Riders take part in the annual naked bike ride on Westminster Bridge in central London. Photo by Andrew Winning, Reuters
LONDON — A sea of people wearing almost nothing or nothing at all cycled around London’s landmarks for the naked bike ride, an annual demonstration against the world’s dependence on oil-powered transportation and to promote alternative means like bicycling.
Attracting the attention of commuters and tourists, the bike ride’s participants basked in the summer heat while calling for measures to protect the environment.
“I think today’s society is too dependent on oil,” said one protester. “I think we should be embracing renewables.”
Another said, “For the rest of the year, cars have the upper hand. For one day, we get to push all the cars to one side, which is quite enjoyable.”
The demonstrators also demanded government to promote bicycles as a means of transportation and ensure the safety of cyclists in the British capital, where there has been an increase in the number of bike accidents in recent years.
A woman and her friend both had the words, “Less gas more ass” written on their backs.
“[It means] less use of cars. Pedal down and use your ass, move your ass,” said one of them. “It’s better for the world. It’s better for yourself,” added the other.
Saturday’s bike ride in central London was part of a global event held every year since 2010 in various cities all over the world.
Other participants joined the activity for fun of it, despite the initial discomfort of baring their skin.
“It’s just for the first 10 seconds,” said a man who took part in the bike ride with his wife. “After that, it’s fine.”