Save our Seas (and lenshood)
Nearly Zero emission
The Ride started at Hyde Park
A blog post rather than a placard
People actually stopped shopping in Oxford St
London police, also on pedal cycles but fully clothed, accompanied the cyclists and eased their passage through the traffic. Nudity is not in itself an offence and police allow the now annual protest to take place.
Crowds several deep lined the edge of the road in popular tourist spots including Trafalgar Square, and even many of the shoppers in Oxford St stopped consuming to watch, although from the many comments I heard, many were unclear about the purpose of the event.
Some riders did have slogans on their bodies, mainly about oil and traffic, and some bikes carried A4 posters reading REAL RIGHTS FOR BIKE and CELEBRATE BODY FREEDOM or had flags stating 'CURB CAR CULTURE' which made clear the purpose of the event to the careful onlooker, but for most people it seemed simply a spectacle of naked or near-naked bodies. Though of course also a rare treat for any bicycle spotters.
Riders rode in a variety of dress and undress. Apart from shoes - virtually essential on a bike - some wore nothing, while others added body paint, cycle helmets, hats, shorts or briefs, bras and often a camera; a few rode fully dressed. As on previous events there were considerably more men than women, something that isn't fully reflected in my pictures. Although there were fewer women, more of them were in colourful body paint or otherwise stood out from the crowd.
This is an event that many - riders and watchers - enjoy and something that really does make thousands of people stop and stare, but as in previous years it seems to fail to get a clear message across, perhaps because those taking part do so for such varied reasons. This isn't essentially a naturist rally and nudity alone just isn't enough to get the point of the event across.
The London event was one of a number of similar rides around the world, although the Met seem to be considerably more relaxed than most police forces about nudity. Just a pity they can't be more relaxed about other protests on the street.
A few more pictures from the event are already on Demotix:
More on My London Diary shortly: