What is the world coming to when a Londoner can no longer straddle the seat of a Santander bike in the nip? We knew it was coming, but now the news is official: the World Naked Bike Ride London 2020 has been cancelled.
Every year since 2004, throngs of people wearing nothing but body paint and tiny backpacks have hopped on their bikes and cycled through central London. They would pedal through the city’s most congested roads in the bare scuddy, waving at confused pedestrians as they went. But WNBR is not just a naked prank (though it is a naked prank) it’s a protest against car culture, a celebration of body freedom and a way of demonstrating the vulnerability of cyclists on busy city streets.
Come June 13, the planned date for the cycle streak, anyone riding their bike by Westminster Bridge and Hyde Park will most likely be fully clothed. In response to government guidelines around public gatherings, WNBR’s organisers made the decision to call off the event, saying, ‘We have seen no reliable evidence to indicate when it will be safe to take the ride on to the streets so we have not proposed a new date for the ride.’
While the outdoor event is no longer happening, WNBR is still planning to mark the date with a safe campaign of activities called Not the World Naked Bike Ride. No details for that part have been announced.
But we can read between the lines. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, looks like June 13 is the time to strip off, hop on your bike, and start doing naked loops around the lawn like a deranged circus bear. If we’re still in lockdown by JUNE, we won’t need much encouragement.
Why I love World Naked Bike Ride.
Keep track of cancelled London events and venue closures here.