Bikes And Bare Bodies Take Over York
Lauren Masterman, York Correspondent
Friday the 21st June was that time of the year when the people of Yorkshire like to meet en masse, take off their clothes and go for a bike ride. Yep- you read it right- it was, of course, The York World Naked Bike Ride 2013.
Not for the faint hearted, The Naked Bike ride is the world's biggest naked protest with over 50 cities and thousands of participants joining the global event in protest against the overuse of fossil fuels, to raise awareness of cyclist safety and to celebrate the human body in all its naked glory.
In this, its 8th year, York's bike ride attracted around 100 individuals who threw caution (and their clothes!) to the wind, and took to their bicycles as part of this peaceful, light-hearted, imaginative protest.
"I like being naked and I enjoy bike riding; we don't want to have people faint in the street. It is only skin"Painted head-to-to in green, co-organiser of the event, John Cossham, commented, "All bikes run on is muesli, sandwiches, pasta, whatever you have eaten that day- there are no fossils used there. It's a statement that it is absolutely mad how much oil we use."
He also added, "It doesn't matter what you look like- being naked equalises people. Not only can anybody join in, but also any body."
And the crowds that gathered were testament to this with no sign of shyness from any shape, size, age or gender.
Barry Fairbrother, 42, is a member of several naturist groups and joined the bike ride for his own personal reasons: "I like being naked and I enjoy bike riding; we don't want to have people faint in the street, we want to change people's perspectives and promote body freedom. It is only skin."
June Whittaker, 66, was ready to brave the elements for her very first naked bike ride. she said, "My initial reason for riding is to raise awareness of the overuse oil, but I also love the human body, I love celebrating it, I also love bike riding and meeting like-minded people that have come together for the cause."
Younger attendees also joined in, having fun with body paints and taking in the party atmosphere. Kat, 18, said, "It's one of the times you can be naked and not be objectified. It's not a statement; it's being the way nature intended."
So hopefully, the next time you pop to the shops you will consider taking your bike instead of hopping in the car, and when driving around Yorkshire you could take extra care watching out for vulnerable cyclists. You might even fancy trying out a bit of naturism, who knows?!
York welcomes the Naked Bike ride each year and, might we say, what a fantastic way to carry out a peaceful protest and raise awareness for a worthy cause; perhaps next year we can convince our Editor to join in....
Bikes And Bare Bodies Take Over York , 27th June 2013, 9:40 AM