Naked Mexican cyclists riding against drivers

Naked Mexican cyclists riding against drivers

MEXICO CITY - Agence France-Presse
Naked Mexican cyclists riding against drivers

Nude and semi-nude cyclists ride through the streets of Mexico City, Saturday, June 8, 2013. Cyclists demonstrated naked to promote the use of bicycles and to highlight the damage caused by car dependency in the capital. AP Photo/Marco Ugarte

Naked cyclists take part in the World Naked Bike Ride to protest against cars, gas emissions from cars and agressive drivers in Mexico.

Thousands of Mexican cyclists rode naked June 8 to protest aggressive drivers and carbon emissions from cars and the conservativeness of central Mexico’s Jalisco state, organizers said.

Some 3,000 demonstrators, some bare head to toe, others in bathing suits or underwear, braved catcalls and embarrassed smiles from residents as they biked some 20 kilometers to end up in Guadalajara, the biggest city in Jalisco state.

In downtown Mexico City, nearly 2,000 bikers, naked or scantily clad, also demonstrated. 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 for the ride, 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.

Beyond the limits

“It’s a very conservative city, and I believe that daring to (cycle naked) pushes beyond the limits of the Catholic sense of morality,” said bathing suit-clad Lucia Escalante, participating in the rally for the first time.

“That’s why it’s more important to show here that we are free,” the 27-year-old added.

Jalisco has in recent years hosted a number of similarly provocative events, including Mexico’s biggest gay pride parade.