World Naked Bike Ride – London

What experiences are still on your “things to do” list? Ever wanted to cycle naked? Ever wanted to cycle naked around London? Ever wanted to cycle naked around London with lots of other naked people in front of thousands of tourists? Well on Saturday 10th June you have that chance as the ‘World Naked Bike Ride’ rolls into town!

I first heard about the naked bike ride when I arrived at King’s Cross station with the intention of meeting my travel blogger friend Sarah near Oxford Street. A tall chap outside the station entrance asked if I was here for the “naked bike ride”. Intrigued I said “yes” and proceeded to cycle up King’s Boulevard to Granary Square to see what was going on.

Some people were semi-naked while others covered up all their bits

Some people were semi-naked while others covered up all their bits

What was going on was hordes of cyclists congregating and one-by-one getting naked! Some reluctantly at first but others with gusto, revealing body paint, slogans and generally a lot of bare flesh. Certain faces and “bits” starred out in the photos below to protect peoples’ modesty.

Not wanting to look too interested in partaking I hung back, while not wanting to look too interested either, i.e. a pervert. However an organiser was keen to shepherd people into position so before I knew it I was stripped down down to my black Calvin Klein boxers (I stripped myself down and wasn’t aided in this process) and I was part of the gathered procession.

Unbeknown to me at the time my friend was just 50m ahead and had actually planned to take part. I only found he was there too later that week. So there I was, on my 1980s childhood BMX cycling along with lots and lots of naked people!

A light traffic jam as we head towards Piccadilly

A light traffic jam as we head towards Piccadilly

I’d arrived at King’s Cross alone so didn’t feel overly conspicuous but groups of mixed sex friends seemed slightly awkward, especially the groups you knew were doing his for the first time together.

Not everyone was naked I might add. Some were in their underwear, some were topless, and of course many were completely starkers. Bizarrely those who wore full underwear or bikinis looked more out of place and noticeable than everybody else. A case of naked safety in numbers I guess!

Naked bike ride London ambling along

Naked bike ride London ambling along

What lead to many cheers enroute was normal, clothed cyclists going about their business simply stopping, stripping and joining in with the ride! One student I met at Russell Square was early for a lunch appointment, asked me what was going on, and then promptly got me to hold her bike while she de-robed and then took part for half an hour or so. I wonder if she ever did tell her friends what she’d just been doing when she arrived at the restaurant?

Lots of people were fully naked

Lots of people were fully naked

I cycled all the way to County Hall by the London Eye before finally whipping off my boxers and … and nobody battered an eyelid! Although it wasn’t the warmest of days might I add! πŸ˜‰ But it really was the case that being naked felt pretty normal within the gathered masses … and that’s the reason all these people were there in the first place … as well as supporting the ride’s cause against our dependency on oil of course.

Only when riding near Piccadilly did I feel a bit exposed and that was when a bus pulled out separating me from the pack and I became the “lead” lone cyclist as I reached a big group of tourists with no one else to share their initial gazing eyes. But as you’re cycling along at a certain pace any gawping group of bystanders are soon passed by.

You actually stood out more if you weren't naked!

You actually stood out more if you weren’t naked!

Any tips?

  • Take a backpack to put your clothes in
  • Maybe wear sunglasses to hide behind
  • Hope for a warm day!
  • Be weary of hiring ‘Boris Bikes’ the next day as many naked people were hiring them!
  • Ultimately just go for it!

What’s the worse that could happen? … other than possibly meeting a work colleague or a friend casually walking along the pavement enroute.

Anybody taking part this year? If so also check out the WNBR London Facebook page πŸ™‚

There were lots of pauses along the way

There were lots of pauses along the way

A junior suite in The Savoy

In May I turned 40. No biggie. I dealt with and moved on, but this happy occasion gave me the excuse to spend a night in The Savoy with my girlfriend!Β The Savoy beingΒ a luxurious London hotel located along The Strand. We were fortunate to be offered a junior suite upgrade and this is what it was like.
The Savoy Rolls-Royce with personalised number plate

The Savoy Rolls-Royce with personalised number plate

On arrival we walked into the taxi/limo dropoff “Savoy Court” which is the entrance set back way off the street! The turning circle of thich is 25′ – to this day this is the legally required turning circle of all London taxis apparently. On entering through the revolving door we were met by staff who guided us through to a greeting area. This was the first time I’d ever been sat down in a comfortable chair at a vintage desk while two staff welcomed us and checked us in. I guess it’s hardly The Travelodge but something different all the same. Our room wasn’t quite ready as we’d arrived early, but nothing a complementary cocktail in The American Bar wouldn’t fix. Not wanting to take advantage we happily “settled” for a couple of Β£18 cocktails (the cheapest on the menu) but both delicious and washed down with complementary snacks which kept being refilled everyΒ  10 minutes. I almost treated it as lunch, especially as the stuffed olives were the tastiest I’ve ever eaten! πŸ™‚ The waiter explained the history of the drinks we were having but sadly I can’t remember what my one was called, but the one on the right was a ‘Punk Rock’ consisting of Bacardi Superior rum. Maybe I’ll have to go back to work out what I had!
American Bar cocktails

American Bar cocktails

Shortly afterwards we headed to our room to find our luggage carefully laid out in the room and did the standard rush around the room “discovery dash”. In front of us was the room’s foyer/dressing area, to the left the bedroom and to the right the opulent, checkered floored bathroom, with shower and separate claw footed bathtub. What was particularly special, whether it’s done for every guest or not, was the welcome letter from the manager, chocolate cake and nibbles. Nice touches that I’ve never experienced anywhere else either.
Our Savoy welcome card

Our Savoy welcome card

The Savoy junior suite welcome cake and nibbles

The Savoy junior suite welcome cake and nibbles

Savoy junior suite bedroom

Savoy junior suite bedroom

We wanted to make the most of The Savoy itself, and as London is where we both work, there was no need to go off sightseeing, so we lounged around in the hotel room pretty much all afternoon playing tunes out of the Ruark DAB radio, before a pleasant pre-theatre meal downstairs in Kaspar’s Seafood Bar & Grill. If we’d realised that the Savoy had an adjoining theatre (the Savoy theatre) and that Sheridan Smith was in the play ‘Funny Girl’ we’d have gone there instead rather than the arduous 100m walk to the West End πŸ˜‰

Kasper's seafood bar and grill pre theatre

Kasper’s seafood bar and grill pre theatre

The famous Savoy Court

The famous Savoy Court

On returning to the hotel post-play we found the bedside lights had been dimmed, slippers laid out by the bed and a bottle of water prepared on the bedside table, but before that it was time to crack open the champagne and take a dip in the deep white clawfoot bathtub … but I’m not showing any pictures of that part of our stay apart from the Instagram photo below.
So The Savoy lived up to, and surpassed all expectations providing many nice personalised touches. I felt very fortuante to be able to stay there for the night as a guest and not just as a curious member of the public popping in for a quick nose around the foyer or ‘Afternoon Tea’ … but that looked lovely too, so I’m sure we’ll go back sometime soon all being well.
The Savoy junior suite bathroom

The Savoy junior suite bathroom

The Savoy's Thames foyer afternoon tea room

The Savoy’s Thames Foyer afternoon tea room