Naked riders brave the cold in Brighton

Aim is to celebrate cycling and protest against climate change

A group of cyclists shed their clothes and rode through Brighton to publicise the World Naked Bike Ride. They pedalled along the Madeira Drive seafront road wearing nothing but woolly hats, gloves and scarves.

Their aim was to promote the main Brighton naked ride on Sunday 14 June, and also to show solidarity with protesters in the southern hemisphere who are holding similar events this month.

The World Naked Bike Ride is an annual event celebrating cycling, protesting against climate change and demonstrating cyclists' vulnerability on the road. 

Rides will be held across the UK this summer, with the Brighton event forming the finale to a weekend of naked rides in southern England. Other cities taking part include Southampton, London, Manchester, Sheffield, York, Cardiff and Edinburgh.

Organisers hope to inspire hundreds of people to strip off for Brighton's fourth annual "bare as you dare" demonstration. Last year, 400 people cycled the easy eight-mile route through the city centre. 

Nick Sayers, who first brought the ride to Brighton in 2006, said: "The World Naked Bike Ride always gets a great response from crowds of onlookers – with incredulous gazes, smiles and laughter – and greatly boosts cyclists' confidence and feeling of liberation. When it comes to cycling, especially in the buff, there's considerable safety in numbers – more is definitely merrier!"

The event starts at noon with a naked lunch and body painting at The Level park, and finishes with a sea swim and picnic at the naturist beach in Kemp Town. The ride has a carnival atmosphere, with bikes adorned with flags and flowers, music, and bodies painted with slogans. 

Planning for the Brighton ride was officially launched on Friday 13 March at a clothing-optional film night. More pre-ride events and a post-ride party are being planned to get more people involved. People are also invited to join the ride's Facebook and Yahoo groups for up-to-date information.

Ride co-organiser Duncan Blinkhorn said: "Cars have become a symbol of over-consumption as we wake up to the threat they pose to life on earth. Our ride calls for less dependence on these unsustainable and dangerous vehicles, and more priority for the cheap and cheerful alternative that is cycling. I'm confident that this year we'll see more bikes and bodies than ever taking over Brighton's streets and joining in the chorus to The Bare Necessities."

About 400 people took part in last year's World Naked Bike Ride event in Brighton

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