Canterbury bares all for World Naked Bike Ride Day

Canterbury bares all for World Naked Bike Ride Day


Photo: Kent Spotted Facebook

A multitude of nude cyclists set off from the Canterbury castle grounds at 3.30pm on Friday 29 May for what is fast becoming Canterbury’s most unusual annual occasion. This is the third time the event has been held in the city with this year’s being peaceful as spectators seemingly enjoyed the bizarre spectacle.

The event was marketed as ‘bare as you dare’, with cyclists able to wear as much (or as little) as they liked. Most of the cyclists opted to go fully nude, and were thus thankful that the weather stayed fine and sunny, having previously being predicted for rain. The bike ride began and ended at Canterbury castle grounds and took in such sights as the King’s English bookshop.

The event was not without its trouble, with one cyclist being removed by police after becoming sexually aroused at the start of the event. People have been turned away from the Canterbury event before for turning up naked and with no bike. One individual was even banned from attending the Canterbury event this year.

But on this occasion, other than having his details taken and being disallowed from taking part in the ride, it is believed no further action was taken against the excitable individual.

Onlookers said that the man looked very “sheepish” after putting on his jeans and being talked to by the police.

However, behind the rather comical image, there is a serious political message to the event. The World Naked Bike Ride is a global protest against our reliance on fossil fuels. The organisers of Canterbury’s WNBR highlighted the city’s high air pollution levels, which break EU limits on air pollution according to some sources.

Speaking to KM Online, organiser Barry Freeman said that “It’s time that Canterbury City Council took urgent action to reduce air pollution that’s poisoning the city.”

The event is also intended to highlight the dangers faced by cyclists on Britain’s road network, with the cyclists’ nudity intended to show how little drivers’ pay attention to bicycle users.

Canterbury City Council, in cooperation with Kent County Council, have drawn up plans to tackle air pollution in the city. The plans mainly focus on Broad Street and Military Road, the two roads which allow motorists to bypass the main shopping street. These plans revolve around meeting Air Quality Objectives, reductions in the levels of common air pollutants, such as sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide.

The global movement has received the support of Greenpeace and similar events to the one in Canterbury take place all over the world; including cities such as Brussels, Montreal and Copenhagen.

For those interested in partaking in the World Naked Bike Ride, a similar event is scheduled for Folkestone on 4 July 2015. For residents and visitors to Canterbury however, the event will surely be returning to these streets in 2016.


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