The World Naked Bike Ride has been confirmed by organisers as returning to London on Saturday, 14 August following a hiatus last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, when a virtual event was held instead.
While the removal of the 30-person limit on gatherings enables the mass ride, which highlights the fragility of the human body and dependency on fossil fuels, to resume after the 2020 edition was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, it will not be reverting entirely to its previous format.
Social contact will be minimised, with organisers saying:
Time at starts, finishes and rest points will be as short as practical
Start groups will not wait for all other riders to be present before moving on
Riders should disperse as soon as they reach the finish
Participants should socially distance when stationary
No bodypainting at starts
The afterparty has been cancelled.
“Participants should do their best to ensure they are not at risk from the virus,” they say.
“Nobody should ride if they have symptoms or have had a recent positive test. We recommend riders take a lateral flow test in the morning of the ride, use sanitiser and keep their masks on, particularly when stationary.”
There will be a record eight start points for the ride, at Clapham Junction, Croydon, Deptford, Hyde Park, Kew Bridge, Regents Park, Tower Hill and Victoria Park, with a choice of short, slow rides or longer, faster ones into the city centre, ahead of an estimated 1,000-plus riders joining together to ride through the city streets. More details of those are available on the event’s website.
“There are usually several participants with restricted ability to ride a bike,” organisers continued. “This year, for the first time, WNBR London has included an accessible option. It is a relatively short and easy route, running between two rest points.”
The ride is cleared in advance with the police. Under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, in England nudity is not illegal unless there is intent to cause alarm or distress to others.
Organisers added: “WNBR London takes place on the public streets of London. Nobody can control the actions or behaviours of the public. Participants should endeavour to avoid crowds and interactions with strangers.”
First held in Seattle in 2003, with the debut edition in London taking place the following year, the World Naked Bike Ride is now held in more than 120 cities around the world.
Its objectives 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.
Other editions of the World Naked Bike Ride that we have identified as taking place in UK towns and cities in the coming weeks are:
Folkestone – 31 July
Cambridge – 31 July
Coventry – 7 August
Manchester – 13 August
Brighton – 15 August
Edinburgh – 4 September.
If you know of any others, please let us know in the comments below.
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