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Top tips for Saturday’s World Naked Bike Ride

Posted at 6:00 pm, June 12, 2015 in Arts & Entertainment, Fun London, Outdoor London

[Photo: @tschang]

This weekend (Saturday, June 11) hundreds of daring cyclists will disrobe and ride nude through London en masse as part of the World Naked Bike Ride. We asked some veteran participants for their top tips.

On the dress code:

World Naked Bike Ride London

[Photo: Peter Batty]

Max: ‘People wear costumes, just not on their torsos. I like a vintage helmet, short cape, gloves, and boots.’
Allan: ‘Accessories are a good thing. I prefer no body paint myself, but a flowing scarf can really set off the naked look.’
Max: ‘Some people like to wear body paint, and even a few pairs of pants – though I think that’s cheating.’
Allan: ‘I agree: don’t wear pants! It’s a naked bike ride. That said, do bring pants, just in case.’
Max: ‘Yeah, have a piece of clothing you can throw on quickly, in case you get separated from the group and suddenly feel really naked. Once you’re amongst the naked people you don’t feel exposed. And don’t let someone else carry your clothing. You just never know what will happen…’

[Note: full nudity is optional; the dress code is ‘as bare as you dare’.]

On riding in comfort:

World Naked Bike Ride. Photo: rodwey

[Photo: rodwey2004]

Allan: ‘Chafing can be an issue. Have a comfy saddle, or cover it somehow – this is not a gender specific issue!’
Max: ‘I covered my bike seat with a hand towel, wrapped it around and safety pinned it. Much more comfy. And one word: SUNSCREEN.’
Allan: ‘Take water and snacks, as the ride is long and quite slow. And concentrate – you’re riding a bike. Naked. On the road. Do not fall off, it hurts. I’ve seen a few crashes, and it’s not pretty.’
Max: ‘And make sure your bike won’t break down! Mine had a malfunction in Covent Garden, and by the time I fixed it the ride had gone on without me. I was the only naked person standing in a very crowded Covent Garden.’

On etiquette and boundaries:

World Naked Bike Ride London rodwey

[Photo: rodwey2004]

Allan: ‘You might get your face (and other bits) in the newspapers/online – if you have a problem with this for professional or personal reasons, then the WNBR might not be for you.’
Max: ‘When you disrobe in Hyde Park, people are going to want to take pictures. Decide ahead of time how you feel about this. You can’t stop them, but be clear with your boundaries. I don’t mind little Japanese ladies putting their arm around me for a photo. I do mind being groped so I had a strict no touching rule for men and a friend or group of friends to help to enforce that.’
Allan: ‘Yeah, if you’re riding with girls, be prepared to be protective. That’s not to say you’ll be needed as such, but photographers can be a little over the top with their affections at times (less so towards men) so a firm hand, and loud voice are good for fending off unwanted attention. Don’t be a wallflower.’
Allan: ‘But you can ogle a bit. All the other naked people will ogle each other. We’re all naked together – vive la difference!’

On the general public:

World Naked Bike Ride. Photo: Carlos Felipe Pardo

[Photo: Carlos Felipe Pardo]

Max: ‘I think it’s best to ride near the front. That way it’s harder to be left behind, and you get the joy of the shock value when the ride first comes into view. The roads aren’t closed for the ride and there are lots of surprised tourists.’
Allan: ‘During the ride, you can get stuck in a traffic jam for more than ten minutes at a time. Passers-by can feel uncomfortable when you’re sitting still,  so smile, wave, engage with people, and let people know you’re just having a good time.’

Find out where to bare at our guide to the World Naked Bike Ride: London.

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