Tuesday, 05 July 2022

Cyclist joins naked ride in protest at ‘car culture’

Cyclist joins naked ride in protest at ‘car culture’

A MAN from Caversham took part in a naked cycle ride across London on Saturday.

Graham Bates, 66, participated in the World Naked Bike Ride 2022 wearing nothing but socks, shoes and a hat in a bid to protest about “car culture” and cyclists’ rights.

He rode from Wellington Gate, where he assembled with about 250 other riders, into central London, passing through Covent Garden and South Bank before finishing at Westminster Arch.

Mr Bates, a freelance journalist, said: “It all went very smoothly. The weather wasn’t amazing but it wasn’t cold and I survived, which was the important thing.

“There were no mechanical problems. I decided to go as slowly as possible rather than aim for speed but I still ended up with a very sore backside and knee.

“The main worry in these things is chafing but I had a leather saddle and managed to avoid it. I’d say it was a successful event all round.”

The ride takes place annually in 200 cities across the globe and started in London in 2004. It aims to spread awareness of the vulnerability of cyclists.

Mr Bates said: “It is an opportunity to protest against our society’s dependence on cars and to demonstrate that there are alternatives to sitting in traffic all day.

“We’re not exhibitionists. We are simply making a point about the vulnerability of cyclists. It is amazing to see so many people riding together united for the same cause.

“It’s all good fun but we do sometimes get strong reactions from people sitting in their ‘Devil’s chariots’ as we pass them.”

Mr Bates said that his family and friends had a good laugh when he told them what he as doing.

Read all about Mr Bates' campaign on his page here.

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