Clacton on Sea to hold Naked Bike Ride today: as MP says ride they failed to close down is “offensive exhibitionism”

Council, MP and police tried to have nudist ride stopped but it's running TODAY

by Sarah Barth   July 19, 2014  

World Naked Bike Rides / Roger Bamber

An MP has slammed today’s Naked Bike Ride in Clacton as “offensive exhibitionism”.

Douglas Carswell MP says he would like to prevent the ride from taking place in the future, as cyclists prepare to set off from the Toby Carvery, in Marine Parade West, at 2pm today.

The ride is supposed to be an “environmental protest against car culture and a celebration of the bicycle and the body”, and was held for the first time in Clacton last year.

Mr Carswell has written to the police, who say that although they would like it to be cancelled, they would not be able to stop the ride as it is not illegal. Tendring Council has also asked for it to be cancelled.

Mr Carswell told the Clacton and Frinton Gazette: “There is a legitimate right of protest in this country, but this nude cycle ride is, in my view, just exhibitionism."

This year’s route takes the ride away from the town centre and the council has published it to ensure that the public can avoid the naked riders.

Last year we reported how Clacton on Sea tried to ban nudist events after World Naked Bike Ride.

Peter Halliday, Leader of Tendring District Council, reckoned enough was enough after two months that saw residents strip off for both the protest ride as well as a skinny dip on behalf of Marie Curie Cancer Care. 

Last year, around 35 naked cyclists participated in a 17-kilometre protest ride around the town.

Mr Halliday said: “Clacton is a traditional family seaside resort and in my opinion people riding around on bikes with no clothes on does nothing to enhance our image – in fact it harms it,” he said.

“They did not apply to use land under our responsibility so there was little we could do other than work with other agencies on a bit of a damage limitation exercise

“However, I now want to get together with the Police and others round the table and come up with a plan to put a halt to naked events in our area before it all goes too far.”

Essex Police however said: “There has been precedent from similar events held in Brighton and London in the past and it was deemed that there were no legal grounds to prevent it going ahead.”

Robert Brown, who organised the Clacton event in a series of World Naked Bike Rides, said that the councillors were missing the point of the rides.

He said: “The event was to protest against car culture and the idea of riding naked is to highlight the vulnerability of cyclists. Being naked in public isn’t an offence in itself.

“Similar events are held in towns and cities around the world and across the UK in places like Brighton, Portsmouth and London. The London event attracts thousands of people and benefits shops and traders in the area.

“There were more people in favour of our event than against it. On Saturday we were given a huge cheer as we rode down the High Street.”

11 user comments

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Whilst I instinctively object to NIMBYs stopping anyone doing anything... I know Clacton. It's a small coastal town full of retired folk and Essex people in their static caravans. It's hardly a hotbed of decision-makers and opinion-formers.

So while I see nothing wrong with holding 'a WNBR' there or anywhere else, if the ride was truly protesting surely it would make more sense to hold it somewhere more... important?

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

Gizmo_'s picture

posted by Gizmo_ [956 posts]
19th July 2014 - 12:41

43 Likes

Gizmo_ wrote:
Whilst I instinctively object to NIMBYs stopping anyone doing anything... I know Clacton. It's a small coastal town full of retired folk and Essex people in their static caravans. It's hardly a hotbed of decision-makers and opinion-formers.

So while I see nothing wrong with holding 'a WNBR' there or anywhere else, if the ride was truly protesting surely it would make more sense to hold it somewhere more... important?

Judging from the 'List of Rides' section of the website (http://wiki.worldnakedbikeride.org/index.php?title=List_of_rides#United_... - Link perfectly safe for work), there appear to be quite a number of them going on in the UK.

Having a ride in Clacton doesn't appear to come at the cost of having one anywhere else. And I think these things are largely locally organised, so if people in Clacton got themselves organised and people in 'more important' towns didn't then... well, I guess that's just way the cookie crumbled (sorry, I hate that expression).

If you're interested, the London one is planned for the 14th of June. That should raise a few more eyebrows.

posted by Quince [204 posts]
19th July 2014 - 13:03

42 Likes

This MP must be easily shocked if he has never seen a few naked humans. Underneath my clothes, I am naked all the time!



I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1434 posts]
19th July 2014 - 15:31

49 Likes

Personally I find MPs who've cheated taxpayers through fiddling their expenses far more offensive Mr Douglas Carswell MP. Thinking

posted by don simon [243 posts]
19th July 2014 - 18:40

33 Likes

Is there an election soon, all these MPs canvassing votes with empty promises?

posted by Yorkshie Whippet [342 posts]
19th July 2014 - 22:12

19 Likes

bikeboy76 wrote:
Underneath my clothes, I am naked all the time!

Disgusting.

nowasps's picture

posted by nowasps [263 posts]
20th July 2014 - 7:11

25 Likes

So naked people riding bicycles is deemed offensive, but old people driving around in diesel cars causing the premature deaths through pollution is perfectly fine?

I wonder, what part of the human body does he think is offensive? Someone bending over and curling one out is pretty offensive, I agree, but a sweaty testicle sliding down the side of a saddle isn't quite in the same ballpark.

posted by Peowpeowpeowlasers [125 posts]
20th July 2014 - 12:12

22 Likes

I note from Mr Carswell's Wikipedia entry that he is apparently a libertarian.

A rather selective libertarian, it would appear... Smile

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Carswell

posted by guydfletcher [1 posts]
20th July 2014 - 13:28

13 Likes

“It's now very common to hear people say, 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more... than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so fucking what."
- Stephen Fry

SamSkjord's picture

posted by SamSkjord [22 posts]
21st July 2014 - 7:49

5 Likes

I'm offended by Douglas Carswell but that's no reason to ban him. It's entirely my problem.

If he's offended by nudity then he should have a look at the well publicised route and simply keep away. Same goes for any other prudes.

posted by ollieclark [19 posts]
21st July 2014 - 14:48

6 Likes

So did the ride go ahead? How many people were there, and in what stage of undress (I believe that the WNBR says you can go "as bare as you dare", which rather leads to some possible WNBR/Tweed Run crossovers, if someone was sufficiently inhibited).

Personally, I wouldn't. But that's my choice.

Like bikeboy says, we're all naked under our clothes...

posted by brooksby [208 posts]
21st July 2014 - 15:17

3 Likes