2020 saw an expanse of cancellations and postponements of community activities at the wicked hand of COVID-19. The World Naked Bike Ride, a protest event that Brighton has boldly participated in since 2006, was one of the many awaited public events that was unable to escape its grasp.
With the easing of lockdown restrictions, Brighton and Hove welcomes back with open, unclothed arms the “New Normal” Brighton Naked Bike Ride on Sunday 15 August.
The ride, one of many around the globe, is free to join and takes place in cooperation with Sussex Police who have provided a number of safety vehicles and officers as escort cycle riders.
Assembling at Preston Park (Brighton, BN1 6SD) at midday and commencing at 2pm, the “naked sightseeing” route travels past the Pavilion, seafront, Palace Pier, i360, Lanes, North Lanes, Kemptown, and finishes at Brighton’s Black Rock naturist beach where riders can relax with a picnic and a post-ride swim.
“There were beautiful moments and unexpected benefits during the lockdown,” reminisces ride organiser and member of the collective Briony, “streets denuded of gridlocked traffic, people exercising at home and on city streets, birdsong instead of car noise, a realisation that human life on the planet is fragile.”.
Themed around the wider crisis of climate change that has been magnified during the pandemic, the “protestival” invites those who have spent the past year hiding from the outside world to celebrate body freedom and protest against the global dependency on oil by letting loose on Brighton’s streets. Decoration of bikes (and bodies) with environmental messages under this theme of “New Normal” is encouraged.
Although participation in the ride is family friendly, it must be noted that under 16s are to remain clothed and be in the care of an adult parent or guardian at all times.
“People have come together to fight the invisible threat of viral infection,” said Briony, “let’s hope we can unite to fight climate change equally as effectively.”.
For more information on the event, visit here.