World Naked Bike Ride to return to Coventry after last year's successful inaugural outing - The Coventry Observer

World Naked Bike Ride to return to Coventry after last year's successful inaugural outing

Coventry Editorial 22nd May, 2022 Updated: 23rd May, 2022   0

THE WORLD Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) protest returns to Coventry on Saturday, May 28, after its successful inaugural visit to the city last year.

Coventry’s event will be the first WNBR to take place this year and coincides with Radio 1 Big Weekend which should ensure there is plenty of people in the city.

The ride is aimed at conveying the importance of sustainable transport, safer streets and cleaner air.

Organisers said as a result of the BBC using Hearsall Common as its production base, the start location has been moved and it will now begin at 1pm at the Criterion Theatre in Earlsdon which has kindly agreed for its car park to be the assembly pint.

The route has also been tweaked slightly to avoid the road closures in the Memorial Park area.

Last year’s ride saw 32 participants – quite a good number for a brand new WNBR, but it is hoped that 2022 will see an increase in numbers.

Organiser Joe said: “The world seems to be very focused on cars, particularly in Coventry, and I think that is something that needs to change.

“There are signs things are starting to improve, such as the new bike lanes the council is installing and the all-electric buses, but there’s still a long way to go.

“We are calling for real, affordable alternatives to excessive car use and greater respect for cyclists on the road, something which can be achieved through dedicated cycle infrastructure.”

The World Naked Bike Ride was started as a global protest movement with rides in cities around the world.

There are over 200 cities in 35 countries around the world which have WNBR activities.

Although it is titled the ‘Naked Bike Ride’, participants are urged to be ‘as bare as they dare’ with body painting and fancy dress all welcome.

Organisers say it is fun, legal and all in a worthy cause.

“Every year, in cities around the world, people ride bikes naked to celebrate cycling and the human body.

“The ride demonstrates the vulnerability of cyclists and is a protest against car culture.”

The main objectives of the rides are to protest against the global dependency on oil, curb car culture, obtain real rights for cyclists, demonstrate vulnerability of cyclists on city streets and celebrate body freedom.

Anyone with a bike is welcome to participate for free, so long as they support the objectives of the World Naked Bike Ride.

Riders simply need to turn up at the right place at the right time with a bike to ride.

Participants are urged to sign up to the Facebook event to get more information and invite friends to join them.

People of all backgrounds and ability are welcome to promote Coventry’s diversity.

Families are welcome but children should be appropriately dressed.

It is not a race – riders will be guided by marshals.

Clothing is optional but shoes are recommended for safety reasons.

The protest has a carnival feel, so riders are welcome to adorn themselves with colourful patterns and slogans, fly flags and wear fancy dress. Some may wish to bring a sound system with them to add a musical aspect to the protest.

Riders will probably want a rucksack, panniers or a bicycle basket to carry their belongings (there is nowhere to leave things while riding).

Sunscreen should also be worn.

Organisers said: “As a protest, the ride is registered in advance with the police.

“Contrary to popular belief, since the Sexual Offences Act 2003, in England nakedness is not illegal unless you are doing it intending to alarm or distress someone – which clearly is not the intention of WNBR.

“Provided riders do not break other laws there should be no problem.”

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