Getting naked for the London naked bike ride

The prospect of cycling 7 miles around central London completely naked has never exactly been in my “100 things to do before I die” list. Nor, for that matter, has it ever featured in my nightmares. So I went along to this year’s London Naked Bike Ride with a completely open mind and unsure as to how much I would bare.

(10 London Cycling Events you shouldn’t miss out on)

I arrived at the starting point in Hyde Park and was soon happily down to my boxers. So far, so comfortable, if a little chilly. The people around me were busy body painting each other, listening to music or having their picture taken. There didn’t seem to be any organisation and as more and more body parts were being revealed I was debating what to do about the boxers I was still wearing.

I knew my friend visiting from France would find it very funny if I bear all and I also knew that running a London cycling blog probably means I should go for it. After sending a couple of tweets I dropped my boxers to my ankles, shoved them into my bag and went to join the naked mass that was waiting to depart. I quickly sparked up a conversation with the naked cyclist next to me – which was a strange experience. Soon, I was anxious to get going. Though, as you can imagine, a big mass of cyclists trying to get through a tight road is a slow experience.

The streets to exit Hyde Park were lined with photographers and this was the most daunting part of the ride. Luckily, I spotted my friend from France and flashed her a big smile as she waved and grabbed a picture. If you join the newsletter you can have a copy of the picture. Joke ;)

London naked bike ride big benHer big smile and riding onto the open roads put me more at ease and I was soon enjoying the fun atmosphere. Darth Vader, the gold cyclists and “safer cycling for grannies” painted on someone’s back were amongst the best sights. Of course, the favourite sight being a load of naked cyclists riding past Big Ben. Something that the tourists lining the roads found equally bemusing. Definitely providing a much more interesting holiday snap for many.

The naked ride didn’t have many problems with aggressive drivers and the mass rarely came to a standstill. Throughout the ride a few people removed more clothes, some finished early and some spontaneously joined in. Next time I cycle down Oxford Circus I’ll have a big smile on my face remembering listening to the Simpsons theme tune surrounded by naked cyclists.

I rejoined my friends and my clothes at London Bridge.

(Find out how to get around the no shower at work problem)

The London Naked Bike Ride gets over a thousand participants each year and it follows a planned route around London. The purpose of the ride, if you have to have a reason to get naked, is against car dependency and to promote cycling. There are also similar rides in other cities of the world. You are free to get as naked as you feel comfortable doing and you can just turn up whenever you want. There is no pre-registration for the ride and details can be found on the website.

 naked bike ride oxford circus london naked bike ride on the bridge naked bike ride cyclists

cyclists waiting to depart for naked bike ride in london

See also:

  1. 10 London Cycling Events you shouldn’t miss out on
  2. The London SkyRide experience
  3. Folding bike ride from London to Paris
  4. Abus Granit Steel O Flex review

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11 Responses to Getting naked for the London naked bike ride

  1. tim 17/06/2010 at 10:16 am #

    balls of steel sir :-P chapeau

  2. Angi 17/06/2010 at 6:08 pm #

    Oh good god Andreas…Was just going to put up my pictures of the ride. I did not participate but ran into the all the naked people when on a ‘knitting bingo hunt’ and snapped many pictures. My friend had to literally drag me away…hah.
    Keep an eye out…you never know…you may just spot yourself in my photos!

    But I’m glad you enjoyed it.
    Was it not painful?
    I doubt it’s something I’d want to try though…

    • Andreas 18/06/2010 at 12:04 am #

      Brilliant sight to run into on a “knitting bingo hunt” – some very niche activities you are engaging in there!

      Glad to hear you got a lot of good snaps, I will certainly be flicking through to see if I’m included!

      Not painful – only a little painful for women which is why I think its generally a good idea for them to keep underwear on though of course this is completely a personal preference.

  3. Gary 17/06/2010 at 11:58 pm #

    Well done mate, more balls than I have. Well Done.

  4. Juliette 18/06/2010 at 1:09 am #

    The French friend is totally agree to give for your newsletter a picture of you nacked but she apologizes now to don’t have a good zoom.

    As we say in France “tous à poil !”

  5. Loving the Bike 18/06/2010 at 3:03 pm #

    Congratulations on taking part in this…you’re a good man for doing your part for the bike. I’ve heard a lot about these naked rides, but your the first I’ve heard to actually take part in it. So nice to hear the perspective from an insider. Well Done.

    Darryl

    • Andreas 18/06/2010 at 6:16 pm #

      Thanks Darryl, was a fun experience and one I can recommend – even if the first time you do it you keep the more “private” parts covered

  6. Steve 19/06/2010 at 12:21 am #

    OMG! On a Saturday afternoon when more kids could have seen it! I don’t think it’s clever. I support freedom providing it doesn’t hurt others.

    • Angi 20/06/2010 at 6:02 am #

      It wasn’t hurting others…it’s not like anyone was doing anything lurid or sexual or damaging to kids.

      We all have bodies and I don’t think any of the kids I saw there looked too traumatised…
      They were chuckling away, but it seriously was not a situation to have to avert their eyes.

  7. Väder i Sharm el-Sheikh 29/09/2010 at 10:15 am #

    Att hoppas på bra väder när man åker på semester till tex London är alltid bra, för om det är dåligt väder är oftast semestern eller turen inte lika rolig.

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