Brace yourselves... it’s the 2018 Naked Bike Ride in Cambridge

PUBLISHED: 22:52 16 June 2018

Cambridge Naked Bike Ride 2018 setting off this time from Midsummer Common. Picture: Keith Heppell

Cambridge Naked Bike Ride 2018 setting off this time from Midsummer Common. Picture: Keith Heppell

Iliffe Media Ltd

Raising awareness of road safety and raising eyebrows among passers-by, the nude cyclists made their way through the city

Cambridge Naked Bike Ride 2018 setting off this time from Midsummer Common. Picture: Keith HeppellCambridge Naked Bike Ride 2018 setting off this time from Midsummer Common. Picture: Keith Heppell

A bicycle ride in the buff is one of the more curious annual spectacles in the Cambridge calendar.

The Naked Bike Ride was back for the fourth year today, part of a global series that forms a protest against cars and fossil fuels, while raising awareness - in a rather head-turning manner - of how vulnerable cyclists can be on the roads.

The message to drivers was: ‘If you can see us naked, why can’t you see us when we’re clothed?’ One woman rode with the message ‘Respect my space’ on her back.

Many participants feel shedding clothes also promotes a positive body image.

Organised by 33-year-old translator Joe Fallowell, of Biggleswade, in Bedfordshire, the Cambridge ride attracted scores of cyclists - many of whom were returning - and began on Midsummer Common before going through the city centre.

Risking all-over sunburn and unmentionable saddle sores, the riders headed down Victoria Avenue, Maids Causeway, Elizabeth Way Bridge and Chesterton Road, before heading left at the Bridge Street junction, and moving along Trinity Street and Trumpington Street to Cambridge University Botanic Garden, Brooklands Avenue, Hills Road and Cherry Hinton Road. Then they headed along Perne Road and Coldhams Lane, before heading back to Newmarket Road, Elizabeth Way, Chesterton Road and Victoria Road to the start point.

And the participants didn’t get arrested because stripping off is not in itself an illegal act in the UK - providing an individual is not committing a sexual act or intending to cause distress, alarm or outrage.

But it’s not essential to strip off to take part in a World Naked Bike Ride event: some were semi-clothed, while many adorned themselves with body paint for the occasion,

One or two hired Ofo bikes for the ride.

Might be worth wiping down the seat if you’re getting on one tomorrow...

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