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

Choosing a Start point

In recent years WNBR London has had multiple start points with routes that allow our environmental campaign to deliver its messages on 65Km 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.

World Naked Bike Ride London 2019 route diagram

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.

Kew Bridge is the longest ride 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 is new for 2019.  At 10⅓ miles (16⅔ Km) it is another fairly long ride, crossing two of the best Thames bridges,Tower Bridge and London Bridge, before joining the other groups. 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.

West Norwood has now been confirmed. It is a private property where you can arrive early to get bodypainted if you wish. Riders are also invited to return to the start point for a BBQ after the ride. The ride is about 10½ miles (17 Km).

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).

This year, unfortunately, we have again been unable to agree the start at Kings Cross due to conflicting events.

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).

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.

Geoff Collins’ Last Ride

We were moved and inspired by the story of Geoff Collins’ last ride with WNBR London. It speaks so strongly to our themes of body image, healthy lifestyle, good attitude and cycling. But most of all, it is a story of strength, determination and bravery.

Geoff was treated for bowel cancer and had a stoma fitted. He immediately fought back to regain his health and fitness. He had been a keen cyclist and was quickly back in the saddle.  To demonstrate that having a stoma is OK and to show the world that he and not his stoma was in charge of his life, he rode with WNBR London in June 2018.

Sadly, cancer caught up with Geoff and he died in October 2018.

The full story by Richard Biddle deserves your attention. See http://www.colostomyuk.org/tour-de-stoma/

MP Michael Fabricant’s Naked Bike Ride

Eyes were wide open and opinions divided when UK Member of Parliament Michael Fabricant published a video where he apparently cycled naked in a London park to promote his idea for a charity naked bike ride in support of a local hospice. He said he was inspired by the UK’s World Naked Bike Rides.

Opinions were varied in the WNBR community.  We celebrate and encourage diversity – WNBR and cycling should be for everyone – even MPs. We also welcome publicity that helps us to promote our mission.

As a campaign that seeks to improve wellbeing through improved environment, healthier lifestyles and better attitudes, we are a political protest group – but not in terms of party politics. We would not wish to appear aligned to any specific politician or party or political philosophy. We also do not wish to divert our focus by becoming aligned to unrelated causes or campaigns. Nevertheless, if politicians wish to ride with us or support us in other ways – the more the better.

Some of the opinions expressed by WNBR supporters on social media were:

  • It’s not that far from Birmingham where a WNBR is needed
  • WNBR is not meant to be a charity fundraiser – it has serious themes which people need to be aware of [Ed: although some people do ride to raise money and we do not object to that]
  • His time would be better spent reversing Tory cuts
  • Some poor bastard has to use that bike after him. I hope he at least cleaned it [Ed: as readers of our website and social media will know, we ask everyone using a hire bike to use a seat cover]
  • His website does mention that he was inspired by the various WNBR he’s seen in a few cities he’s visited
  • Will Boris Johnson join him?

According to the BBC, Prime Minister Theresa May’s official spokesman said: “The Prime Minister wishes Michael the very best of luck with his fundraising. He is raising money for an excellent cause and I’m sure that St Giles’ Hospice will be very grateful for his efforts.”

WNBR London wishes Michael Fabricant the best of luck with his charity work!

You can watch Fabricant’s naked bike ride promotion on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiSPywlJbA0

 

Actress Joanna Scanlan on WNBR London in You Magazine

In the Mail’s You magazine, “TV’s dark-comedy queen Joanna Scanlan” says:

“I have achieved the right balance between energy and experience and I love to do new things. I took part in the World Naked Bike Ride in London recently, which was set up to protest against cars and celebrate the human body. I wore big underwear and it was wonderful to be part of something so joyful and nonjudgmental.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-6109835/Acting-medication-TVs-dark-comedy-queen-Joanna-Scanlan-life-changing-illness.html

Bravo Joanna, we hope to see you again next time!

Finding photos

A lot of you have been asking about how best to find photos of yourselves on the ride.

WNBR does not collect, curate or publish photos except for a few good quality ones we use with permission on our website.

We always have reservations about photos because we know a tiny proportion of people with cameras are sleazy people trying to take inappropriate photos – and they often like to post them on public sites.  It can give you a bad feeling about the human race.

The three ideas we’d suggest are Google, Instagram and Flickr.

On Google a search for something like london naked bike on the image search option with date set to the right period shows a lot of good photos – most of which are OK.

Instagram is harder due to the way its search works, but you will get some good results searching for #wnbrlondon.

Flickr has been losing popularity as a general photo sharing site (because most people use their social media), but is still used by serious photographers and by people sharing adult photos. You may find some bad content. Because most WNBR photos will be classified as “adult” you would need to log in and set your options to see them.  There are some photographers and groups who claim to be WNBR – they are fake and almost certainly to be avoided.  The safest group to look at is London Naked Bike Ride.  It is a bit unbalanced in the content that has been posted but it is moderated by WNBR organisers who will remove any unacceptable content.

Several groups have been set up on Flickr to collect photos for a given year. We understand that the group WNBR London 2018 will be actively moderated by its creator, so hopefully that will also present a relatively safe option.

Amelia Allen – Official Photographer

Amelia Allen is a fashion, portrait and documentary photographer. She has had work published in magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, The Sunday Times and Harpers Bazaar.

Amelia captured some great photos of the World Naked Bike Ride which were included in her book and exhibition NAKED BRITAIN.

We invited her to join the team as the official photographer for WNBR.London.  Take a look at some of her work in the gallery.

 

Amelia Allen

Amelia Allen is a fashion, portrait and documentary photographer. She has been photographing shows, clothes, models, celebrities and London Fashion Week every season since she was eighteen. Her developing interest in reportage photography comes from her enjoyment of travelling, meeting various people and observing them in their everyday life.

Her first photo book Naked Britain was published in November 2017. The book is a sociological documentary on British Naturism which she spent 2 years shooting. It is a look at modern day attitudes to body image and complete opposite view of nudity that we usually see in the media and fashion industry. She has recently had two solo exhibitions one at Herrick Gallery in Mayfair, London and another at Gallery Close in Edinburgh.

Naked Britain is currently stocked in Waterstones, The Photographer’s Gallery, Foyles and several other art bookshops throughout Europe and the US.

The book received international press including a TV interview on BBC World News and newspaper interviews in The Telegraph, The Times and The Daily Mail to name a few.

Below are some words from Amelia on creating this body of work.

“Being a fashion photographer, means that I have spent the majority of my career photographing conventionally beautiful and aesthetically pleasing models who are used to display clothes. Everything surrounding this is, of course, to do with body image and having to look a certain way to fit a specific societal construct of what is seen as beautiful. Growing up today, through such a politically dynamic time, where women’s rights are a huge issue, I wanted to create a project that took liberation and freedom of body image into the limelight. I wanted to photograph a community that represented equality in body image, appearance, sexuality and gender.

I wanted to step away from the conventionality and pressures that surround a typical fashion shoot and also from social media and the retouching and considerable behind the scenes efforts to create the ‘perfect’ photograph. I badly wanted to move away from the prevailing assumptions that society leads us to believe when we think of a naked body, and photograph something that goes against this, which, is how I discovered naturism. As the project progressed I was fascinated by the fact that one week I was shooting London fashion week runway shows, and just twenty miles away was an entirely naked community, lounging in their own freedom of self love, liberation and body acceptance. Fashion is used as self expression and I wanted to photograph this juxtaposition of people expressing themselves by using their raw materials, their naked bodies as opposed to the conventional use of clothes for self expression.

I was captivated by naturism and what it really means to be a naturist and it was an incredible experience to be welcomed so warmly into another part of society which most people in Britain have no idea exists. Every time I walked out of the naturist clubs, I was filled with inspiration, opened up to a completely different world where body image, no matter what size, is accepted! I quickly started to recognize that fashion and clothes are all labels; a quick easy way for people to judge you, give you a status, a place in society (which of course, we are all accountable for) but, with naturism, you could literally be a prince or a pauper and nobody would know because when you are naked, nobody knows who you are in society and for once, you are equal to everyone around you.

I felt like the human body had been sexualised and actually most of the time our reproductive organs are not being used so why is being naked sexy or sexualising oneself? I wanted to take the sexuality out of the human body and have a book that celebrated the diversity and wide spread of different body types and ages in the naturist community that wasn’t art directed or cast by a model agent.

I felt that as a female British photographer, having grown up here the attitude towards nudity was that it was distasteful or unsightly unless it is for sexual reasons/ pleasure/ editorial. There was a double standard. It was OK to see a woman with perfectly round perky breasts on the side of phone box or on Instagram but a mother breast feeding in a café was offensive. I decided to photograph the most British scenarios like the pub, tennis, water park, bike rides, discos, festivals, museums and people doing everyday tasks without clothes on. All stereotypical every day tasks/ outings but without any clothes on makes you do a double take and see the image and subject differently.

The whole book is un-retouched and shows the human body for what it is, stretch marks and all. What I liked about the naturist community was that in this day and age there are still 10,000 members of a club that are in a supportive community. Naked, they feel liberated and free despite the pressures of society, social media and advertising. I felt a desperate urge to photograph another side of society; I wanted to experience something away from fashion, but something still very much focusing on the beauty of the human body; and naturism was perfect for this.”

 

 

 

WNBR London 2018

Massive thanks to the riders and marshals who made this year’s ride the biggest and best ever. It was a great day – good people and good weather, albeit with some snags – but that’s normal.

Some of you might be disappointed that we missed out some of your favourite landmarks and were a bit late. There were a lot of blockages and danger areas as a result of several conflicting and sometimes violent demonstrations in Central London. We had info from the police, TfL and our own people watching CCTV and actually at potential trouble spots. All the start groups made diversions.

For the final leg, one of our stewards reported in the violence in Trafalgar Square. You may have heard 5 police officers were injured, a tourist bus was hijacked and smoke bombs were thrown. We took you on a planned and tested diversion route, which is why you didn’t get to sing Happy Birthday to the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

We hope you still enjoyed the day and we’re sorry we had to make those diversions to keep you safe. Thank you so much for making it a success!

Tower Hill are first to arrive at Forum Magnum Square, with just another 5 groups to join them!