I’ll be honest – that was very much an attention-grabbing headline. Nothing shocking has happened. Honestly.
That said, I had a look online last week for alternatives to London’s World Naked Bike Ride this year, as I’m going to be at Sitges Pride. Last year was my first ever WNBR and I had a ball, so I was a little disappointed I wouldn’t be able to participate in 2019.
Instead, I thought I might try to get a gang of friends together and travel to another city to ride. I imagined we could make a weekend out of it and maybe visit a city I’d never been to before.
But as I was searching for details of the other rides in the UK, hoping to find a date and location that would work for my busy schedule this summer, I spotted a professionally taken video of last year’s event.
So I clicked “play”.
I’m sure that I knew that taking part in a massive naked event in public would mean I’d end up on other people’s photos and yes, even videos. But that was at a very rational level. I hadn’t encountered much of this – despite searching in the days after the event – and had mentally filed it away under ‘relieved’.
The chap who had taken this video and masterfully edited it into something very watchable had obviously started the ride just ahead of me. Cue lots of shots of the crowd behind him with me smack bang in the middle.
It was a little unnerving. But then I thought: who cares? It’s not like I’m a solo cyclist riding over Waterloo Bridge, I’m in a crowd of thousands. All the same, it was quite a strange feeling to see myself cycling around London starkers. Watching the video, it happened again and again. There I was, grinning and cycling. At least I looked like I was enjoying myself.
I then went to Flickr and did a quick search for the same and lo and behold, there I was. These were somehow easier to digest than a video, but as the only photos I’d taken were very ‘modest’ head and shoulders shots, it was a new experience to see how I looked on a bike sans clothes.
The big takeaway for slow learners like me: ride in the WNBR and you’ll end up naked on the internet, one way or another. How you feel about that is up to you!