If you’re based in the east of England and like to feel the wind in your, erm, hair, rejoice, because there is a Naked Bike Ride coming to a town near you.
Organisers of the World Naked Bike Ride are planning to bring their event to Ipswich next year, building on their success in Clacton and proposed rides in Colchester and Chelmsford later this year.
They’ll even bring it to Norwich too, if they can find willing organisers.
Robert Brown, who organises the Clacton event, said he had never had any trouble from the police over the rides.
He told the Ipswich Star: “It is not an offence to be nude. It is only an offence to be nude if you cause distress or alarm. So it is legal to be out nude, but it would be an offence to drop your trousers in public.”
The rides are supposedly protests about the lack of infrastructure for cyclists and a call for safer roads.
Mr Brown said: “The London events are very popular. The police are very happy about them so long as we tell them when things are happening.
“People love taking part and there are always well-wishers to wave us on and take photographs!”
A spokeswoman for Suffolk Police said: “As with any protest, police do not take sides but aim to ensure public safety and allow lawful freedom of expression. Officers will liaise with the organisers of any event and give relevant advice.
“If any criminal offences are reported police will investigate and take action as appropriate.”
We have previously reported on the Clacton MP’s disdain for the Naked Bike Ride.
Douglas Carswell MP has said he would like to prevent the ride from taking place in the future, and 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 said: “There is a legitimate right of protest in this country, but this nude cycle ride is, in my view, just exhibitionism."
Last year, police in New Zealand fined a man who was riding his bike in the nude – because he wasn’t wearing a cycle helmet. As in Australia, helmets are compulsory for all cyclists in New Zealand.
Officers spotted the unnamed 33-year-old yesterday afternoon on the high street in the port city of Timaru, which lies between Canterbury and Dunedin on the country’s South Island.
While police stopped short of telling the man to put a lid on his nakedness, they did pull him up for failing to wear one on his head.
Sergeant Randel Tikiti said that the man had not been charged with indecent exposure since committing such an offence would “depend on what could be seen.”
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.