Warning: NSFW. This post contains nudity
It is usually my custom to place the main image of my “Photo of the Day” articles at the head of the post, with any supporting images following. For this post, I have instead put it at the end. The reason is simple. It shows people who are naked taking part in a public event. Opinions vary about depiction of the human form and I respect everyone’s right to have their own views. If you do not wish to see the pictures, I politely request that you do not read further.
It is a risky enterprise. It might be called “Flaming June”, but it is not necessarily a month to ride naked on a bike around London. That did not stop a significant number of people doing just that in the annual Naked Bike Ride event. The weather was kind on this occasion and the sun shone warmly on the participants. Somewhat incredulous that people would strip off, I went along. Surprisingly, public nudity is not illegal provided there is no intention to cause harassment, alarm or distress. Good behaviour is all, it seems.
The London event is just one of a number held in many cities worldwide on the same day. Riders set off from a number of different locations around the UK’s capital and merge at Westminster Bridge before finishing in Green Park. I chose to meet up with a friend at Piccadilly Circus, where three of the routes converge. In theory, we should have seen three waves of cyclists, but only two came past while we were there. We also went to Westminster Bridge, but did not see anything. After waiting for a while, we came to the conclusion we had been too late and adjourned to a local hostelry.
More than one way to take part in a naked bike ride
It was fascinating to see the degree of participation. Complete nudity is optional, as is a bike it transpired. Most people had stripped off completely, although some retained vestiges of clothing. While the male anatony is such that it is difficult to maintain full decorum while sitting on a saddle, there were some ingenious solutions. It also turns out that handlebars have more than one use in such circumstances. Admittedly the women taking part had other issues, but no one in the ride would claim they are a shrinking violet.
Naturally, there were specatators with cameras, but many of the participants had their own to record the event. There was everything from mobile phones and GoPros to more expensive equipment.
It takes some doing to stand out at such an event, but some of the riders managed it with style. Strangely, they achieved it by covering up, even if it was just their faces.
Some people had not come with their own cycles and were using “Boris” bikes instead. It is just as well that the next hirer would be unaware of what had gone on before. A few who were really bold were on rollerblades. I also saw at least one person on a scooter. They were the hardcore, full frontal exhibitionists.
Photo of the Day
My best shot of the Naked Bike Ride was the very first one I took. There was a stand promoting the “Wicked” musical, describing it as the “Best Show In Town”. If I am honest, I will admit that I did not take any notice of it at the time. My friend said that he had seen it and not included it in his shots as he thought it would be a distraction. When I saw this image on my computer screen, the juxtaposition cracked me up.
This post is part of my occasional “Photo of the Day” series. I publish shots which I think might be of interest and tell the story behind them. They might not necessarily be portfolio standard images, nor the final version, but still be of sufficient interest for inclusion in my blog. If I do not show a shot on any given day, it does not mean that I did not take any photographs, just that I did not get anything worthwhile. For me, that is part of the fun of photography. Not knowing what I will find on a shoot when I have nothing planned.