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Nude Canterbury cyclists to take part in World Naked Bike Ride with stiff new rules after complaints to police

By Lowri Stafford

Cyclists are gearing up to bare all today for a naked bike ride through Canterbury.

But they have been hit with a series of stiff new rules after last year's event sparked complaints to police about "inappropriate behaviour".

The riders are due to meet at Canterbury Castle at 2pm to set off on the World Naked Bike Ride at 3pm before finishing at the city council offices in Military Road.

The World Naked Bike Ride in Canterbury aimed to raise awareness of issues affecting cyclists

Those who only want to leer at the riders have been warned to stay away, with those taking part told not to pose naked with spectators - and to cover themselves up if they become "aroused".

Organiser Simon Terry said: "Regrettably, we were let down by a small minority of the participants in the 2013 ride, who ignored our requests and also behaved inappropriately.

"In short, they were there for their own benefit and not for the benefit and purpose of promoting and supporting the World Naked Bike Ride."

Following discussions with police bosses, organisers have arranged for the ride to go ahead as long as restrictions are followed.

Mr Terry added: "If you are thinking of coming to the start or finish area not to participate but just because you 'like seeing naked girls' (as one creep told the media last year) the police have been informed and have been asked to remove you."

Riders are also being told to carry clothing with them and dress immediately if they are forced to drop out for any reason.

A rider on last year's naked bike ride gives a message to critics

The guidance continues: "Do not leave your bike to approach pedestrians if you are naked. This will be regarded as you choosing to leave the ride and police could take action against you.

"Respect other riders, especially if they choose to ride naked. We have been requested not to pose naked with any members of the public."

And in a "special and important message to male participants", Mr Terry added: "Should you become aroused, you WILL pull over to the side of the road and cover yourself or dress immediately.

"The nudity is specifically to draw attention to how vulnerable cyclists are when riding alongside motor vehicles, not to draw attention to you as an individual. Nudity in the Canterbury World Naked Bike Ride is NOT an excuse for self-exhibitionism."

Police said they held discussions with organisers after concerns raised last year included reports that a man had an erection.

There is no law against being nude in public in Britain, but using nudity to intentionally "harass, alarm or distress" is an offence.

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