Cyclists stripped naked in Guildhall Square today to protest about oil dependency and cycling safety.
Members of the World Naked Bike started this year’s annual cycle ride from Alexandra Park but instead of being naked from the beginning, they decided to make their bold statement at the most famous place in Portsmouth.
Their decision was because of complaints from staff at the Mountbatten Centre.
The cyclists has already relocated from their original start point along the seafront due to complaints from residents.
The World Naked Bike Rides started in 2003 by Conrad Schimdt who organised the Naked Bike Rides of the group ‘Artists for Peace/Artists Against War.’
These took place starting in 2002, as well as other high-profile political and media events.
The 2004 World Naked Bike Ride saw events in 28 cities, in ten countries on four continents, when the message of the World Naked Bike Ride was protesting against oil dependency and celebrating the power and individuality of the human body.
In 2006, there was a shift towards simplifying the message and focusing on cycling advocacy.
Ian Henden delivered a speech on the Guildhall steps and said, “Man has been on this planet for hundreds of thousands of years. For most of that time, we have lived in harmony with our surroundings and natural resources.
“Since the invention of the steam engine in the 18th century, man has been using the earth’s natural resources at an ever-increasing rate – a rate that is, in the long run, totally unsustainable. One day, our resources will run out.
“We often hear a criticism from our opponents, in response to having witnessed our Protest Ride: “Think of the children!!!”.
“Well, we ARE thinking of the children and our children’s children. And the children of generations to come.
“We need to rationalise the way we use the earth’s resources. We need to stop burning the planet on which we live. We need to leave a sustainable environment for our children.
“We in the World Naked Bike Ride aim to promote bicycle use, renewable energy, recreation, walkable communities, and environmentally responsible, sustainable solutions to living in the 21st century.”