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.