Jesse Schust is the American-born organiser of the London ride, which drew almost 1 000 participants to the finish at Hyde Park Corner on Saturday, where camera-wielding spectators caused traffic jams. He insists naked cyclists are not naturists. “Given the opportunity to have a skinny dip, I’ll go for it,” he says. “But that’s the limit of my interest in nudity.”
Schust, 41, exposes himself not in protest against clothing but car culture, climate change and our dependency on oil. “I’ve been involved in environmental protests before,” he explains. “Increasingly I found myself burned out by the negative reception. People are sympathetic about climate change but often look on at protests with an expression of pain or sadness.” During naked bike rides, he says, “People look on with a sense of joy and amazement. Using humour and celebration as an approach in protest was a whole new thing for me.”
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