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Why I love World Naked Bike Ride

Nick Levine
Written by
Nick Levine

Tube driver, photographer and life model Natasha Porter explains why World Naked Bike Ride is much more than an excuse to get your kit off

It boosts your body confidence
‘Originally I thought I’d take part as a one-off, but the bike ride changed my life. It’s just made me so much more confident and outgoing. I even do life-modelling now, where you’re much more scrutinised than on the bike ride.’

There’s a real sense of camaraderie
‘On a good year, we get more than a thousand people taking part. It’s almost like a carnival atmosphere. You’re all in the same boat and there to have fun.’

It encourages creativity
‘Some of the body paint people wear is like proper artwork. Honestly, you wouldn’t want to wash it off afterwards.’

It works well in London
‘We do get a few lairy comments from people who’ve been out drinking all day, but most people in the city don’t bat an eyelid – they just see it as a bit of fun.’

You don’t have to be completely naked
‘Lots of first-timers do the ride in their underwear, which is still a pretty big deal. The important thing is you feel comfortable.’

It normalises nudity
‘We see so many sexualised images of women’s bodies in music videos and on billboards. But this isn’t about appealing to the male gaze. It’s about rejecting the idea of perfection and showing that all bodies are valid and equal to one another.’ 

World Naked Bike Ride takes place on Sat Jun 9 with starting points in Tower Hill, Regent’s Park,  West Norwood, Hyde Park and more. Times vary. Find your route at Free. 

Find more unusual things to do in London here

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