The temperature went up and the pants came down for the 10th annual No Pants Light Rail Ride! It was unseasonably warm on Sunday, January 7, 2018 when 100s of people rode the light rail sans pants, while people in over a dozen other cities did their No Pants rides in actual wintery weather.
Even before the event, we had our first encounter with light rail security. It’s tradition for the organizers to draw arrows and signs on the ground from the light rail stop to the meet-up venue a few hours before the ride begins. This year, a pair of light rail security were on the platform as we began to chalk the ground with a large “No Pants” and an arrow. They asked what we were doing, and we nonchalantly responded, “We have an event today.” We were surprised they didn’t know what “No Pants” referred to.
At 1pm, we kicked off the ride by kicking off our pants. Pantsless groups boarded the light rail, starting at various points from the east and the west to converge at DeSoto Central Market. Most of the reactions from onlookers were positive. A group on one train said they were protesting global climate change – it shouldn’t be warm enough ride the rails in January in undies and t-shirts. Others said they were just on their way to meet up with friends and they had no idea who these other pantsless riders were.
More than one train got a visit from light rail security who rode with the group. When invited to de-pants, they declined and pointed to the train’s security camera. They had a good laugh over where we were keeping our tickets with a lack of pockets.
This was the first year we used DeSoto Central Market as the meetup location, definitely the biggest venue we’ve used to date. The main group from the west side arrived before the east side group, and they said the panted patrons were bewildered and delighted at the arrival of the second pantsless group, as if they thought the first group was an anomaly. Several panted patrons dropped trou and joined in our fun.
(BTW – To the panted couple at DeSoto who were having their first date when our pantsless group arrived: She thanked us for giving them something that broke the ice and something to talk about. She said the odds of a second date were high.)
One of the highlights of the meetup was the live music courtesy of The Painted Soul. Their sound was so funky and festive and it made our group feel welcome in the space. It was so much fun seeing dozens of people dancing in their underwear.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s ride! You can see our photographer’s images from the event here, and we were covered in both The Phoenix New Times and AZ Central.
We’ve created a Facebook event for next year’s ride if you want to join us again. We won’t know the official date until Improv Everywhere announces it in December, but it’s usually a Sunday in early January. Please add yourself to stay in the loop and please subscribe to our list so you’ll know about all of our upcoming shenanigans.