Peruvian capital Lima was one of a couple of dozen cities in the Southern Hemisphere that this weekend saw cyclists take to the streets in the nude for the local legs of the World Naked Bike Ride, aimed at celebrating cycling and the human body, while at the same time underlining how fragile we are plus the impact on the environment of dependency on fossil fuels.
The city, enjoying late summer temperatures of around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, was hosting its naked cycle ride – in Spanish, Ciclo-Nudista – for the seventh time, with up to 500 riders, many with slogans painted on their bodies, participating to highlight road safety issues, according to the BBC.
“This is our body. With this, we go out in the streets. We don't have a car to protect us," explained Octavio Zegarra, chairman of cycle campaign group Cicloaxion, who helped organise the event which is affiliated to the World Naked Bike Ride.
One participant in the ride in Lima, Milagro Esquivel, added: "I have gone naked because it's the way to raise awareness of our rights for example the bicycle lanes that are never free, there are always taxis parked, police sleeping."
There was a mixed turnout elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere, however. Melbourne saw its biggest turnout yet since the first naked ride there in 2006, with 262 riders participating.
“We had over 260 naked riders baring everything to raise awareness for cyclist vulnerabilities without their lycra or clothing, these riders showed they had no protection between themselves and other vehicles on the road,” organiser Dallas Goldburg told the Melbourne Leader.
While the counting was Impressively precise in Melbourne, whoever had the task of totting up the number of cyclists attending one of two rides in New Zealand, along a 7 kilometre stretch of beach between Omanu and Papamoa had a rather easier time of it – just eight cyclists participated there, reports the Bay of Plenty Times.
While this weekend’s rides weren’t exclusively confined to the Southern Hemisphere – cyclists also turned out in San Francisco, which hosts two rides annually, for example – most rides North of the Equator will take place on the weekend of 10 and 11 June.
UK rides currently confirmed as taking place during June include ones in Brighton & Hove, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Exeter, London, Manchester, Nottingham, Southampton and York.
Further details can be found on the World Naked Bike Day wiki.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.