Naked bike ride coming to Ipswich
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Environmental campaigners are urging people to “bare as you dare” for a naked cycle ride around Suffolk’s county town this summer.
Supporters of the World Naked Bike Ride movement have set Saturday July 6 as the date for the event, which will see undressed cyclists congregate outside the University of Suffolk building on Ipswich Waterfront before taking a 8-mile route around town.
Organisers says the naked ride is “a protest against oil dependency and car culture”, as well as a “celebration of the bicycle and the individuality of the human body”. Riders go naked to symbolise “the vulnerability of the cyclist in traffic”.
Event co-ordinator Robert Brown said people don’t have to be completely naked to take part.
Not a race
“It isn’t a race, it’s a gentle, leisurely ride around town,” he said.
“Our motto is ‘bare as you dare’ but we find once people get on the bike and start cycling naked they love it.”
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Similar events have been held across the region for a number of years in Clacton, Chelmsford, Colchester and Cambridge.
The first event in East Anglia was in Clacton in 2013 where the ride initially faced opposition from council leaders after they received complaints.
Mr Brown said he didn’t know how many people would turn up for the Ipswich ride but said around 70 people take part in the annual Clacton naked bike ride while the Cambridge event attracts more than 200 cyclists.
He added “Most people are supportive - you get the odd nasty comment but that is usually from someone who is narrow-minded.
“We are not breaking the law or doing anything illegal and we have worked with the police, who helped us decide on a route around Ipswich.”
He said the group hoped to organise a similar ride around Norwich in the future.
On it’s website the World Naked Bike Ride claims to be the world’s biggest naked protest with more than 50 cities and thousands of riders participating worldwide, including around 3,000 in the UK each year.
And regardless of the weather, Mr Brown said the Ipswich event will go ahead.
He said: “Once we have organised an event, nothing stops us. At one of the Chelmsford rides, it started to hail heavily and it started to sting, and we ended up having to take cover in a bus shelter.”