Cyclists across the UK have stripped off this weekend for the annual World Naked Bike Ride, with hundreds of riders taking to the streets of Manchester and London in the nude and Edinburgh and Brighton also scheduled to host the event.
Founded in 2004 with a dress code of “bare as you dare,” the World Naked Bike Ride seeks to highlight the fragility of the human body, as well as acting as a protest against oil dependency and car-centric transport policies.
Now held in more than 120 cities globally, Manchester’s Ride took place on Friday evening, and London yesterday and Brighton today.
A ride was also planned for Edinburgh yesterday, but so far we haven’t seen anything on social media or in the press to confirm it went ahead.
The ride in Manchester started in All Saints Park, Oxford Road and took in locations including St Peter’s Square and Deansgate, reports the Manchester Evening News.
Some riders took the opportunity to pay tribute to the victims of last month’s terrorist bombing at the Manchester Arena by painting a bee symbol, or black and yellow stripes, on their bodies.
One, Becca Warren from Stretford, told the newspaper: “I’ve done this event almost every year. This year we wanted to go with a Manchester bee theme to pay tribute and to celebrate Manchester. And bees are important to our existence.”
Another rider whose body was decorated with bee symbols, Withington resident Joe Smith, said: “We want to pay tribute to this great city.”
The event in London had seven separate state points that converged at Westminster Bridge.
Organisers had said beforehand that the ride had been cleared in advance with the police, adding that “contrary to popular belief, since the Sexual Offences Act 2003, in England nakedness is not illegal unless you are doing it intending to alarm or distress someone – which clearly is not the intention of WNBR.”
As in Manchester, the riders were cheered on by passers-by, many of whom were surprised to see hundreds of naked cyclists flash by, reports the London Evening Standard, with some taking to social media to share their reaction.
One said: “Just witnessed a group on a naked bike ride through London. It was quite magical in its own mad way.”
Organisers of the London ride said afterwards: “Well done everyone. Thanks to all marshals. That was the BIGGEST and BEST #WNBR #London ever! Huge numbers. Sunny. Good spirited. Fun!
Bristol, Canterbury and Southampton have already hosted their legs of this year’s World Naked Bike Ride, with events still to be held in a number of other towns and cities across the UK, as shown below
Scheduled WNBR Rides in the UK
Cambridge Saturday, 17 June 2017
Cardiff Saturday, 17 June 2017
Chelmsford Saturday, 24 June 2017
Clacton Saturday, 15 July 2017
Colchester Saturday, 8 July 2017
Exeter Saturday, 24 June 2017
Folkestone Saturday, 1 July 2017
Newcastle-Gateshead Saturday, 1 July 2017
Worthing Sunday, 2 July 2017
York Sunday, 25 June 2017
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.