GreenScraps

14/06/2009

Picture: From the 2007 London Naked Bike Ride

As Europe recovers from the excitement of last weekend – the affirmation of our very own European environmental guru, Yann Arthus-Bertrand and the release of the nature documentary of all nature documentaries on the one hand, on the other the disappointing results of the EU elections announcing the dawn of a difficult new era ahead for all social economy enthusiasts – this weekend’s global naked pedal fest comes as a breath of fresh air to remind us that LIFE CAN BE FUN!!

Take off your clothes, jump on a bike (or roller blades) and ride. The idea is as simple as it is cost effective and although the event hasn’t received the media coverage it deserves (in my experience naked people are rarely taken seriously when they are in public and never unless they are babes) just knowing that it is going on gives me hope. Really, it does.

Pedalling makes a statement about oil, traffic and health. Pedalling en masse makes a statement about the urgency of all of the above. Pedalling naked makes a statement about going back to nature, about accepting your body for what it is and about the dangers of riding a bike in the city (for those who don’t quite get it, the key word here is vulnerability). Pedalling naked en masse down the streets of some of the world’s largest capitals is bound to make both a statement and for a wickedly good time. Watch this video if you don’t believe me!

Being naked is pretty much the most natural thing that could happen to us, and we do it all the time at home. Yet in most western cultures we seem to abhor the idea of getting our kit off in public, especially if we lack The Body that only comes from strict dieting and lots of workouts in the gym (and that – alas! – few of us actually posess).

In a speech at Ted, Yann Arthus-Betrand said that our problem is that we don’t believe what we know. Indeed, many of the world’s environmental problems are incredibly well documented – we know for a fact that deforestation is both unethical and dangerous, that hundreds of species are on the brink of extinction and that the glaciers of the world are melting and yet there go the world’s forests, animals and ice tree by tree, creature by creature, drop by drop.

He is right, of course. But although I am no psychologist I have a theory that the brain switch that makes us forget what naturally feels good and convinces us to cover up and hide our bodies away from view in shame is the same switch that allows us to turn a blind eye to the world around us. Our problem is not so much that we don’t believe what we know as that we don’t have the courage to do things differently.

Riding a bike naked is a different kind of ride but it requires exactly the same amount of effort as when you’ve got your clothes on. In fact, its probably a heck of a lot more fun!  The same goes for living a lifestyle that works with the planet instead of against it. So what are we waiting for?

To organize your own naked pedal fest or to gawk at the amusing pictures: www.worldnakedbikeride.org

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Rose Hackman

15 June 2009, ore 10.49

Hmmm… I almost feel inspired to start biking naked myself!

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Paolo

15 June 2009, ore 17.23

this blog is freaking hardcore!

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Kiruba

29 October 2010, ore 10.15

I am not so much bought into biking naked and I am sure I will never be but I am very, very sure nature is screaming. Even though I believe in God, I never considered natural calamities as “Act of God” Natural calamities are simply the means nature communicating with us the damage we have brought to her.

So what are to do to at our personal level to care for nature and environment. First of all, we have to think globally and act locally. Let me ask myself, “Have I done anything that would have damaged nature today”? And as we evolve for betterment, the subsequent question would be “What have I done to help nature today”?
Secondly we must look at the earth as our very own home. We are mentally confined to our own physical house as our home and therefore never bothered about the earth and its other inhabitants. Imagine someone comes to our house and begins implementing detrimental and destructive measures. Would we keep quiet?

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Daisy Daker

29 October 2010, ore 13.09

Kiruba, thanks for your comment. I am not too sure why talking about nakedness brought up the topic of God, but I guess the mind works in mysterious ways too! I actually beg to differ with you and with the Christian view that the earth is our “home” and “garden” and that we are its keepers, that it is our duty to look after and nurture it. Nature is wild and wonderful, strange creatures and plants inhabited the planet far before we did and will no doubt inhabit it far after the last of our species dies. Certainly we should tread lightly, certainly it is immoral to hunt animals into extinction, to poison ecosystems and turn beautiful natural areas into amusement parks for the masses. I don’t think we should be entitled to that right myself, but not because I believe that God meant for me to look after “my” garden. Isn’t it a bit presumptuous to think that the complexity of the natural world is there simply for us to manage and control? That it is there simply to provide for our needs? So, Kiruba, let me be an agent provocateur: in your quest to be a better person, what have you done for nature today?

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