Naked Bike Ride sees thousands baring all through streets of London

A naked bike ride has taken place through the streets of London today with thousands baring all for the annual event Now in its 16th year, the bike ride sees men and women of all ages stripping off for a freeing ride in the city centre Riders took off from seven locations across the capital: Clapham Junction, Deptford, Hyde Park, Kew Bridge, Regents Park, Tower Hill and West Norwood An after-party will then take place to celebrate the event but the venue has insisted that all revellers put their clothes back on for the festivities The bike ride is not only an expression of freedom but also serves as a protest for safer and more inclusive cycling Among the group’s aims are protesting against fossil fuels, car culture, gaining more rights for cyclists, demonstrating their vulnerability as cyclists, and celebrating their bodily freedom Many covered their naked bodies in glitter, painted slogans and fancy dress for the annual event   Men and women of all ages stripped off today and set off on a Boris Bike through the capital such as this rider dressed as an angel The bike ride took place in cities around the world today for the annual event which celebrates body positivity and liberation Thousands set off from seven locations in London today for the 16th annual World Naked Bike Ride which saw thousands taking part Many had the slogan ‘Less cars, more bikes’ written on their bodies as the event also functions as a protest against the ubiquity of cars and the difficulty of cycling in the capital The event has been running since 2004 and aims to promote cycling in cities as an alternative to cars which pollute the environment The ‘clothing optional’ ride sees many completely stripping off and others opting for a more modest attire as they cycle through the city centre Many on the bike ride had messages adorned on their bodies such as this parent who said: ‘We are here to embarrass our kids Tara, Mimi, Reuben, Izzy Many of the participants decided to wear fancy dress while still celebrating their nudity such as this green goblin Bemused spectators looked on as the brave cyclists rode past them, some on the city’s shared Santander bikes – which are hopefully given a wipe afterwards One of the first aims of the bike ride when it was established in 2004 was to protest against oil dependency, a stance which continues to this day Onlookers took photographs of a cyclist with a gladiator’s helmet as he danced in front of the crowds on the sunny streets of London The route passed Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square as the naked cyclists mingled with traffic for the annual celebration of freedom and cycling Many wore headdresses and costumes for the bike ride but organisers recommended that all participants should wear something on their feet Last year, an estimated 1,600 took part in the London naked bike ride and event organisers are hoping for even more to join in this year Fortunately the weather stayed dry in London today meaning the participants didn’t have to fear getting their bodies soaked from head to toe The bike ride was set up for Conrad Schmidt, a Canadian social activist who also founded the Work Less Party of British Columbia Many of the more considerate riders placed a plastic covering over the bike seat before mounting it with their bare bottoms Among the many aims of the group is to encourage inclusivity and diversity among cyclists who are often seen as a group consisting of middle-aged white men A number of participants in the bike ride today wore Extinction Rebellion stickers, a group which has similar environmental concerns Smart/casual: While many Londoners were dressed in their finest today, they were delighted to see the exposed cyclists pass them by The organisers encourage the riders to go ‘as bare as you dare’ and some take this message very literally while others prefer to keep certain parts hidden away A pair of smurfs follow a peloton alongside a sea of spectators while others carry flags as part of the celebration of bodily liberation The glorious London weather gave the keen cyclists an opportunity to tan themselves from head to toe before the start of the summer

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