Photo Friday: Naked bike riders in Cardiff

Cardiff, Wales, UK; June 2009


Here I was on a Saturday afternoon in June, hanging out in Cardiff Bay with my aunt and Welsh cousins. We were all enjoying the summer sunshine, the adults were drinking pear cider, and we were waiting for a break dancing show.

Suddenly a few dozen naked cyclists rode by. As you do.


I’d like to say that this sort of thing happens all the time in Wales but it doesn’t really. If anything, it’s more a San Francisco or London kinda thing. Actually this World Naked Bike Ride is a global event to protest cars. Kind of like Critical Mass but without the clothes and bolshie attitude. I mean this in the nicest possible way, but I have to admit that they look more like protesters on bikes than avid cyclists. Maybe it’s the lack of lycra.

Indecent exposure? They’re just naked and it’s not porn. I am not a lawyer and I don’t know if this is true, but someone told me that in the UK it’s only illegal to be naked in public if someone complains. Everyone in Cardiff Bay was clapping and cheering as the naked bike riders went by, so I guess they were fine.


I almost wished I had a bike to get me from London to Cardiff and back again. The journey is about two and a half hours from London by train, but I decided to save a few quid by taking the National Express bus. Foolish given it was a Friday afternoon. We hit heavy traffic and it turned into a five-hour journey – rather hellish since the stop-start driving also made me too nauseous to read.

Still, I was easy in the knowledge that at least I was getting the train back to London on the Monday and would have a comfortable journey and plenty of time to meet my friend for lunch. Unfortunately the travel gods were against me that weekend and we had a broken-down train on the track in front of us. We arrived at Paddington over an hour late and I was late to meet my friend, who doesn’t have a mobile phone.

When trains are more than an hour late in Britain, you are entitled to a refund of your ticket. I filled out the form for compensation from First Great Western, the train company, hoping for a cheque in the mail. Instead, they sent me train travel vouchers, worth £36, to be used within the year. I don’t have much use for them in California, so I’m going to give them away on the blog.

To enter, please leave a comment below, indicating you are entering the contest. You can either write a funny caption for the photos or you can share your own experience with delayed trains, planes and automobiles.

This post is part of Photo Friday, the weekly blogging event hosted by Debbie of Delicious Baby. Please check out all the other submissions this week.

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  1. My experience with trains also involves Welsh people !
    I was on a train from London to Swansea and it was packed with Welsh people, rugby fans, that sang the whole way home!
    .-= Win Holiday´s last blog ..Win a luxury holiday to Madeira =-.

  2. That’s so typical of the British Transport system – like when they don’t have change for a tenner on the local buses in Bristol and offer you an ‘change ticket’ instead. And then instead of being able to use it on the next bus, you have to go to an office somewhere and get your money back – as if!
    .-= Heather on her travels´s last blog ..Through the snowline on Mount Lebanon – in Lebanon =-.

  3. Well, now, this isn’t something you’d see in Detroit!

    The train company gave you travel vouchers? I remember filling out a form for my dad to get a refund from Amtrak for a delayed trip from Denver to Detroit…and they did credit his credit card for the money.
    I’ll be taking a train to Chicago for BlogHer…first train ride in quite a while. Wish it train travel was easier and more regularly accessible here in the States.
    .-= Dominique´s last blog ..Photo Friday: Calder in Toledo Ohio =-.

  4. ok, that’s kind of a scary site if you ask me. not that i have any problems with nudity. but it’s too much!
    .-= marina k. villatoro´s last blog ..A Gift From a Friend – Check out the New Banner on My Blog! =-.

    LOL! I know what you mean – they are certainly braver than I am. But hey, it happened in a public place with plenty of families around. To me, the overall impression is comical rather than rude. If you came here from Delicious Baby, Facebook or Twitter, then you can’t say you weren’t warned! I’ve flagged the photos as ‘moderate’ in Flickr too. – Caitlin.

  5. Um. Not sure what to say. They are VERY brave! Wow! :)
    .-= Angela K. Nickerson´s last blog ..Photo Friday: Swans in Ireland =-.

  6. EEK! …I notice that the women didn’t go Full Monty, if you know what I mean. That’s a relief – I was about to feel sympathy…irritation.
    .-= MudslideMama´s last blog ..Starbucks VIA Coffee for Travel =-.

    Some of the women WERE completely naked! I actually think it would be pretty bad for a guy – one of the reasons we had such a good view was because they were cycling standing up rather than seated! – Caitlin.

  7. World naked bike ride in Toronto was over 200 strong… Some of which I will be scarred for life..

    Great blog!

    Wow! That’s a lot of people. Cardiff is a pretty small city though – population is about 100,000. – Caitlin.

  8. This is a good way to protest, I remember the trains being annoying and havint set in their way rules which never work. Good pictures and story.
    .-= Cate´s last blog ..Photo Friday – North Korea, behind the wall and out of view =-.

  9. MagnersPear says:

    Oh my! That is not something you see everyday! noticed the appreciation for a pear cider -you might be interested in a fun competition running at the moment to win a case of Magners pear cider. 1st round of winners will be chosen at random from the Magners twitter and also from the Magners facebook fan page – to be in the running follow and join! 2nd round of winners will be chosen based on the level of activity/engagment demonstrated by the contestant so its good to get involved. Winners will be selected on Thursday – winners will be drawn every week – yes, every week! (must be over 18 and UK based!)

    Hi, Thanks for the info. I’m approving the comment as it may be of interest to some of my readers. I’m actually no longer living in the UK myself though. – Caitlin.

  10. Congratulations, Heather. You’ve won the rail vouchers. Sorry about the delay – I’ll pop them in the post for you this week. – Caitlin.

  11. hahaha! funny! dunno if id personally ride through cardiff like that tho!

  12. This is amazing! Nothing more than a expression of freedom. Just how God gave them life. All naturally!. Definitely, that is something not seen every day.

    I’m not sure they were born with all that body paint but otherwise, yeah! – Caitlin.
    Daniel Rios´s last [type] ..Bike rack for car