Brighton Naked Bike Riders Brave the Chill
In solidarity with southern hemisphere and to promote June event
The World Naked Bike Ride environmental protest is taking place in Brighton on Sunday 14 June 2009. As part of the official launch of preparations for the event, the planning group braved the chill for a short naked cycle along the Madeira Drive seafront road on Saturday 14 March, wearing nothing but their winter woolly hats, gloves and scarves. The ride was in solidarity with southern hemisphere protests taking place the same day, and to promote Brighton's summer spectacle.
The World Naked Bike Ride is an annual event celebrating cycling, protesting against climate change and demonstrating cyclists' vulnerability on the road.
Similar, but warmer, events are taking place throughout March in many Australian and South American cities, and have already occurred in Sydney, Melbourne, Lima and Sao Paulo. Northern hemisphere rides are due to take place around the UK and internationally in June.
Planning for the Brighton ride was officially launched on Friday 13 June at a clothing-optional film night. More pre-ride events and a post-ride party are being planned to get more people involved. People are also invited to join the ride's Facebook and Yahoo groups for up-to-date information.
Event organisers hope to inspire hundreds of people to strip off for Brighton's fourth annual "bare as you dare" demonstration. Last year, 400 people cycled the easy eight-mile route through the city centre. The event starts at 12 noon with a naked lunch and body painting at The Level park, and finishes with a sea swim and picnic at the city's naturist beach in Kemp Town. The ride has a carnival atmosphere, with bikes adorned with flags and flowers, and bodies painted with slogans. Music will be provided en route by a number of mobile sound systems.
The ride will form the finale to a weekend of southern UK events taking place in Southampton on Friday 12 June and London on Saturday 13 June. Other rides will take place around the same time in Manchester, Sheffield, York, Cardiff and Edinburgh (details to be confirmed).
The rides are part of a global protest against car culture and climate change, drawing attention to the increasingly catastrophic impact of burning oil on the environment and human health. Rides now take place in over 50 cities around the world, with participation growing since they began in 2004.
Nick Sayers, who first brought the ride to Brighton in 2006, said: "The World Naked Bike Ride always gets a great response from crowds of onlookers - with incredulous gazes, smiles and laughter - and greatly boosts cyclists' confidence and feeling of liberation. When it comes to cycling, especially in the buff, there's considerable safety in numbers - more is definitely merrier!"
Ride co-organiser Duncan Blinkhorn said: "International scientists meeting recently in Denmark have warned that sea levels are rising up to three times faster than previously anticipated. The grave consequences of continuing to over-draw on the planet's fragile resources are therefore becoming increasingly clear. We're living through an environmental credit crunch as well as a financial one, and the stark message to our species is to live within our means."
He added: "Cars have become a symbol of over-consumption as we wake up to the threat they pose to life on earth. Costing, on average, over £100* per week to run, cars are also a drain on people's pockets. Our ride calls for less dependence on these unsustainable and dangerous vehicles, and more priority for the cheap and cheerful alternative that is cycling. I'm confident that this year we'll see more bikes and bodies than ever taking over Brighton's streets and joining in the chorus to the 'Bare Necessities of Life'."
For more information, visit http://worldnakedbikeride.org/brighton
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Notes for editors
For further information, please contact:
Nick Sayers, ride co-organiser
Tel: +44 (0) 7812 036415
Site: www.worldnakedbikeride.org Short permalink:
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Photo copyright (c) JJ Waller 2009.