A planned virtual edition of the London leg of the World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) will go ahead this Saturday, despite its website being hacked by someone purporting to be arranging a live ride in August.
The 17th edition in the British capital of the ride which takes place in more than 100 cities worldwide was due to have been held this weekend, but was cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this week, road.cc – and we imagine, other media outlets – received an email claiming that “despite what you’ve heard there will be a World Naked Bike Ride in London this year.
“The authentic protest ride is organised by the real WNBR.London as part of the London Collective [of WNBR].”
The date of that ride was subsequently set as Saturday 29 August.
We contacted World Naked Bike Ride London for clarification, who told us: “Our website was hijacked by someone and is now purporting to support Black Lives Matter. We are not in a position to name any suspects. We advise nobody to click on the links on that page.”
They have warned followers via social media of the situation.
IMPORTANT WNBR.London website has been hijacked. It is asking you to sign up to Black Lives Matter. It is FAKE! Your data is safe
“We have been very busy preparing for our #NotTheWorldNakedBikeRide activities so we have not focused on the attack, which seems deliberately timed when we are at our busiest,” they continued.
“The attack occurred on Monday evening and we had rebuilt our website on a new domain by Tuesday morning. No data was accessed and registrations for our Zoom-In are safe. The attackers did not gain access to our servers. They have been able to divert internet traffic using the godaddy service in the USA, which is out of UK jurisdiction.
“We can assure supporters that no personal data was at risk.”
They added that the person in question has not been a member of the London WNBR Collective since January this year, and is not a member of any other UK organisations of WNBR.
The safe version of the website, meanwhile, can be found here.
In April, when organisers announced that this year’s ride – on the streets, at least – was being cancelled, organisers 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.”
Events planned for Saturday include:
10am-5.30pm: “Exercise and surprise” – safe cycling and other forms of activity people can do instead of being on the ride, either at home or safely in isolation outside. Participants are encouraged to Zoom-In or share photos.
10am-10pm: #NotTheWorldNakedBikeRide photo submission and prize competition – where people share photos of what they've been doing in place of riding with WNBR.
3pm-5.30pm: Zoom-In #NotTheWorldNakedBikeRide – connecting supporters and special guests for chats about WNBR with a show/tell what they've been doing
4pm and 5pm: WNBR London Watchathons – during the Zoom-In, supporters will be encouraged to watch and discuss films of WNBR London.
7pm to 9pm: Online #NotTheWorldNakedBikeRide after party
There will also be an online quiz about WNBR London and its campaign themes.
The objectives of the World Naked Bike Ride movement are to:
Protest against the global dependency on oil
Curb car culture
Obtain real rights for cyclists
Demonstrate the vulnerability of cyclists on city streets
Celebrate body freedom.
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.