The crowd hit Parliament House. Photos: Richard Serong
NAKED cyclists invaded central Melbourne Sunday 21st March 2010, with 130 riders stripping off to protest oil dependency and highlight bike safety.
According to organisers, the two-hour Melbourne World Naked Bike Ride was the biggest in the southern hemisphere, surpassing the 50 cyclists who took to Melbourne’s streets in last year’s event.
It is the first year the cyclists haven’t been accompanied by police. Spokesman Senior Constable Marty Beveridge said there were no units assigned to the riders this year.
World Naked Bike Ride organiser Heidi Hill was glad “Melbournians are finally becoming less prudish,” and said the ride had moved from more of a naturist theme to a bike safety theme.
Ms Hill said the aim this year was to show how vulnerable cyclists are on the road. “Pro-bike safety is the overhwelming theme this year”, she said
Ms Hill said there was no sexuality involved in the event and that “as soon as you get your gear off, people need to be themselves.”
Melbourne’s oldest rider was 75.
The riders set off at 3pm in Fitzroy at the Union Club Hotel and went through Lygon St, Carlton, Russel St and Bourke St in the city and ended up at Parliament House.
“People were gobsmacked, they were running out of buildings to see us,” Ms Hill said.
She said as they rode past, onlookers had a smiles on their faces. “We didn’t upset anyone”, she said.
At the end of the ride, the cyclists were overjoyed, yelling “On ya bike!” and “Nude is not rude!”
Ms Hill hopes Melbourne’s 2011 ride will be even bigger, and she hopes it will be as big as the London ride, which over 2,000 people took part in.
Leader Community Newspaper - See article here
Isn't it nice that the major papers didn't pick this up and run with it and the usual sensationalist skew that we have come to expect.
Well done to the organisers who have shown another non-sexual display of nudity this time with positive public message.
Oops, break out the "blur tool" we can't have the unsuspecting public seeing nipples or genitals!