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Naked cyclists in Mexico pedal power protest

Thousands strip bare to send message against aggressive driving, pollution and conservative attitudes.

Last Modified: 09 Jun 2013 07:36
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By stripping bare, the cyclists also took a swipe at prevailing conservatism [Reuters]

Naked and scantily-clad cyclists in Mexico braved saddle sores to protest against a number of bugbears – including aggressive drivers, C02 emissions from cars and conservative attitudes to dressing.

An estimated 3,000 demonstrators, some of whom were fully naked, cycled 12 miles in a protest that ended in Guadalajara, the largest city in the state of Jalisco, as part of World Naked Bike Ride.

A further 2,000 streamed through Mexico City. Some slapped "fragile" stickers on their bodies or painted messages on their skin: "More bicycles, less pollution," and "the city is for everyone, let bikes pass."

By stripping bare, the cyclists aimed to highlight the fragility of riders, and the risks they face, on busy roads.

But for the protesters in Guadalajara, it was also a chance to take a swipe at the conservative climate in that state.

“It's a very conservative city, and I believe that daring to [cycle with ] pushes beyond the limits of the Catholic sense of morality,” said Lucia Escalante, 27,  who was dressed in a bathing suit. “That's why it's more important to show here that we are free.”

The World Naked Bike Ride movement began on June 12, 2004, in Vancouver, Canada, and has been held every year in 29 cities around the world since then.

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