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Thousands Cycle Naked to Protest against Oil Dependency and Car Culture

2007-06-13

June 13, 2007, Press Dispensary. Cyclists in five UK cities joined thousands around the globe by shedding clothes on 8 and 9 June, 2007, to demonstrate their opposition to cars and fossil fuels.  Now in its fourth year, the World Naked Bike Ride (http://www.worldnakedbikeride.org) has established itself as an annual event in more than 70 major cities globally.  The UK had some of the strongest ride numbers - 55 in Manchester, 67 in York, 102 at Southampton's debut ride, 220 in Brighton, and a new world record of 1,000 in London.  Rides were dominated by cyclists and environmentalists and featured local campaigners such as the Alliance Against Urban 4x4s, and Anna Semlyen (author of Cutting Your Car Use).

For the first time, all UK rides took place with full support from police, and riders could go nude without fear of arrest.  Across the channel, the situation was different and Paris riders feared reprisals from the authorities.  The debut ride in Paris was hugely successful, with an estimated 400 riders, but a team of plain-clothed police singled out five peaceful protestors for arrest as the ride finished.  Riders believe police sought to discredit the ride and silence its message.

The World Naked Bike Ride furthers environmental causes concerning car use and depletion of fossil fuels, and is a celebration of cycling and the human body. Riding under the slogan "real rights for bikes", participants cycle naked to highlight their vulnerability on city streets and draw attention to the destructive effects of car culture. The ride is a body-positive event where nudity is optional - riders are encouraged to go "as bare as you dare".  It is believed to be the largest nude protest event in history.

Emma Jackson of London said: "I really don't think anyone expected the ride to get this big.  The London ride was nearly half the length of Oxford Street!"

Duncan Blinkhorn of Brighton said: "This has been an incredible display - not just of body bits, but of the strength of pro-bike feeling in this city. Cyclists here are becoming more confident and assertive against cars - which has to be good news for everyone's health, for our communities and for the planet."

Monica Howell of Brighton said "I've never done anything like this before but I'm so outraged at the foul air I have to breathe every time I pedal up the road that I had to do something outrageous, so here I am on my bike - in my birthday suit"

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Notes for editors
The London and Brighton rides took place on Saturday 9 June while the rides in Manchester, York and Southampton took place on the evening of Friday 8 June.

Photos available from the following photographers:

Mike King (London) ¬ Tel: 020 8299 0484 / Mobile: 07973 303707 / Web: www.mikekingphoto.com
Kevin Meredith (Brighton): 07951 479552 /
Nigel Swallow (Brighton): 01273 686506 /
The Argus newspaper (Brighton): 01273 544544 /

Stock photography available at the following sites (search for ³naked bike ride²):

* Rex Features ¬ www.rexfeatures.com
* Getty Images ¬ editorial.gettyimages.com
* Corbis ¬ pro.corbis.com
* Alamy ¬ www.alamy.com

Further images available: Details on request (discretionary)

High quality digital video footage also available

Further information:

* Interviewees available on request
* All UK rides are part of Bike Week 2007: www.bikeweek.org.uk
* London ride is part of London Sustainability Weeks: lovelondon.london21.org
* Most northern hemisphere rides will took place on 9 June 2007
* Southern hemisphere rides took place on 10 March
* Next year¹s UK rides are expected to be on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 June 2008, with southern hemisphere rides on Saturday 8 March

For further information, please contact:
Duncan Blinkhorn / Nick Sayers, Ride co-organisers
Brighton Naked Bike Ride
Tel: +44 (0) 7944 152706 / +44 (0) 7812 036415
Email:
Site: worldnakedbikeride.org/brighton
Graham Lee (WNBR UK press officer)
Mobile: 07956 261902 / Email:

Jesse Schust (WNBR UK press officer)
Mobile: 07814 587361 / Email:

Martin Ireland (WNBR London press officer)
Mobile: 07946 354852 / Email:

Duncan Blinkhorn (WNBR Brighton co-ordinator)
Mobile: 07944-152706 / Email:

Media contacts

Duncan Blinkhorn / Nick Sayers, Ride co-organisers
Tel: +44 (0) 7944 152706 / +44 (0) 7812 036415
Email:
Site: worldnakedbikeride.org/brighton
Graham Lee (WNBR UK press officer)
Mobile: 07956 261902 / Email:

Jesse Schust (WNBR UK press officer)
Mobile: 07814 587361 / Email:

Martin Ireland (WNBR London press officer)
Mobile: 07946 354852 / Email:

Duncan Blinkhorn (WNBR Brighton co-ordinator)
Mobile: 07944-152706 / Email:

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