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Bristol World Naked Bike gives neo-Nazis a wide berth

250 cyclists took part in ride in port city - and another 150 across the Severn Estuary in Cardiff

Around 250 cyclists taking part in the Bristol leg of the World Naked Bike Ride on Saturday gave an English Defence League (EDL) rally and counter-protest a wide berth following a late change of route.

As we reported on Friday, participants in the bike ride had been due to arrive in the city’s College Green at around the same time as the EDL demonstration against refugees, immigration and Islam.

> Bristol Naked Bike Ride rerouted to avoid neo-Nazi & anti-Fascist protests

However, it was decided to route the ride away from the potential flashpoint, a sensible move given that Saturday did witness clashes between EDL supporters, pro-refugee demonstrators and police.

Co-ordinator Will Bryson told the Bristol Post: "Research from last year found that eight in ten Bristol residents want better safety for people riding bikes, and 70 per cent of residents want to see more investment in cycling.

"Improving cycling could make a difference to Bristol's health - only 1 in 3 people in Bristol take regular exercise, and 196 deaths in Bristol each year are attributable to air pollution.

"Bristol City Council and our new mayor should look to London to see how bold steps are quickly rewarded, with many people choosing to cycle.

“We’re celebrating bikes in a fun, visible way and showing how exposed and vulnerable riders in Bristol feel. We want a less car and oil centric society.

"We must be more ambitious about escaping car culture's grip and freeing our streets for use by everybody.

"Non-sexual public nudity is legal in England. We are not trying to cause alarm or distress. Feel free to look the other way."

Meanwhile, across the Severn Estuary, the Welsh capital Cardiff played host to the World Naked Bike Ride for the ninth time on Sunday, 150 riders enjoying glorious sunshine on a route through the city centre that started and finished at Sophia Gardens.

Organiser Mike Ambler told Wales Online: “We had a great turn out, with some people joining us further along the ride. The whole thing went very smoothly and the weather was perfect.

"Everyone along the route was very enthusiastic. There were lots of cheers, lots of applause and lots of support.”

The forthcoming weeks will see a number of other cities across the UK including Manchester and London next weekend and Edinburgh and Cambridge the weekend after. More details can be found here.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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