London Nude Bike Ride

London Nude Bike Ride

I was in London in the Summer of 2013 for two months to launch my first book-“Lazy Runner”. My book tour consisted of book talks and running workshops. During one workshop in Victoria Park, I was told that there was to be a bike ride in London that afternoon, with an extra twist: All the cyclists would be nude!It was the annual nude World Naked Bike Ride to promote safe cycling in the city.

That sounds like fun! I thought, so off to Waterloo Bridge I went to wait with my camera at the ready; I’m not prude when it comes to nude! I was a nurse for 20 years so I saw the odd bod, but full-onoutdoor nudity was something I’d never encountered.

London Nude Bike Ride

And let me tell you — WOW! There were thousands of butt-naked cyclists. Some had discreet body paint and delicately placed flowers and G-strings here and there, but the majority were stripped down to their birthday suits.

I learnt two life lessons whilst standing on Waterloo Bridge with other gob smacked Londoners and tourists. Clothes really do hide a multitude of sins. Don’t get me wrong, none of these bodies were ugly or obscene; it’s the varieties that were amazing. There were lots of boobs (yes even the guys had them)- big, small, saggy; all had bums- big, small, saggy; all had bellies- big, small, saggy- get my drift? Clothes do tend to hold everything in place, but once they are removed the body is free to hang, bulge and swing anyway it wants to.

As the great comedian Jerry Seinfeld claims, there’s good nude and bad nude- and that could be true. Most nudity we relate to is the lying down variety or the delicately positioned, posed, dim lit and touched up nudity in magazines or movies. However, when you combine nudity with exercise- as in bike riding on a bright sunny London day- let’s just say there is nowhere for blemishes or dangling bits to hide- it’s all there in its innocent glory to be viewed by the gawking masses.

London Nude Bike Ride

My other concern was that many of the nuddy riders were on Boris Bikes, the great Mayor of London’s innovative shared bike scheme that has been a real hit with Londoners and tourists. I too had signed up for Boris Bikes and had spent many days of my stay in London cycling. However, seeing the bare bum skin on the communal bike seats did cause a slight inner shudder and I made a mental note to take disinfectant wipes next time I hire a Boris Bike.

I said I learned two things that day. The other was not to use zoom on your camera when a large nude man gets a puncture on his bike and quickly jumps off and bends over to fix it. The camera didn’t break, but the image was burned onto my retina for quite some time afterward!

Date posted: 18th September, 2013

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