Two tandem cyclists, who are currently riding the length of Britain in the nude to raise awareness of rewilding and mental health, were reportedly struck by a motorist who “deliberately” swerved into their path as they passed through Perthshire on Monday.
Last week naturists Colin and Sadie began the 960-mile cycle from John O’Groats to Land’s End – which they plan to tackle completely in the buff – to help raise awareness of rewilding.
The two cyclists are part of a group known as the Free Wilders, who believe that rewilding is “possibly the most important thing for us to do right now to prepare ourselves for the challenges of climate change”.
Rewilding advocates aim to restore the earth’s ecosystems to the point where nature can begin to take care of itself, which they believe will help humans “reconnect with nature and create opportunities for new nature-based economies”.
After much ado and vehicles breaking down, we're off to John O Groats for the start of the 1k naked ride! Thank you too or fabulous boat neighbours for taking us 😁😍 pic.twitter.com/YbecoeZ69L
— Freewilders (@freewilders) June 28, 2022
While Colin and Sadie are on their way southbound to Land’s End, fellow Free Wilders Hannah and Neil are cycling – also nude and on a tandem – in the opposite direction (with a meetup scheduled for somewhere in the middle).
However, as Colin and Sadie were cycling on the A912 near Bridge of Earn on Monday afternoon, almost 250 miles into their journey, a motorist allegedly drove straight towards the pair and struck them.
The two cyclists did not require hospital treatment after the collision.
A Police Scotland spokesperson told the Scottish Daily Express that enquiries were ongoing into the incident, which has been treated as “deliberate”.
“The investigation to trace the vehicle and its driver is continuing,” the spokesperson said.
An eyewitness also told the Dundee Courier that the two cyclists were later stopped by police in Bridge of Earn.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes,” the local said. “I was driving back from work and saw the pair completely naked on the tandem.
“The police had stopped them outside a nursery in Bridge of Earn. By this time, they were putting clothes on. The man got into the back of the police car and the woman was chatting to another police officer.”
The collision occurred shortly after the Free Wilders were filmed riding along the A912 by a bemused (and sweary) phone driver, who later posted the profanity-laden video to Twitter on Monday evening.
Bridge of Earn, Perthshire.
I certainly wouldn't head out like that with our climate. pic.twitter.com/mmm2QDa2ZZ
— Grant Murchie (@LeopoldStotch11) July 4, 2022
Though Monday’s events may put a slight dampener on the trip, before setting off last week the Free Wilders hoped that their end-to-end cycle across Britain would capture the public’s imagination, while also being “fun”.
As well as visiting rewilding projects and farms along the route, the four cyclists are raising money for Rewilding Britain and the mental health charity Mind.
You can donate to the Free Wilders, and find out more about their rewilding aims, through their Just Giving page.
Ryan joined road.cc as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.