Naked Bike Ride in Cologne joins world call for safer, cleaner streets | News | DW | 12.07.2019
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Naked Bike Ride in Cologne joins world call for safer, cleaner streets

About 60 bicyclists bared nearly all to cycle around the western city of Cologne promoting safety on the streets. German laws restrained the Naked Bike Ride motto 'bare as you dare' to a degree of modesty.

Sixty bicyclists took part in the first "Naked Bike Ride" in Cologne on Friday. The event is part of a global series which started in Canada in 2003 to raise awareness of cycling as a healthy transport option.

In Cologne, the two-wheelers wanted to make a particular statement by wearing so little: "We want to point out that we bicyclists are the most vulnerable users of the road," said organizer Christian Stunz ahead of the ride.

The cyclists, whose ages ranged from 20 to 60, started their journey from the center of Cologne at the Rudolfplatz, and went over the Deutzer Bridge to the other side of the Rhine before passing by the Dom cathedral in the center of the city and pedaling on to their destination of the Heumarkt in the old town.

The Naked Bike Ride passed Cologne's landmark Dom cathedral

The Naked Bike Ride passed Cologne's landmark Dom cathedral

Stunz also emphasized the lighter side of the event: "First and foremost it should, of course, be fun," he said. "But we also want to make a publicity drive for bikes." Wider bicycle lanes on roads and more attention to be given to bicyclists in traffic are two other campaign aims.

Under German law, totally nudity is not permitted in public (except in designated areas like beaches) and so the participants were unable to reveal all.

A global movement

Other Naked Bike Rides around the world, such as the one in Brighton on the southern English coast, were able to ride utterly unclothed as they promoted bicycling as a health, environmentally-friendly transport option.

The Naked Bike Ride in Mexico City last month drew attention to the high pollution levels in the traffic-choked city of 20 million people and 4 million cars.

First organized in 2003 by Conrad Schmidt in Canada, Naked Bike Rides have been held all over the work since to "deliver a vision of a cleaner, safer, body-positive world."

Under the motto "bare as you dare" the rides have been organized for fun and to capture the attention of pedestrians, motorists and the media while extolling the merits of the bicycle.

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jm/msh (dpa, EFE)

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