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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 June, 2004, 19:40 GMT 20:40 UK
Protest cyclists opt to cover up
The cyclists eventually chose to cover up for their protest
The cyclists eventually chose to cover up for their protest
A group of campaigners has decided against riding naked through the centre of Edinburgh to protest about Britain's reliance on petrol.

The group had planned to strip off and cycle through the city as part of the World Naked Bike Ride Day against oil dependency and climate change.

But eventually they completed their ride with their clothing on.

A spokesman said: "Around 60 to 70 riders turned out - mostly in shorts or bikinis, scantily clad but not naked."

Police presence

Police were monitoring the event and had said that any naked cyclists would be arrested for indecent exposure.

The protest spokesman added: "There may have been people who got naked but they quickly disappeared on arrival of the police."

The protestors, organised by Edinburgh Critical Mass, set out from the Meadows and cycled over the bridges into Broughton Street and on to Inverleith Park for the annual Treefest event.

Organiser Lucy Anderson said cyclists had worn clothing after local residents condemned the event as "obscene".

She said: "The naked cycle ride is a brilliant idea but if it offends people that much we were willing to adapt.

"We are not there to upset people, we are there to draw attention to protecting cyclists, promoting cycle lanes and looking after the environment."

Ms Anderson said that around 100 well-wishers had cheered them on their way.

Dangerous threat

She described oil dependency and climate change as "the most serious threat of our time, even more dangerous than terrorism".

Secretary of the Marchmont and Sciennes Community Council Susie Agnew, 52, who earlier condemned the event, said it was "wiser" to wear some clothes.

She had earlier said that riding nude would draw more attention to nakedness than to the issues the campaigners were concerned about.

"My four teenage children would probably laugh if they saw it but for people with young children and for older people it could be offensive," she had commented.

Similar events are planned to take place in London, San Francisco, Toronto and Golden Bay in New Zealand.

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