The message of the ride was clear for all to see.
The naked bike ride in Cardiff was started by Nick Wysoczanskyj, but this was the first year he was not able to participate. Fortunately there were a good core group of people, led by Mike Ambler, who had been regulars at previous rides who were ready to step into his shoes.
This year everything was done extremely well and those to took part said that it was an excellent example of the WNBR done right. The screen was erected, to allow a little privacy when changing, and to separate the participants from the merely curious, until the ride began.
There was a bit more body painting this year, with several very colourful participants.
As well as the body painting, the marshalling was spot on. The marshals and first aiders were all clearly identified, even if they were completely named. Mike, in blue, led the way, with Becky, the first aider, at the rear of the ride.
The ride was the longest yet, for Cardiff. 8.5 miles, through the city center, to the millenium center and back to Roath park. The weather was good and there was a fairly even mix between male and female participants.
There was only one incident of note during the ride. A bus driver tried to cut up the cyclists, forcing his way through the lines of bicycles in a very aggressive way, placing many people at risk. The marshals acted firmly, to stop the bus and prevent an accident. Afterwards the organisers contacted the bus company to make a formal complaint and were told that the on-bus video showed that the driver had been at fault and would be punished for his action. The incident served to illustrate exactly why these rides are needed. The roads are not safe for people who want to use an environmentally friendly mode of transport.
After reaching the millenium center the riders stopped for a bit of fun, splashing in the fountain and doing a bit of acrobatics.
Not everyone wanted to get completely naked, but the dress code is “bare as you dare”. Riders can wear as little, or as much as they are comfortable with, either keeping their underwear on, or covering their face, to give a measure of anonymity. There were even a few fully dressed participants, who had just decided to join the ride on the spur of the moment.
Those who took part thoroughly enjoyed the event and many of them made good friends there and got together afterwards for a naked midsummer BBQ.
The motivation of the individual participants varies. Some were nudists, who want to support any event that makes nudity more commonplace. Others were students who wanted the thrill of doing something crazy. Several were badly injured or disabled during cycling accidents and although not comfortable with nudity, take the core cause of the ride very seriously. Most were supporting the environmental message for one reason or another. If you care about the environment and the safety of cyclists, then why not join us next year?
For flickr users, there is a group for the Cardiff WNBR, with a great many other pictures, from this and other rides.