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Sunday, June 10, 2007

World Naked Bike RideThe trouble with spending a Saturday morning at the World Naked Bike Ride (as a spectator, not a participant, I hasten to add) is that it's hard to find any photos I can post without having to reclassify this blog as a porn site. I think the pic on the left features the least number of genitals of all my photos, although someone in the background has got the horn, but others I've been forced to censor...

... although possibly I've made that one even more offensive.

Anyhoo, I was supposed to be covering this thing for The Kemptown Rag (in what I like to call an exposé of nudity), so my plan was to make my way down to the official starting point at The Level, mingle with the naked people for a bit, wave them off on their journey, and then walk back to meet them in Kemp Town for the local angle on the story. All of which would have worked perfectly had I not been distracted by the charity shops in London Road, spent too long considering a pair of Gucci shoes for twenty quid, and failed to get back here in time. But hey, at least I was there at the start. What more do they want?

And let's face it, the start is where it was all happening. I came within inches of being featured on a BBC news report, fully expect to be in tomorrow's Argus, and with the number of camcorders being waved in my face, I'm bound to turn up on YouTube by the end of the week.

It's not easy taking photos of naked people without looking like some kind of voyeur, so I made sure I had a pad and pen with me, making it clear that I was a member of her majesty's gutter press, and not just there to photograph penises. Someone else had gone one stage further, wearing a fluorescent jacket with the words 'LEGAL OBSERVER' on the back. I presume that's the newspaper he was from.

Limbering UpSo I spent an enjoyable half hour clearing a path through the private parts and meeting some of the country's leading environmentally-aware nudists. Some had painted catchy slogans on their backs, such as "Bikes Not Bombs" (I didn't realise it was a choice), "One Less Car", and the particularly good "It's Oil Over", while others were merely content to strip down to their helmets. Cycle helmets, that is. Interestingly, whilst I didn't see any totally nude women, you couldn't walk more than two yards in any direction without bumping into a bloke in his birthday suit. I don't know what that says about the differences between the sexes. Maybe men just care more about the environment.

Anyhoo, having had a close encounter with a naked chap on a five-foot high unicycle (it's hard to ignore a man whose genitals are at eye-level), I tried to position myself in front of the Argus photographer, before waving off the nudists and heading for the shops. Ninety minutes later I was back in Kemp Town wondering how everyone had been and gone so fast. That's the trouble with naked people - they're far too aerodynamic.