World Naked Bike Ride returns to Canterbury

The World Naked Bike Ride is returning to Canterbury in June.

Canterbury will once again be treated to sight of nude cyclists on its streets.

The World Naked Bike Ride will take place in the city on June 29 in the sixth of the annual events.

Cyclists strip down and ride around to make a point “against oil dependency and car culture”.

In the past, the cyclists have left from the gardens of the Norman castle and ridden around the ring road before entering the city centre and pedalling past families out shopping.

The event is monitored by the police. Last year, one cyclist was stopped from taking part in the event after it was noticed he was “visibly aroused”.

The first naked bike ride took place in 2013 and featured both men and women. But last year’s event consisted of only men.

Nude bike rides are planned for other UK cities this summer including Manchester and London.

Those taking part are told: “Nudity is not illegal in England, as was established in the Sexual Offences Act 2003, but using nudity to intentionally cause harassment, alarm or distress may be illegal.

“Don’t act offensively and you are unlikely to be arrested.”

Barry Freeman, who has co-ordinated the ride through Canterbury in the past, says it is about “protesting against Canterbury City Council’s continuing failure to protect the public from the daily unacceptable levels of air pollution”.

In its first years some men were banned after turning up unclothed without bicycles.

Not everyone is happy about the event.

David Garside, 43, said: “Last year I took some friends for a drink at the Bell and Crown when all these unattractive naked men cycled past us.

“A couple of them looked very pleased with themselves. I wondered whether they were really protesting about pollution or just engaging in a form of lustful exhibitionism.”


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