Dozens of people stripped off and saddled up as the York World Naked Bike Ride returned for the first time in three years.
Riders in various states of undress joined together for a five-mile ride through York in beautiful warm sunshine.
It is the 15th such ride in York, and one of many that take place around the world.
Co-organiser John Cossham told YorkMix: “It’s a celebration of bicycles and zero carbon transport.
“It is also a protest about how dangerous roads are and how we just don’t have safe roads for cycling.
“There are a lot of people here who are body positive, too, who believe it’s perfectly OK to have non-sexual nudity.
“We’re not doing it to upset or alarm or inflame, we’re doing it because it’s legal to be naked. And we draw attention to our demands for a zero carbon future, and a bicycle friendly future, by having the word naked in it.”
What sort of response do they get?
“People seem to love us,” John said. “There are one or two people in the on the letters pages of the media, who just throw huge paddies about it. And I don’t quite know why they do that, because this is non-sexual nudity.
“People clap, cheer, laugh, they that is very widely enjoyed by people, not just the participants, because it’s a celebration.”
Co-organiser Anna Semlyen told the riders before they set off that they had invited the York Central MP Rachael Maskell and leaders of City of York Council along. All had sent their good wishes, but were unable to attend.
She said the number of cyclists in York had dropped by 12,000 between 2014 and 2020. “That’s a disaster for the city that’s not being tackled,” she said.
Transport lead on the council Cllr Pete Kilbane had written to Ms Semlyen to say that the council was working on compiling the draft Local Transport Plan with the aim of reducing 20% reduction in traffic volume and 70% reduction in emissions.
A cycling infrastructure plan is also in production. Both were due to be in place by the time the new Mayor for North Yorkshire was elected in May 2024.
Ms Semlyen said: “I read that as, nothing much will happen until the Mayor is in place, which I think is a disaster because we need safer streets now.”
Then the cyclists set off from Millennium Bridge for their tour of the city. They paused during the journey to remember Ruby Milnes, who was killed aged 17 on the York to Selby cycle path at York Racecourse in May 2008 when she was in collision with a delivery lorry.
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