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Bike riders strip-down for the environment

Cheeky environmentalists shed their clothes today and streaked through the streets of a seaside city on bicycles to highlight the damage caused by car dependency.

More than 200 cyclists in various stages of undress took part in the World Naked Bike Ride in Brighton and Hove to promote cycling as an environmentally-friendly form of transport. People of both sexes, all ages and every conceivable shape and size decided to fully disrobe.

But others chose imaginative ways of preserving their modesty, including body paint and sticky tape, while some men opted to wear socks - but not on their feet.

Organisers of the seven-mile ride were warned by Sussex Police last month that participants could face prosecution if officers received complaints about the nudity.

But following advice from the civil liberties group Liberty, cyclists entered discussions with local police chiefs and resolved the impasse.

Duncan Blinkhorn, 45, one of the organisers, said: "This is a fun if outrageous way to make the serious point that we should not have to tolerate roads, cities and a planet dominated by the brutishness of cars that routinely foul the air we all breathe, destroy lives and impoverish the environment.

"We are celebrating our vulnerability as cyclists and human beings but also showing our strength of feeling and strength of numbers. "Bikes and naked bodies harm nobody. Car fumes and accidents kill tens of thousands every year in the UK alone and are driving us all to climate chaos.

"It is time more motorists stripped off their armour plating and moved around more gently on this earth

Cyclists assembled at The Level to begin the ride around Brighton and Hove via the Palace Pier, the Royal Pavilion, Churchill Square, Hove Town Hall and the West Pier before finishing at Black Rock.

Some of today's riders were intending to travel by train to London to take part in the capital's leg of the World Naked Bike Ride, starting at Hyde Park Corner this afternoon.

The international event, held in more than 40 cities, took place yesterday in Manchester, York and Southampton.



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