The London leg of the World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR), due to have taken place on Saturday 13 June, has been cancelled with organisers urging would-be participants and spectators not to go to the start locations.
In a statement, they said: “WNBR London has considered current circumstances and concluded we must take a cautious approach for the safety of our participants and the general public. We assume it will still be unwise to encourage public gatherings in June.
“We have seen no reliable evidence to indicate when it will be safe to take the ride onto the streets so we have not proposed a new date for the ride. It is possible that there will be no ride in 2020.
“We will review the situation at each of our monthly meetings and have the ability to mount a ride at short notice if circumstances change. Our next update should be around 14th May.
“We will not be riding on 13th June – but that doesn't mean we cannot mark the date. This year we will be campaigning safely with activities that are ‘Not the World Naked Bike Ride’. Watch out for announcements about how supporters can join us not on the ride.”
WNBR first came to London 16 years ago, and organisers said that this year’s edition aimed to be the biggest ever, with eight start locations dotted around the capital heading towards a central location and the main ride of over 1,000 riders.
“But this June we will be focused on safety for all, and grieving for the suffering of many of our participants, supporters and the public at large,” they said. “We particularly applaud the many of our supporters who are active in the response to this global crisis.”
They added: “We echo the views of experts and other cycling campaigns that cycling is a valuable activity during times of lockdown and social isolation.
“As a means of transport for essential workers it is far safer than using public transport. In terms of accident prevention, it is a much smaller factor than the driving of motor vehicles.
“Practised with due consideration for social distancing it is an excellent, healthy form of exercise.”
Now held in more than 124 cities globally, the World Naked Bike Ride sees participants celebrate cycling and the human body, as well as demonstrating the vulnerability of cyclists and protesting against car culture and dependency on fossil fuels.
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.