Flash to stop a crash: Worthing Naked Bike Ride set to take place

Organisers of the Worthing Naked Bike Ride hope that residents can see the light-hearted side of the event. Picture: Adam Seaman

Organisers of the Worthing Naked Bike Ride hope that residents can see the light-hearted side of the event. Picture: Adam Seaman

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If you drive down Worthing’s seafront on July 2 be careful – because there will be enough exposed skin to make you do an emergency stop.

But organisers of the Worthing World Naked Bike Ride are encouraging people to flash the flesh for the opposite reason: to raise awareness about road safety for cyclists.

If people are worried about their children they can walk into a side street for 20 seconds as we pass by

Stefan Sykes

The bike ride in Worthing will be the first of its kind in the town, with more than 100 cyclists expected to take part in the hour-and-a-half ride along the seafront.

It has already attracted controversy, with some parents concerned for their children if they are in the area at the time.

But organisers have said they keen to address any worries.

Debs Butler, who is running the event, said: “We are publishing the route so people can see where we will be and can avoid us if it isn’t for them. It’s also a very short window of time; we won’t be in any one place for too long.

“Ususally children find it quite entertaining and funny, because they don’t have the negative connnotations that adults have when it comes to nudity.

“We hope people will see the light and funny side of what we’re doing, and that we’re taking a responsible attitude to it. There’s a serious message behind it; we’re not trying to offend anyone.”

She added that only a small percentage of cyclists would be fully naked and that if children wanted to take part, they would have to wear clothing.

Fellow co-organiser Stefan Sykes added that the ride wasn’t an excuse for participants to take their clothes off.

“The purpose of this isn’t an act of exhibitionism; it’s an identification of the vulnerability of cyclists.

“If people are worried about their children they can walk into a side street for 20 seconds as we pass by. It’s a small concession to make in their daily lives for a group that feels very strongly about those killed and seriously injured on the roads in Worthing and the lack of suitable infrastructure for bike users.”

Riders will assemble at Splash Point by Marine Parade at 11am on July 2, and participants are encouraged to decorate their bikes and bodies with environmental and cycle-friendly messages.

The procession, accompanied by a fleet of sound systems, will head off at 12 noon, passing through George V Avenue and Sea Lane.

The event is part of National Bike Week. Participation is free.

To find out more about the event and how to take part, visit worldnakedbikeride.org/worthing.