Naked cyclists aim to get noticed in Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 13:31 25 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:13 25 June 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Around 50 people are expected to take part a naked bike ride around Ipswich on July 6 after the event was given the official go-ahead by council bosses.
Supporters of the World Naked Bike Ride movement recently met with Ipswich Borough Council's Safety Advisory Group to go through the details for the inaugural event.
The event will see undressed cyclists congregate on New Street in Ipswich before pedalling an eight-mile route around town.
Naked cyclist enthusiast Robert Brown, who attended the meeting with the Safety Advisory Group, said it "was over quickly".
"We were expecting to be there for a while but they didn't have an issue and didn't have any concerns at all," he said.
"They praised us for our organisation and wished us success with the event. It was a completely different response to what we first got in Tendring."
A council spokeswomen confirmed the Safety Advisory Group had no objections on safety grounds.
As bare as you dare
Similar naked bike ride events have been held across the region for a number of years in Clacton, Chelmsford, Colchester and Cambridge.
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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 says one of the aims of the World Naked Bike Ride movement is to highlight road safety issues for cyclists.
"We ride naked to show the vulnerability of cyclists," he said.
"I've been knocked off my bike three times - people don't see us when we have a high-vis, they don't see us during the day or at night but they soon notice us when we are naked.".
"We do get a few raised eyebrows. People aren't sure whether it is legal but we are not committing any offence," added Mr Brown, who said participants do not have to disrobe to take part.
"Our motto is 'As bare as you dare' - if people want to strip off completely they can; if you don't want to, then you don't have to."
Difficult to predict
He said he thought about 50 people would take part in the inaugural Ipswich ride.
He added: "It could be more, it could be less - first rides are notoriously difficult to predict but we find in the first five years the numbers grow by between 25 to 50% per year before they reach a critical mass."
Mr Brown said the group was also hoping to launch a naked bike ride event around Norwich in the future but that the city's hills and narrow streets were making it difficult to find a suitable route for the event.