You can leave your hat on: Dozens take part in naked bike ride through Cork city 

The Irish leg, and indeed the Irish other parts, of the World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) hit Cork yesterday and 72 cyclists in various stages of undress took to the streets to make a fun but very serious point.
You can leave your hat on: Dozens take part in naked bike ride through Cork city 

Cyclists for the World Naked Bike Ride Cycle down Patrick Street. Picture: David Hegarty

There was good news on Saturday for anyone uncomfortable with the sight of cyclists in tight lycra, when 72 cyclists not wearing tight lycra, or, in some cases, anything else, took to the streets of Cork.

The Irish leg, and indeed the Irish other parts, of the World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) hit Cork yesterday and 72 cyclists in various stages of undress took to the streets to make a fun but very serious point.

WNBR is a protest designed to highlighting the dangers cyclists endure on the road, and it was founded in 2002 when six cyclists were killed on the roads in Zaragoza, Spain.

Cyclists for the World Naked Bike Ride make good use of the cycle lane on Washington Street. Picture: David Hegarty
Cyclists for the World Naked Bike Ride make good use of the cycle lane on Washington Street. Picture: David Hegarty

When TV road safety adverts in the wake of the tragedy seemed to be primarily aimed at keeping car drivers safe, a group of people decided to do a naked bike ride to attract media attention.

Even in an area where locals were accustomed to nudity on beaches, a group of naked bike riders in shopping areas caused people to take note.

The Cork cycle set off from the Marina Market on Saturday afternoon, with many cyclists sporting eye-catching, if not high-viz, body paint, heading up to UCC, back down Pana to City Hall, and returning to the Circus Factory.

One of the organisers, David Hegarty, said the weather had been perfect, and the reaction from passers-by had been almost universally good-humoured.

“The road safety point of today was that cyclists are extremely vulnerable road-users and they don’t get seen by drivers, so today was really the one day where you could not not see a cyclist,” Mr Hegarty said.

“In fairness, it’s hard not to see a cyclist when there’s 72 of them, and they’re naked and covered in colourful paint and they’re wearing sparklers and wigs and they’re hollering.” 

He said participants dressed, or didn’t, however they felt most comfortable.

“Some people went fully bare, and for others, men or women, taking off their top would be a big deal” Mr Hegarty said.,

“Really, it’s all about whatever people are happy with. Naked is whatever naked means to you.” 

After the event, he said, the participants headed for an unspecified pub, for a well-earned drink.

Presumably, the dress code was optional.

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