Gran rides again – and again!

Gran rides again
Gran rides again at WNBR London 2006

In admiration of Marguerite Dustman, 1922-2019

affectionately known to all as “Gran”


In the previous post we read how 83-year-old Gran’s first World Naked Bike Ride was our London ride in 2005. But it was cold and she reluctantly had to keep her raincoat on.

The old lady in her raincoat
The old lady in her raincoat

The next year she was keen to try again – and this time the weather was good. It was a glorious day and she cycled the whole route naked, aged 84. Her son-in-law, Paul Burkimsher, was again called upon to accompany her.

Gran on WNBR London 2006
Gran riding WNBR London 2006
Gran on WNBR London 2006
Gran on WNBR London 2006
Gran and son-in-law Paul
Gran and son-in-law Paul

And Gran Rides Again in York and London

That was by no means the end of Gran’s World Naked Bike Rides.

When Tony Minou from Leeds announced a meeting to organise the very first WNBR York ride, Gran was the only person to turn up to that meeting (apart from Tony). They got on really well.

In 2009 she was back on the bike and featured in the York Press.

Sadly Gran had to give up cycling by the age of 90 in 2012, but that didn’t keep her away. She rode in London 2013 in a rickshaw.

Gran riding by rickshaw in London 2013.
Gran riding by rickshaw in WNBR London 2013.

Gran was back in the York Press with a photo from 2014, this time being driven by son-in-law, Paul.

At the age of 92 Gran needs to be driven by son-in-law Paul

Gran’s story goes to the heart of what the World Naked Bike Ride is about. Cycling and WNBR should be for everyone. And we should all care passionately about its mission to make the planet great again by promoting a sustainable environment and healthy lifestyles.

Be like Gran

The little old lady in her raincoat
The little old lady in her raincoat

In admiration of Marguerite Dustman, 1922-2019

affectionately known to all as “Gran”


83-year-old Gran’s first World Naked Bike Ride was our London ride in 2005. If you saw the documentary film, Jon Snow calls her the “little old lady in her raincoat”.

She was the mother-in-law of Paul Burkimsher who wrote this article about their experiences in 2005.

Did she ever take off that raincoat in later years?  See the next instalment to find out!


Have you ever travelled with a naked bicycle on a train? Have you ever travelled with a naked bicycle on a plane? First thing to notice is that naked bikes are not allowed. Not on EasyJet anyway. Their website helpfully explains that you must remove the pedals, turn the handlebars 90 degrees, deflate the tyres and put it all in a big box. Big boxes supplied on demand (at least at Geneva airport). Having checked in 2 hours before departure, I was ready. The airport guys thoughtfully loaned me spanners (efficient, these Swiss), lots of sticky tape and even a felt marker for labelling the box. Somewhere over the English Channel I remembered about letting the tyres down. Oops. I hoped they hadn’t (or wouldn’t, even now) burst. All I could actually do was wonder what would happen at Liverpool. No problem, round came my bike, in its box, on the luggage conveyor.

Why was I doing all this I asked myself? It’s the mother-in-law you see. She wanted to participate in the World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) and as she’s 83, I felt duty bound to come along and look after her. Gran (as we call her) is very sprightly. A real “Miss Hubbard”. Rides her bike every day, but usually through the streets of York, not quite the same as through busy central London. Not usually in the nude either. She’s always been a naturist at heart, but only a “practising” naturist since she was widowed some 10 years ago. Gran has an aversion to cars, but loves London. Reminds her of her nursing days as a young twenty-something in the war. Bandaging up injured (but not diseased) red-blooded soldiers I think. So the WNBR was too much for her to resist. Cycling – round London – in Eve’s attire.

I’d read all about WNBR on the web. Admired Richard Collins’ pluck from a distance, but was looking forward to meeting him in the flesh, so to speak. Jesse, the WNBR UK coordinator would be there and various other dedicated people who were just names to me, but who had collectively put in an awful lot of hard work, advertising, negotiating with the Police etc. The weather forecast had varied all week, from “cloudy and 24” to “sunny and 18 with a breeze”. I was not sure which I preferred. Wind isn’t generally good news for naturists. At least the weather people were consistent that it wasn’t going to rain. And so it was that I travelled to London with Gran. We emerged at King’s Cross and while waiting to cross over the busy main road outside, a cyclist who looked the spitting image of Richard Collins (as according to his photo on the web) drew up on his bicycle. I called out his name and sure enough, he came over. It was Richard. A lovely welcome to a huge city in a strange country.

We didn’t have time to join in the picnic and sunbathe in Hyde Park – though the sun was conspicuously absent anyway. We went directly to Wellington Arch where people were already disrobing ready for the ride. I have heard estimates of numbers ranging from “over 100” to “250”, but certainly there were the best part of 200 cyclists there. Some men wore shorts, some of the girls wore bikinis, some just bikini briefs, most seemed to wear nothing at all. The time had come to flip into my preferred attire. Grey sky or not, I wasn’t coming all this way to chicken out now. Multiple layers of arctic clothing came off and I tried to get them into my daysack. Gran decided that it was too cold for her to strip. She was as disappointed as anybody about that, but she’s as thin as a rake and has no protective padding whatsoever, so I believe she made the right decision. I got my sign out and attached it to the carrier on my bike. It read “God made my Designer Outfit”. This raised some grins from the crowd along the streets during the afternoon. As an active Christian, I believe that we were created and that our bodies are the pinnacle of creation. As such they should be celebrated, not hidden away with guilty feelings of shame. I did wear something though – a Jester’s hat. As much so that Gran could spot me in the crowd of naked bodies, should we ever get separated. I could spot her without trouble. She was the only 83 year old riding fully dressed!

It was hard trying to squeeze all my clothes into that small backpack. Would the zip ever fasten? Better be quick though, they’re lining up to set off!! “Come on Gran! We’d better go to the front, so that if we drop back we won’t get left behind.” Gran was still sorry about wearing clothes but was definitely going to cycle round with us, when suddenly we were off, through Wellington Arch and out onto the road. Some of the organisers were holding back the traffic and we whizzed along. Everything else just seemed like a blur, with us trying to keep up. Generally we didn’t cycle too fast, but I was very glad of the occasional stops to let everyone catch up. I thought we would be having photo sessions at each of the landmarks, but no, we just pressed on. Trying to take photos whilst you are cycling is difficult, so I have a limited selection. Really one has to participate or take photographs, but not try and do both.

Trafalgar Square was very busy. The riders ahead had carved a way through the crowd and we just cycled steadily right round. Lots of smiles, cheers and even more cameras and camera phones pointing in our direction. One middle aged lady in the crowd yelled out at the top of her voice “Why not?” and gave us a big wave. Down to the river. There was a chilly wind blowing over the bridge. We cycled around close to the London Eye then back over a different bridge. One man was cycling with his dog in the pannier on the back of his bike. Doggy decided he liked all the fun and the crowds and jumped off the bike to run ahead. Poor man trying to keep up! The dog was in its element though and I didn’t see it again until 15 minutes later when it was in the arms of another cyclist, a lady this time, peddling bravely along. Dog and man were reunited later.

Oxford Street was teeming with people. We all slowed down a little. One of the young women decided she was going to walk down Oxford Street. I don’t know what she did with her bike – I guess her boyfriend/husband looked after it. She just walked steadily and carefully down Oxford Street without a stitch on. Right there in the middle of a busy Saturday afternoon in all the throngs of people. I suspected that she’d been dreaming about this moment for a long time. Her dream was coming true. Good for her. She carried herself very well. In fact, she looked positively regal. I then realised that Gran wasn’t immediately behind me any more, so I stopped and lets scores more cyclists pass me. Then they thinned out and the last one came by. At least I deduced he was the last one because the crowds on either side of the street suddenly swarmed back into the road, gazing up Oxford Street after the riders. What was I to do? Where was Gran? I would start to feel uncomfortable if I waited around, nude, in the middle of Oxford Street on my own. Should I dress and go back to look for her? Or hope that she could make her own way back to Hyde Park (she was dressed after all)? In the end I decided I’d better catch up before the crowds in front swarmed over the road too, thereby cutting me off from my companions. I cycled madly to catch up and was relieved to catch up with Gran pedalling steadily on. I don’t know how she’d got past me.

We all stopped at the U.S. Embassy whilst Jesse handed in a letter to Bush. The embassy was guarded by armed police standing atop a concrete crash barrier. One officer was videoing us all as we went past. I bet the video gave his mates a laugh in the pub later on. One of our girls jumped up on the barrier sans bike, in fact, sans anything, and posed for him. That would have been a beautiful photo, one I missed taking. Still, I have a wonderful mental image. Her feminine beauty, nudity and purity contrasting with his masculine policeman’s expression, bullet proof padded clothes and a world-weariness, all together in a cameo that speaks volumes. By the time we got to Park Lane I suddenly realised that it was nearly over. Jesse was holding up the traffic and we had a wide empty boulevard to cycle down. I glanced at my watch. We had been going for an hour and 25 minutes. It seemed more like just half an hour.

Back at the Arch we were triumphant but tired. And cold. Even I got dressed quickly, something I am not prone to do. Then the sun came out, but I had been cool enough not to instantly want to fling my clothes off again. Tony stayed nude for a while, but I noticed his teeth chattering. There was one couple being interviewed and filmed by some camera crew or other and they managed to look warm. Kat, who we’d been talking to earlier, found Gran and gave her a big hug. Kat was a really genuine, friendly girl with a beautiful smile and kind eyes. The sort of girl that all men who haven’t already got a mother-in-law would hope to meet. Richard went off to buy some beer and we drifted over to Hyde Park to drink it. Gran preferred a cup of tea in the café and the others soon realised the benefit of the heated indoors (this was England in June!!). We had a chat there, about 5 of us, before finally going our separate ways. Will we go again next year? We will have to see if Gran is still up to it at 84, but if she is, then I doubt we’ll be able to stop her. And given even a tiny bit of sunshine, I’m sure she’ll do it “properly” next time.

by Paul Burkimsher, 2005

#NotTheWorldNakedBikeRide Photo Competition Results

WNBR London ran a programme of #NotTheWorldNakedBikeRide activities on Saturday 13th June 2020 in place of the postponed 17th annual ride. We wanted to keep attention on our campaign themes – and have a jolly good time doing it!

For the #NotTheWorldNakedBikeRide Photo Competition, people were asked to share pictures of what they were doing in place of riding with WNBR. You can see all the accepted entries in the #NotTheWorldNakedBikeRide Photo Gallery.

WNBR London Goody Bag

The winners received a WNBR London Goody Bag with seat cover, mug and badge.


Judge Richard declared four winners. These were based on the judges’ personal opinions and not influenced by the public vote.

Lucy

Lucy illustrated how she particpated in our naked bike ride without leaving home. She had support from her mum and sister who voted for her. Due to a temporay glitch the system did not confirm the votes, so her sister kept clicking – over 200 times.

The judges said “Lucy is approximating to the bike ride, and the lighting is good.” The public seems to agree – the photo has had hundreds of likes on Twitter.

Lucy
Ride on the balcony

Howard Smith

Howard is a keen WNBR supporter from Wales – illustrating how the virtual WNBR London activities had no geographic boundaries. His entry shows how our supporters chose a wide range of alternative activities. The judges’ verdict was “it’s the composition and every day nature of the activity that appeals”.

Howard is cleaning windows
Howard Smith Cleaning Windows

Esther Bunting and Steve Ritter

Esther and Steve did a two-person, isolation World Naked Bike Ride, starting alongside the A13 and exploring the marshy land alongside the Thames.

They contributed video, photos and a detailed blog: https://steveritterlife.com/2020/06/10/bmnbr2020/.

The judges said it was “more ambitious than anything anyone else did, it’s very specifically Not the WNBR, and combines a textual explanation with a very attractive bike ride”

WNBR Bowers Marsh 2020
WNBR Bowers Marsh 2020

#NotTheWorldNakedBikeRide, Saturday 13th June 2020

When the World Naked Bike Ride in London (WNBR London), was called off because of lockdown and social distancing advice, the organisers felt that the campaign needed to take on a new form. A programme of #NotTheWorldNakedBikeRide activities was developed and supporters took up the challenge.

The 2020 WNBR London ride had been planned for Saturday 13th June, so the alternative activities were planned for the same day. The focal point of the day was the Zoom-In, timed to run at the same time riders had originally been expecting to be out on the streets of London. 331 people signed up to attend the online gathering, which featured discussion and debate from eminent special guests as well as the opportunity for supporters to show what they had been doing in place of the ride.

World Naked Trampolining

Later in the day a Zoom-In afterparty celebrated the ride’s achievements over the years. Organisers from other rides around the world joined WNBR UK people to reminisce, chat about the campaign, and enjoy good company. Several people told tales of the origin of the ride back in 2004. Visitors from USA, South Africa and Mexico talked about their rides, including Portland Oregon where the ride has around 10,000 cyclists.

Ride on the balcony
Lucy’s ride on the balcony

During the day, supporters had been asked to do something safe, relevant and whacky instead of the mass ride. WNBR London regularly has over 1,000 riders, and a further concern was the large crowds of spectators that usually line the streets. Many participants shared photos or videos on the WNBR London website (https://WNBRLondon.UK) and on social media with the hashtags #NotTheWorldNakedBikeRide or #notwnbr.

The main Zoom-In featured some excellent guest speakers in discussion with the WNBR panellists, as well as contributions from supporters, live bodypainting and a look at some favourite WNBR videos.

Live bodypainting

From British Naturism (BN), Mark Walsh (Events Manager) and Pam Fraser (Youth Ambassador) talked about the growth in popularity and activities of BN. They discussed the legality of nakedness including BN’s campaigning, which was instrumental in shaping the 2003 laws that establish it is not a crime to be naked.

Dr Victoria Bateman from Cambridge University and Dr Keon West from Goldsmiths were joined by naked video maker Lucy Muse in a segment that delved deeply into issues such as the social benefits of nudity, body confidence, feminism, women’s rights over their own bodies, male attitudes to women, diverse cultural responses to the human body, and, of course, the merits of the World Naked Bike Ride.

Ben and Lucy talking with Mike, Dave and Sophie from WNBR, Dr Victoria Bateman and Dr Keon West

In the final segment, several activists from the original WNBR campaign in 2004 discussed the origins of the ride, with its themes of ecology and wellbeing, manifested in campaigns against oil dependency and car culture, alongside the promotion of safe cycling, healthy lifestyles and good behaviours.

Cheers!

Participants were delighted with the day’s activities and concluded – “we should do this more often”. Organiser, Cy Wol, said “a great learning point from lockdown is that we could achieve so much more, using far fewer natural resource, reducing pollution, cutting risks, and including a broader community if we work online instead of meeting face-to-face. WNBR London’s planning meetings will stay online – it’s the new normal”.

WNBR London confirmed that no decision has yet been made about rescheduling the ride for later in 2020. The situation is reviewed at every meeting, based upon current evidence and advice. The key issue is whether a ride would be wise – not whether it would be permitted. The planned date for 2021 is Saturday 12th June.

Esther and Steve’s #NotTheWorldNakedBikeRide

Esther and Steve went on an epic #NotTheWorldNakedBikeRide, which Steve documented in his blog. You can see the full story with video and photos at https://steveritterlife.com/2020/06/10/bmnbr2020/.

Esther and Steve’s #NotTheWorldNakedBikeRide

Videos played in full or in part during the Zoom-Ins

VideoLinkDuration
WNBR London Vimeo Channelhttps://vimeo.com/wnbrlondon
WNBR London2019 flypast https://vimeo.com/34204903806:20
WNBR London 2014 highlights https://vimeo.com/42620804604:10
30 second WNBR London trailerhttps://vimeo.com/28871195200:30
WNBR London 2005 by Keith Robersonhttps://vimeo.com/42592238005:07
High Altitude WNBR Documentary https://vimeo.com/14107674230:50
Brexit Leaves Britain Naked by Victoria Batemanhttps://vimeo.com/30110002802:13
Brexit: The Naked Truth by Dr Victoria Batemanhttps://vimeo.com/31426547131:40
BN’s Pam Fraser on ITV’s This Morninghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjMGvn8Nscs11:39
WNBR London 2019 highlightshttps://vimeo.com/39778581505:00
Lucy Muse’s WNBR London Documentary (2018)https://vimeo.com/27469422019:30
Lucy Muse Vimeo Channelhttps://vimeo.com/thomasandmuse
vivrenu-tv Documentary (2017)https://vimeo.com/27782168807:54

Our programme of free activities on 13th June 2020

All day, every day: WNBR London Quiz – an online quiz about WNBR London and its campaign themes

10:00 to 17:30: Exercise and surprise – safe cycling and other forms of activity people can do instead of being on the ride, either at home or safely in isolation outside. Participants are encouraged to Zoom-In or share photos – go on, surprise!

10:00 to 22:00: #NotTheWorldNakedBikeRide photo submission & prize competition – where people share photos of what they’ve been doing in place of riding with WNBR

15:00 to 17:30: Zoom-In #NotTheWorldNakedBikeRide – connecting supporters and special guests for chats about WNBR with a show/tell what they’ve been doing (you need to pre-register for the Zoom-Ins)

16:00 and 17:00: WNBR London Watchathons – during the Zoom-In, supporters will be encouraged to watch and discuss excellent films of WNBR London

19:00 to 21:00: #NotTheWorldNakedBikeRide Afterparty – an online afterparty session just for fun! (you need to pre-register for the Zoom-Ins)

All activities will be clothing optional and we’d love to see some body painting, fancy dress, bike decorations and flags – just like the real thing.

So, what are you going to be doing for #NotTheWorldNakedBikeRide on 13th June 2020?

Make sure it’s safe and follow social distancing advice. If you are on your own in public, don’t take the risk of being naked. Although it’s legal you might encounter problems.

Please send in your photos and/or join us on the Zoom-In!

Some guidance about #NotTheWorldNakedBikeRide activities:

Activities are clothing optional, as bare as you dare. We will not tolerate bad behaviour – you will be blocked for life! That means no overtly sexual or obscene language, behaviour or imagery. Although we will try to prevent photography, just like the real ride, you can bet someone will be watching and maybe trying to get a photo – so don’t do anything you might regret later.

WNBR London 2020 is cancelled

So sorry to say it, but here is the news you were probably expecting to hear.

The World Naked Bike Ride in London will not take place on 13th June. Participants and spectators should not go to the start locations.

WNBR London has considered current circumstances and concluded we must take a cautious approach for the safety of our participants and the general public. We assume it will still be unwise to encourage public gatherings in June.

We have seen no reliable evidence to indicate when it will be safe to take the ride onto the streets so we have not proposed a new date for the ride.  It is possible that there will be no ride in 2020. We will review the situation at each of our monthly meetings and have the ability to mount a ride at short notice if circumstances change. We will let you know if there is any news. Our next update should be around 14th May.

The ride has been increasingly popular over the past 16 years, with its fun, attention-grabbing campaign for safer cycling along with healthier environment, lifestyles and behaviours. This year was planned to be the biggest ride ever, with 8 start groups covering over 53 miles (85Km) of London’s congested and polluted streets, crossing 14 Thames bridges on the way, and merging into a spectacular 1,000+ rider peloton.

But this June we will be focused on safety for all, and grieving for the suffering of many of our participants, supporters and the public at large. We particularly applaud the many of our supporters who are active in the response to this global crisis.

It’s Not the World Naked Bike Ride

We will not be riding on 13th June – but that doesn’t mean we cannot mark the date. This year we will be campaigning safely with activities that are “Not the World Naked Bike Ride”. Watch out for announcements about how supporters can join us not on the ride.

Cycling during the lockdown

We echo the views of experts and other cycling campaigns that cycling is a valuable activity during times of lockdown and social isolation.  As a means of transport for essential workers it is far safer than using public transport.  In terms of accident prevention, it is a much smaller factor than the driving of motor vehicles. Practised with due consideration for social distancing it is an excellent, healthy form of exercise.

Choosing a start point (2020)

In recent years WNBR London has had multiple start points with routes that allow our environmental campaign to deliver its messages on 53 miles (85 Km) of London’s congested and polluted streets, crossing 14 Thames bridges on the way. We regularly have over 1,000 riders so it would be hard to fit you all in one place. This also means you can choose a convenient location.  But, wherever you start, all groups converge to form one peloton that can be around 4Km long when stretched out! This post talks about how to choose your start point.

Diagram of WNBR London 2020 routes

So, what considerations might you have?

  • Convenient location
  • Transport links (train/tube/bus)
  • Bike hire locations
  • Length of ride
  • Scenic / sightseeing opportunities
  • Where your friends are starting from
  • Opportunity for social time before ride
  • Bodypainting
  • Crowds vs Small Group
  • Public vs Private
  • Minimising spectators and photographers

Click here for an interactive map showing start locations and train stations.

Croydon is a new start this year. It will be the longest of the routes at 20⅓ miles (32½ Km). Riders will need to keep up a good speed before joining the other groups in Central London. The venue is in a gated, private property so will be convenient for bodypainting and some pre-ride socialising.

Kew Bridge slips to second longest at 17¾ miles (28½ Km). It tends to attract a small group of enthusiastic cyclists.  The ride crosses the meandering Thames five times before joining in with the Clapham Junction start. Altogether you should get to cross the Thames eight times! The ride starts from the southbound roadside at the north end of the bridge. This means there is nowhere to socialise or do body painting – and no point in arriving early. It is a relatively small group of riders.

Clapham Junction is very convenient for the train connections, after all, it is the biggest junction and has the most trains passing through – over 2,000 on weekdays. Our start point is alongside the station (Platform 1 side) in a fairly small public square, so there is no time for socialising or body painting. The overall route is 9 miles (14½ Km).

Deptford at 10⅓ miles (16⅔ Km) is another fairly long ride. It will meet other groups at Tower Hill and continue as part of a merged group. The start is at Matchstick Piehouse, a theatre, café and bar. It is a private location which means you can arrive early from noon to socialise, do bodypainting, eat pies and drink.

Victoria Park is another new route for 2020. It is around 11½ miles long (18½ Km). The group is led by one of our disabled cyclists and will take a comfortable route to merge with the Deptford and Tower Hill groups before becoming part of the overall peloton.

The other rides are relatively easy rides into the centre.

Tower Hill is arguably the most scenic ride, starting alongside the Tower of London, crossing four bridges, riding alongside the river, passing through Trafalgar Square and Westminster. It’s handy for London Bridge, Waterloo, Charing Cross, Fenchurch St and Liverpool St stations. We use a reasonably large public park, so it is possible to arrive early, picnic, socialise and do body painting. Because it is a public space there will be onlookers and photographers.  The ride from here is about 7¾ miles (12½ Km).

Hyde Park is the best known starting point and always attracts large crowds (including photographers), so those riders need to enjoy being in a crowd! Each year we have to agree details with the Royal Parks (and the Parks’ Police), but we expect to be able to gather early enough for socialising and bodypainting.  Being a large group of riders, it tends to move slowly. It is a short route at just over 7½ miles (12¼ Km).

Regents Park is an easy ride down through the centre of town, and particularly good if you are bringing your bike in via Euston or Kings Cross stations.  The Royal Parks do not give us permission to start from the Park, so we start roadside instead. There has not been a problem with people visiting the park before the start, but do not get naked, do bodypainting or look like you are lining up for the start! This is the shortest route at just under 7½ miles (12 Km).

We can no longer offer the start at West Norwood as the property owner has moved – and now offers the route from Croydon instead. We have also given up trying to reinstate the former start at Kings Cross as the regeneration of the site has made it unsuitable.

All the routes merge for the core part of the route, from Westminster Bridge onwards, to form the 1,000+ rider peloton (which always moves at a safe, comfortable pace and gets stuck a bit). The main route ends near Hyde Park Corner.

If you are worried about how far you can cycle, bear in mind that you can choose to finish any time you want to.  You don’t have to do the full course to show your support for the campaign.

Start points and routes may be subject to change due to unforeseen traffic conditions on the day so riders should check the exact locations and details on the WNBR London website, FaceBook pages or Twitter feed.

WNBR London on Heart Breakfast

WNBR London was invited onto Heart Breakfast today by Amanda Holden as a surprise for Jamie Theakston, who’s about to ride 650 miles for #MakeSomeNoise charity.  It was a great way to promote our campaign as well as supporting a great charity bike ride. Amanda’s best Instagram post reached over 250,000 views in the first 24 hours – take a look at the end of this blog post to see it.

Natasha and Simon bravely fielded the questions in the studio, accompanied by a fully decked out WNBR London bike.  Cy and our bodypainters, @feelgoodpainted and @ashasart_soul, made it all happen behind the scenes.

Watch Heart’s studio videos

Broadcast Audio

Watch WNBR.London’s behind-the-scenes video

Photo Gallery from WNBR London’s morning at Heart Breakfast

Photos by: Heart UK, Cy Wol and Amanda @feelgoodpainted 

Amanda Holden’s Jiggly Instagram post

Photographs from WNBR London 2019

Our team photographer, Scott Hortop,  has completed work on the photos from WNBR London 2019. There are some brilliant shots of the ride and many of you waved enthusiastically when you saw Scott – so we know you’re looking forward to seeing your photos! You can view these in two sets:

Marshal crossing Waterloo Bridge

These copyright photos are not intended for publication and we will not be making print-quality shots available in a digital format.  We will only re-use a photo if any featured person can be identified and gives their permission.  If you would like an A4 printed version of your picture, these can be obtained from the photographer using the links on the site (profits go into WNBR London fundraising).

If anyone is unhappy to see themself featured in a photo, just let us know and we will take it out of the set. You can get the reference for the photo by starting to purchase a print then looking at the details in the shopping cart details before you click “clear cart”.

Enjoy!

Your feedback for 2019

Many thanks to the many of you who have sent feedback through our website, social media and email.  We want to share this with everyone, even the bad bits (which we’ll be looking at in our lessons learned session).  To avoid any editorial judgements it’s in alphabetical sequence of contributor:

  • Albert: Well done. Another great ride. You even managed to get the sun to come out and play for a bit.
  • Andy: We wish we’d been at one of the rides at the weekend but the weather forecast looked poor. Seems we needn’t have worried.
  • Anthony: we had a great time yesterday, we really enjoyed it! Not sure if I met you but thanks for organising
  • Chris: I’m definitely doing the @WNBRLondon again next year!
  • Chris: Brilliant stuff well done to everyone!
  • Colin: It was a great day, with a lovely festive atmosphere. The vast majority of the Londoners coming out to watch were very enthusiastic although there was a small far right group wanting to demonstrate against us. The stewards did a greatly great job of controlling the traffic, which was not always easy as some drivers seemed very impatient. All the riders were very friendly and generally respectful to each other, with regards to photos etc. The scale of the ride, set against the iconic London landmarks made for a very memorable experience and I am very glad that I took part.
  • Colin: I was not very impressed with the slow speed of clearing the road at Buckingham Palace when a police vehicle was travelling with blue light and sirens. Earlier I was very unimpressed with the extremely slow speed of clearing the road when an ambulance was travelling with blue light and sirens.
  • Danielle: Yesterday was good fun ! How many times in your life have you ridden through London completely nude?
  • Danielle: I attended the lastest London wnbr on the 8th of June 2019, had a fabulous time and would love to participate again
  • Danni: XD my boobies!
  • David: Fantastic day as always. 25 miles and 5 hours naked on the streets of London.
  • Dean: To the rider who shouted “Fucking Weirdo” at me as he cycled past – because I took a photo – shame on you. I have supported WNBR London since 2007, have taken part several times, and would only ever take a photo of the ride whilst it’s in progress – which I believe the organisers deem acceptable. Pretty cowardly behaviour too, as he then rode off down the street before I had the chance to reply. Verbal abuse is unacceptable at the best of times, let alone on a fun ride such as this.
  • Ed: My ride today: The weather favoured us with Sunshine. A great atmosphere, no bother, stress nor aggravation, there was no confrontation, shouting at people nor sanctimony.
  • Eva: Absolutely loving life riding round London bollock naked on Saturday. The sun even made an appearance for the final lap!
  • gwerin: It was a great day out. The marshals did a great job of managing the traffic and there was a great atmosphere among the riders. These rides are already helping to encourage bike use. Hopefully they will also help to make motorists more aware of cyclists.
  • Guy: (photographer) The world naked bike ride in London. Aimed at raising awareness of cyclists and freedom of expression. Ironically was verbally abused by hard right yellow vest protestors as it passed down Whitehall! Luckily the police held back the ‘disgusted’ mob.
  • Ian: Great day out the crowd reaction was amazing made one or two new friends along the route hope they stay in touch especially the guy from ST Albans. Can’t wait for next years ride
  • Ian: I’ve done the ride twice once in Southampton and this year in London just loved the experience
  • IanL I had a fantastic time on the ride today. My thanks to all those who gave their time to make it ( yet another ) great ride.
  • John: fantastic day with really fantastic people all for a good cause to make roads safe for everyone
  • Kirstin: Andy and I enjoyed our 5th bike ride yesterday. It seemed there were less people than previous years and we put it down to the poor weather.
  • Koala: Encore une belle journée cette année. Merci
  • Lee: Hi all this was my first time I was only looking on from the street. It was amazing too see. congratulation to u all
  • Lucy: The perfect way to unwind. Brilliantly organised and mad fun as ever great job
  • Mark: iBikeLDN smashed it. Not even sure I can pick out my favourite but YMCA by Buck House is probably going to be i
  • Martin: I had a great time thanks to the weather, fellow riders and the tunes lol.
  • Mary: just to say a real BIG THANK YOU we had such a fantastic fun day ……..My partner LOVED it she is now on about it NONE STOP ……. we/she did the full Monty lol and she didn’t stop smiling all the way round……..We meet some great people from all over ……Some one up there was smiling on us all as the weather turned out real good in the end didnt it lol………….Thanks again fantastic thing and we will DEFF see you next year .. THANK YOU
  • Matt: That was amazing!! First of very many. See you next year!!
  • Mel: Thanks as ever to the organisers, especially those at Tower Hill who always do such a great job
  • Merf: I did the bike ride yesterday. It was amazing.
  • Michael: Thanks to you all for making it a brilliant day a BIG thanks to sophie for all your efforts .. loved the body paint !!
  • Nick: It was actually ace music
  • Paul: Good stuff, I enjoyed the ride and congtatulations to all those who put time and effort into these events.
  • Richard: Brilliant initiative – wish that we could have ridden too
  • Richard: As A new participant I wish to congratulate you all on your excellent organisation the day was a real pleasure for both myself and my wife who attended for the first time, your marshals took the time to see everyone was safe and not left behind which was a concern of mine as my wife it’s a relatively novice biker. The atmosphere on the ride was excellent fun and purposeful, If there was a disappointment it would be the after party…
  • Robert: had a great ride. Thanks to all the Marshalls
  • Tony: The ride was awesome! Shame that the Afterparty was truly terrible. However, a very fun day!
  • Warwick: Thank you for an amazing day and experience! One of the most memorable and best days in London ever – and for important causes. Thank you organisers and bold and fun naked riders

WNBR Team Photographer

Our photographer this year is Scott Hortop, aka Scotty H. His first involvement with WNBR was as a marshal at the London ride in 2013 and then as guest photographer of the Tower Hill start of the 2014 ride. He is currently helping with the organisation of the Brighton Naked Bike Ride, an event he participated in originally in 2013 from a body positivity angle but now he is mainly motivated by it being part of the diverse climate protest movement.

Having photographed at nine rides now, Scott is acutely aware of the challenges of photographing people wearing little or no clothing, most of whom do not know him. He shuns the big black cameras with big lenses that he once used professionally, and this certainly helps, but most people will only feel truly comfortable if they know how their image might be used.

Scott sees his role as guest photographer to get images that fulfil two needs:

  • The need of WNBR as a protest movement to have images to help publicise the causes that are important to us
  • The desire of many riders to be able to have a place to remember the event and perhaps find images of themselves

Along the route of the ride there will be photographers from news agencies who will be looking for images to appear in the Sunday and Monday editions of the newspapers and online. Many participants in the ride are quite happy to get featured and from our point of view that is great, their body painting, slogans and demeanour cry out for coverage. If you are not that sort of person, then don’t be put off participating, we can’t guarantee anything but if there is one place where it’s possible to be low key while naked it is among the huge numbers of the London World Naked Bike Ride!

There are some tips about photography policy and how to avoid unwelcome attention on our Photography Policy page.

Scott will be at the Tower Hill start, at the finish and at the Afterparty. At these venues he’ll only be taking photos where he’s clear he’s got permission – he may additionally ask you if the image can be added to our library to use in our publicity. We hope that you’ll help us in this but if not that’s fine.

Scott will also be out on the route at two or three locations away from crowded areas getting photos of riders as they pass. If you see him then a simple smile and wave makes for some of the best images. As for any other photographer,  if you do not want to be photographed, hold up your hand in a stop gesture or shake your head. Like it or not there will be thousands (mainly excited spectators and tourists) taking photos of the ride but he’ll be easy to spot in a bright pink tabard (poor chap). Why bright pink? No dodgy or pro photographer is going to be wearing bright pink!

The day after the ride, Scott will be busy at the Brighton WNBR (not taking photos) and he’ll be working to edit his images as the following week progresses. He’ll put the best photos on his website and they will carry a watermark that will deter people who may wish to steal images but which should not ruin your enjoyment of them. If you want a print they will be available at a reasonable cost with 50% of money made coming into London WNBR coffers. If there’s a picture of you that you want removed you only have to ask.


Married with two grown up children and now more or less retired, in previous lives Scott was a professional commercial photographer with a focus on party photography and capturing people in the workplace.

His website is at www.ScottyH.com and his photos from various naked bike rides are hidden away at https://www.scottyh.com/-/galleries/events/world-naked-bike-ride