By Amy Braithwaite
Over three hundred people got on their bikes and stripped off for Brighton’s annual Naked Bike Ride this weekend [June 12].
Part of the World Naked Bike Ride, it’s a peaceful protest that celebrates ‘bikes and bodies’ and encourages people to cycle instead of driving their cars.
To fit with the ‘go green’ theme, event organiser Duncan Blinkhorn, asks people to travel to the ride sustainably and not to bring cars into the city.
The 49-year-old, from Hanover, said: “ The ride means different things to different people. For some, being naked is a form of self expression, for many it’s political, some just come for the ride.
“For me it is less about being naked and more a protest to raise awareness about the damage caused by carbon emissions and encouraging people to cycle more.”
The bad weather meant numbers were down on previous years but hundreds of dedicated, brave and downright crazy people didn’t let that put them off.
Cyclists met at Brighton Level at 12.00pm for a body-painting picnic, where they could undress behind makeshift changing rooms and go as ‘bare as they dare’.
The ride set off around 1.00 pm and the riders went faster than usual on a shorter route around the town centre while crowds waved and clapped as they battled the elements.
The ride stopped briefly on Circus Street to decide whether to carry on and to find out if police would allow it, due to the poor weather conditions.
They were given the go-ahead and despite the conditions, all the cyclists loudly let it be known that they wanted to continue, and in the spirit of the event they fought on to the finish.
The ride usually ends at the Black Rock naturist beach but the rain meant all of this year’s cyclists finished up at the Hector’s House pub for a nice, naked knees-up.
Nathan Catt, 36, from Hove, has been on every ride since it began five years ago. He said: “I’m anti-oil dependency and come on the ride in support of environmental causes.
“This year was a bit cold but everyone was enthusiastic so it was still good fun. I haven’t bared all yet but I think next year I might brave it.”