Thousands of cyclists are set to strip off to protest against oil dependency and car culture this summer with a series of World Naked Bike Rides scheduled to take place in cities up and down the nation.
The nudity is said to symbolise the vulnerability of the cyclist in traffic, but it also helps garner attention for a protest which now takes place in towns and cities worldwide. Dates have been set for 18 UK locations already with a couple more likely to be confirmed on top of that.
The first naked bike ride of the year will be in Portsmouth on May 21 with regular protests up until Clacton on July 23. You can sign up for any on the official website.
Initially the World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) was primarily about protesting oil dependency and celebrating the power and individuality of the human body. However, since 2006, there has been a shift towards simplifying the message with a greater focus on cycling advocacy.
Organisers say that it is “time to put a stop to the indecent exposure of people and the planet to cars and the pollution they create,” and explain that they face traffic naked to highlight the unique dangers faced by cyclists and pedestrians.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News about the tenth anniversary of the Manchester event, they say:
“The WNBR is a fun way to show that cycling is inclusive and is suitable for all, while also highlighting cyclist’s fragility and that when a cyclist is hit by a vehicle they have little protection from the impact and might as well be naked.
“It has always got an amazing reception from the people of Manchester with cheers from the people watching, with many people wishing they had taken part.
“It encourages people to ride naked as a bold statement to highlight rider’s vulnerability, but riders can participate on a dare as you bare basis. We encourage participants to decorate their body and use it to show why they are riding.”
The Manchester ride is on June 10.