun), where can you let your hair down — along with other body parts — without running (or pedaling) afoul of the law?

LawnStarter compared the 200 biggest U.S. cities to find 2022’s Best Cities for Naked Biking. 

We first studied the regulatory landscape in each city to help naked bikers avoid legal (and other) bumps on the road. We then considered the local popularity of naked biking, the size and activeness of the cycling community, and, of course, the climate.

Check out the best cities for biking in the buff below, followed by some highlights and lowlights. (Please try not to stare.)


City Rankings

See how each city fared in our ranking:

Overall Rank (1=Best)CityOverall ScoreNaked Biking-Friendliness RankPopularity RankSafety RankClimate Rank
1Chicago, IL63.29101581
2Portland, OR59.61123342
3Seattle, WA58.2186846
4Austin, TX56.6213323173
5St. Louis, MO56.2221163126
6Philadelphia, PA55.9631811112
7San Francisco, CA55.141352126
8Madison, WI55.134217142
9Los Angeles, CA54.68144581
10Boston, MA51.621516255
11Milwaukee, WI51.337177761
12New York, NY50.379126113
13Houston, TX49.0863654183
14Buffalo, NY48.659712757
15New Orleans, LA45.94532187185
16Columbus, OH45.20117251130
17Boise City, ID44.9924192541
18Denver, CO43.849671289
19Minneapolis, MN43.491828158
20Washington, DC42.511741214109
21Lincoln, NE42.2518572496
22San Antonio, TX40.40443028176
22Tulsa, OK40.40291498154
24Eugene, OR40.1211641445
25San Diego, CA39.89123106533
26Albuquerque, NM39.6134632652
27Pittsburgh, PA39.44682447118
28Atlanta, GA39.18214590146
29Rochester, NY38.8564503360
30Dallas, TX38.81283479155
31Omaha, NE38.7117918778
32Amarillo, TX38.3043464995
33Alexandria, VA37.66175139109
34Salem, OR37.63331084644
35Sacramento, CA37.43114542237
36Fort Collins, CO37.40122491089
37San Jose, CA37.27141313526
38Springfield, MO37.102212760127
39Pasadena, CA36.9812620682
40Tempe, AZ36.8799701599
41Miami, FL36.63872548182
42Louisville, KY36.48317774119
43Macon, GA36.44744243172
44Honolulu, HI36.2135938639
45El Paso, TX36.1754609286
46Lexington, KY35.98301874098
47Salt Lake City, UT35.92170914349
48Anchorage, AK35.853712813199
49Providence, RI35.8278893875
50Charlotte, NC35.77765857120
51Huntsville, AL35.582018288151
52Las Vegas, NV35.4477618062
53Phoenix, AZ35.251042912299
54Olathe, KS35.176514842121
55Syracuse, NY35.02708272107
56Little Rock, AR34.982662180108
57Arlington, VA34.961843918109
58Des Moines, IA34.90381637085
59Orlando, FL34.74698831198
60Jersey City, NJ34.731219216115
61Tucson, AZ34.719340119129
62McAllen, TX34.665114144176
63Oklahoma City, OK34.654156159139
64Durham, NC34.648311830147
65Wichita, KS34.584510697140
66Birmingham, AL34.5216117186167
67Oakland, CA34.51144478126
68Grand Rapids, MI34.471103811279
69Laredo, TX34.426619229176
70Lubbock, TX34.364213011097
71Vancouver, WA34.31172791742
72Colorado Springs, CO34.271172315374
73Killeen, TX34.264918045173
74Plano, TX34.244716853155
75Overland Park, KS34.235715569121
76Fremont, CA34.17159693826
77Midland, TX34.17521835094
78Sioux Falls, SD34.0536100113141
79Bridgeport, CT33.99801615577
80Sunnyvale, CA33.981541071926
81Raleigh, NC33.957268123147
82Cleveland, OH33.83855913571
83Kansas City, MO33.8225125169121
84Montgomery, AL33.7423113149179
85Cincinnati, OH33.727351155168
86Mobile, AL33.7119154160186
87McKinney, TX33.656099111155
88Fort Worth, TX33.6250101124155
89Arlington, TX33.6055116104155
90Pomona, CA33.59155351522
91Brownsville, TX33.586712476169
92Dayton, OH33.567511211769
93Winston-Salem, NC33.528248168136
94Mesquite, TX33.466214275155
95Irving, TX33.385316971155
96Frisco, TX33.345814391155
97Kansas City, KS33.324081178121
98Santa Rosa, CA33.2513467832
99Long Beach, CA33.181335213425
100Reno, NV33.168853126152
101Irvine, CA33.0814680612
102Paradise, NV33.061051733262
103Baltimore, MD32.851136666128
104Garland, TX32.845917794155
105North Las Vegas, NV32.841011843462
106Nashville, TN32.7118315131143
107Toledo, OH32.66901715676
108Greensboro, NC32.648183141136
109Bellevue, WA32.62192268546
110Henderson, NV32.60951475962
111Rockford, IL32.46921496488
112Tampa, FL32.331205552194
113Shreveport, LA32.3232167148171
114St. Paul, MN32.31198732058
115Savannah, GA32.275695154180
116Spokane, WA32.181691114140
117Mesa, AZ32.131097810799
118Orange, CA32.02118129672
119Aurora, IL32.001039610281
120Naperville, IL31.99981706281
121Grand Prairie, TX31.7463196130155
121Fontana, CA31.74160431822
123Indianapolis, IN31.681862713680
124Corpus Christi, TX31.6748193142170
125Richmond, VA31.6513937162131
126Chandler, AZ31.461128411899
127Scottsdale, AZ31.469712211699
128Salinas, CA31.371681603726
129Columbus, GA31.3679140140166
130Huntington Beach, CA31.19137651712
131Denton, TX31.1639165145155
132Gilbert, AZ31.1511510510099
133Santa Ana, CA31.00165981252
134Anaheim, CA30.71138751722
135Escondido, CA30.661514419033
136Yonkers, NY30.6594159132115
137Aurora, CO30.611241049989
138Fort Lauderdale, FL30.601027489189
139Garden Grove, CA30.561581091382
140Detroit, MI30.531307614653
141Joliet, IL30.521001818281
142Torrance, CA30.501431231052
143Pasadena, TX30.316118636183
144Augusta, GA30.3071151157187
145Chattanooga, TN30.2117128177153
146Glendale, CA30.151611141472
147Cary, NC30.1386166133147
148Baton Rouge, LA30.1227132191188
149Akron, OH30.118917616570
150Elk Grove, CA29.9316611512137
151Fullerton, CA29.80149861642
152Peoria, AZ29.7811915312899
153Jackson, MS29.7746195188175
154Chula Vista, CA29.6616411013733
155Riverside, CA29.601321571632
156Fayetteville, NC29.5184175174147
157Fort Wayne, IN29.47189907351
158Glendale, AZ29.2511115215699
159Hayward, CA29.2515017412926
160Worcester, MA29.141789410154
161Fresno, CA29.0213115815850
162Newark, NJ28.96128178108125
163Knoxville, TN28.8416287151114
164Lancaster, CA28.711361211892
165San Bernardino, CA28.681481021922
166Spring Valley, NV28.6410519911462
167Oxnard, CA28.451631621762
168Springfield, MA28.421791349655
169Modesto, CA28.4114212016672
170Lakewood, CO28.3712512615089
171Ontario, CA28.271531361852
172Tacoma, WA28.1517315010946
173Oceanside, CA27.9814017217333
174Virginia Beach, VA27.94187103103132
175Paterson, NJ27.62145198139115
176Thornton, CO27.6212913817989
177Corona, CA27.501271791952
178Rancho Cucamonga, CA27.471521371962
179Bakersfield, CA27.2713513918487
180Palmdale, CA27.161471901942
181Hollywood, FL27.1317722197189
182Sunrise Manor, NV27.0610519917562
183Moreno Valley, CA27.051671851932
184Memphis, TN26.9419664170138
185St. Petersburg, FL26.8818885115194
186Santa Clarita, CA26.731571192002
187Port St. Lucie, FL26.7218513178181
188Norfolk, VA26.6618016493132
189Tallahassee, FL26.6417613595197
190Newport News, VA26.3319097144132
191Cape Coral, FL25.2919118984200
192Stockton, CA25.0815618819872
193Chesapeake, VA24.80195144161132
194Murfreesboro, TN24.67193145167143
195Enterprise, NV24.6310519419962
196Hialeah, FL24.47200146106189
197Pembroke Pines, FL24.25199156120189
198Jacksonville, FL23.93181133183196
199Miramar, FL23.62197191127189
200Clarksville, TN23.10194197181143
Infographic of the Best Cities for Naked Biking, a ranking based on biking and public nudity laws, biking-friendliness, climate, and more

Highlights and Lowlights

Chicago Wins the Race

Hold on to your bells, handlebars, and everything in between — the Windy City is our inaugural Naked Biking Capital.

Chi Town not only finished first in the Popularity category, but it’s also one of a handful that hosts a (warning: NSFW) World Naked Bike Ride. It’s au(nly) naturel that locals can barely contain their excitement about the event: Chicagoans searched for “naked bike ride” more times in the past 12 months than Googlers in any of the other 199 cities.

Chicago’s quite safe for biking in your birthday suit, too (No. 5). Contrary to popular belief, Chicago isn’t as windy as its nickname suggests. The average wind speed here tops out at 10.3 mph. Strong breezes are a bigger danger in Boston, our No. 10 and the actual windiest city in America.

Keeping Austin Weird and Naked

Austin, which finished No. 4 overall, sped past the other 199 cities in our Naked-Biking Friendliness category, thanks to some of the most lax public nudity and bicycling laws in the U.S. It’s one of only four cities where total nudity won’t land you a ticket or jail time.

Austin’s No. 4 ranking makes sense, then, for a city with the 30th highest nudist population, who frequent the naturist haven Hippie Hollow Park.

The city even had its own local near-naked biking fixture, Leslie Cochran, years before there was ever a Naked Bike Ride. He’s gone now, but there’s a plaque in his memory on 6th Street.

Sore (Saddle) Losers

Better hide the family jewels before heading out for a ride in the South, which dominated the rear end of our ranking. Our not-so-bare bottom 10 includes cities like Clarksville, Tennessee (No. 1 worst), Jacksonville, Florida (No. 3), and Chesapeake, Virginia (No. 8).

What do they have in common? These are the cities where residents would clutch their pearls at the thought of biking — with only their pearls. In other words, they’re Conservative with a capital C. Objectively speaking, they simply performed poorly in just about every category.

Ironically, though, some of these cities have a liberal streak. For example, Jacksonville ranks third worst overall but is home to an above-average nudist population — in size, that is. Clarksville also has many nudist residents despite finishing last. Clearly, there are plenty of closet nudists in these conservative cities.

Surprising Findings

Florida Leads — in Bike Fatalities

Naked biking might mean “clothing-optional,” but it’s always smart to wear a helmet, especially in the Sunshine State. Here’s why: Five Florida cities — Hollywood, Tampa, and St. Petersburg among them — make up half of our top 10 cities with the most biking-related deaths per 100,000 residents.

That’s a bit of a head-scratcher, considering most of these cities boast high Bike Scores and many roads in great shape. In fact, Jacksonville has the lowest share of bad roads among all 200 cities. Fort Lauderdale and Tampa have programs curbing traffic deaths and injuries.

This city-level trend tracks with national stats. Of the 846 total U.S. bike deaths in 2019, nearly a fifth occurred in Florida. Failure to yield the right of way and collisions with light trucks were mostly to blame. So, when turning (or turning heads) on your bike in Florida, watch out for light trucks.

Begging to Bike in Their Birthday Suits

Some of the cities that Googled “naked bike ride” the most times over the past 12 months either aren’t participating in the global event this year or have never hosted one.

Cities like New York (No. 12), San Diego (No. 25), and Atlanta (No. 28) held naked bike rides pre-pandemic but haven’t committed to doing so in 2022, likely for the same reason.

On the other hand (or in this case the other cheek), Nashville, Tennessee, has never hosted a naked bike ride but ranked No. 8 in total Google searches yet 106th overall. Clearly, the people of Nashville — and previous host cities — need an outlet for their bare-biking dreams.

Behind the Ranking

For each of the 200 biggest U.S. cities, we first gathered publicly available data on the factors listed in the table below.

We then grouped those factors into four categories: Naked Biking-Friendliness, Popularity, Safety, and Climate.

Next, we calculated weighted scores for each city in each category.

Finally, we averaged the scores for each city across all categories. The city that earned the highest average score is considered “Best” (No. 1), while the city with the lowest is “Worst” (No. 200).

MetricWeightingMin. ValueMax. ValueBest
Naked Biking-Friendliness
Hosts Naked Bike Ride (1=Yes, 0=No)501Max. Value
Friendliness of State Bike Laws3149Max. Value
Nudists per 100,000 Residents30537.9Max. Value
Local Legality of Public Nudity (1=Allowed or No Law, 0=Prohibited)201Max. Value
Severity of Penalty for State Public Nudity Rule Violations1535Min. Value
Toplessness Legal in State (2=Yes, 1=Ambiguous Law, 0=No)202Max. Value
Average Monthly Google Searches for "World Naked Bike Ride" and "Naked Bike Ride" Over Past 12 Months40800Max. Value
Share of Workers Who Bike to Work10%5.4%Max. Value
Number of Bike Clubs2025Max. Value
Number of Bike Meetups2048Max. Value
Number of Cycling Races and Events3012Max. Value
Bike Shops per Square Mile201.3Max. Value
Bike Score32783Max. Value
Share of Roads in Poor Condition14%71%Min. Value
Natural Hazards Index1920Min. Value
Biking-Related Fatalities per 100,000 Residents203.3Min. Value
Bike Thefts per 100,000 Residents10275.2Min. Value
Has Vision Zero Program (1=Yes, 0=No)101Max. Value
Sex Offenders per 100,000 Residents20.92,846.9Min. Value
Median Air Quality Index125101Min. Value
Historical Number of Extremely Cold Days104Min. Value
Historical Number of Extremely Hot Days11119Min. Value
Historical Average Monthly Inches of Rain109Min. Value
Historical Monthly Average Percentage of Sunshine141%95%Max. Value

Sources: Bike Index, City-Data.com, CriminalDefenseLawyer, FindLaw, The Frisky, Google Ads, The League of American Bicyclists, Meetup, National Center for Disaster Preparedness, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Refinery29, TRIP, True Nudists, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, USA Cycling, Vision Zero Network, Walk Score, World Naked Bike Ride, World Population Review, and Yelp

Disclaimer: This report is intended to provide entertainment value only. It should not be relied upon as a source of legal information. Our research on public nudity and toplessness laws is limited to aggregated data from several sources listed above, which may be updated without our knowledge. It is each reader’s responsibility to verify the most current rules in their city and/or state.

Exposing the Truth About Bike Fatalities

World Naked Bike Ride is in full swing until September, and cities across the U.S. are gearing up for their own.

The global movement, with “bare as you dare” as its motto, started in 2003 to protest the world’s oil dependency. Since then, the cause has aimed to expose the vulnerability of cyclists in a car-centric society and promote body positivity.

In the U.S., preventable bike deaths have risen 44% over the past decade, and they tend to peak in August.

Why is LawnStarter ranking cities on naked biking? Our Best Cities for Naked Gardening study is a favorite from year to year, so why not rank the Best Cities for Naked Biking? 

Whatever you might do naked in your garden or on a bicycle is your business, but don’t ever mow your lawn naked. Wielding any kind of lawn care equipment in the buff is far more dangerous than a road rash from falling off your bike in the buff.

Main Photo Credit: Paul Sableman, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr


Staff Writer