On the 12th of June, I covered the World Nude Bike Ride event in central London. Now, as you can imagine, aside from saying “what the hell are they doing?”, there’s not much more to be said so this is more of a photo-blog. Hurray say those who never bother reading my text-tripe anyway..

Gathering in London’s Hyde Park, the naturists, protestors ,exhibitionists and general odd-bods headed into the park to undress before heading off into the centre of London, taking in Piccadilly, Trafalgar Square, Westminster, South Bank and Tower Bridge.

Starting off in 2004 with 130 riders, the 2010 event saw 1,100 cyclists in various states of undress take to the streets for a whole range of causes. With many protesting about the environmental impact of motor vehicles, some focused more on specific companies with BP coming in for a large amount of criticism.

It must be said that I was really pleased to see that the Police were totally fine with the ride, not that I plan on joining in. One girl that I tried to shoot told me I had to take my kit off first if I wanted to take a frame. I think not. Having said that, I did shoot a nudist holiday resort for The Times a few years ago and, upon arrival, was told to leave all of my clothes except for my boots by the door. I was glad for my 70-200mm that day, I can tell you.

The tricky thing with this kind of story is that it screams publications but everything for the British press has to be shot in such a way that shows nudity without being too full-on. Thankfully, shooting for AFP, I can think beyond this and shoot whatever I want and leave it up to the editors of the papers to decide how graphic they want to get.

I’m guessing the the day’s injuries could have included extreme saddles sores, road rash or acute embarrassment so it was good to see the medical teams entering into the spirit of the day..

The Guardian have reported that at least one passer-by spontaneously stripped off and joined the ride and it’s become quite a tradition for this to happen at least once a year. Again, thankfully I didn’t have my bike or I might have been in there.

8 Responses to ““I was right about that saddle..””

  1. Oh, my eyes!! My bootifool eyes!!! Being one with nature is all well & good, but damn!!

    Posted by pixgremlin
  2. why all the old men? why??

    Posted by gill
  3. Gill, my thoughts exactly. These sort of events CALL old men who like to get nekked for some reason…

    Posted by Michelle
  4. Yeah yeah.. All three of you would have been in on this if you’d known about it with Akin’s stabilisers failing to slow him down one jot.. ;)

    Posted by tabascokid
  5. So many places to park one’s bike….

    Posted by Jack
  6. Yeah, where are the hot men? Or did you just avoid shooting them ;)

    Posted by kirsten
  7. Are you sure this wasn’t just the original cast of ‘Hair ‘ out for a day’s cycling or a lost Welsh commune ?
    And I thought Brighton beach was bad :(
    Was the guy on a bike with a double camera harness another journalist ?
    Is there something subliminal about a naked girl on a bike next to big Ben :)
    There are just more questions than answers here :)
    Some very fun shots there Leon . Nice :)

    Posted by Ray Fothergill
  8. @Jack – Ha! Indeed, although a mountain bike’s tread might cause problems…

    @Kirsten – Hey! There’s at least one man’s arse in there! Besides, wouldn’t you be just a little concerned if your chap spent more time taking pictures of men’s bits than women’s? ;)

    @Ray – Ha! Too many questions! It’s certainly a fun day out although this year, I hardly shot a frame as it was FULL of dodgy looking guys with camera phones and long lenses pouncing on any woman as soon as they removed any clothing. Really seedy feel to it. It’s a shame as it’s just a good fun day!

    Posted by tabascokid

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