Cork’s World Naked Bike Ride 2012

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The World Naked Bike Ride is an international event recognised in 78 countries in some 200 cities. To date, Cork is the only Irish city to have held the ride, and has done so every year since 2009.

THE ORGANISERS of the 2012 World Naked Bike Ride wish to say a big thank you to the people of Cork for their loud support yesterday. Hundreds of shoppers looked on amid cheers, clapping and shouts of encouragement on as the 110 cyclists rolled through the city centre streets in a 90 minute cycle. Whole families smiled and waved us on in the beautiful afternoon sunshine as the colourful procession glided through the streets.

On the steps of City Hall, Councillor Jim Corr deputising for Lord Mayor John Buttimer, welcomed the riders and posed for photos with them. The cyclists included many participants who had just taken part in the successful assault on the world record for the greatest number of bodies painted earlier in the day in Camden Palace Hotel, one of the country’s most popular community arts centres.

Naked Bike Ride 2012 in Cork City . Photo Bronwen Howley

Naked Bike Ride 2012 in Cork City . Photo Bronwen Howley

The ride started from Camden Palace at 3.00pm and proceeded across Christy Ring Bridge, down the quays to the Bus Station where it turned right, and stopped at City Hall where the Deputy Lord Mayor was made an honorary steward for the ride. Then it was back through Parnell Place, and on to Merchants Quay. The planned route down Patricks Street was changed at the last moment in favour of a photo shoot in front of Cork Opera House. From there the ride travelled west along the quays, and down Grattan Street where residents came out of their houses applauding the riders.

Even though Gardai stopped traffic to allow the riders pass through some red traffic lights, the stewards had the riders so well drilled that nobody broke the line.

At the end of Grattan Street the ride turned onto Washington Street and towards Grand Parade, turning right onto the South Mall, and crossing the river to pass City Hall for a second time. Then it was around Anglesea Street Garda Station and across the South Link Road at the Elysian Tower. It was a truly magnificent sight, seeing the wonderful art work in a long line bringing vibrant colour to the greyness of many buildings on the streets.

Then it was straight to Penrose Wharf, and back along the quays to Camden Palace, where a large crowd had gathered, again applauding the riders as they arrived back at their starting point.

Naked Bike Ride 2012 in Cork City . Photo Bronwen Howley

Naked Bike Ride 2012 in Cork City . Photo Bronwen Howley

Spokesperson for the group, Joe Collins, praised the riders for their courage and commitment. The principle of the ride is that riding naked demonstrates just how defenceless cyclists are in a collision. Slogans painted on cyclists bodies carried this message. One read “You dent, I die”. Another said “Can you see me now, driver” and a third carried the message “We are traffic too”. Yet another proclaimed “You own a car, not the road!”.

The World Naked Bike Ride is an international event recognised in 78 countries in some 200 cities. To date, Cork is the only Irish city to have held the ride, and has done so every year since 2009.

Naked Bike Ride 2012 in Cork City . Photo Bronwen Howley

Naked Bike Ride 2012 in Cork City . Photo Bronwen Howley

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