- Title: MEXICO: Cyclists ride nude in anti-car protest
- Date: 14th June 2009
- Summary: MORE OF NUDE CYCLISTS GOING THROUGH TRAFFIC
- Embargoed: 29th June 2009 13:00
- Location: Mexico
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA1FNH1DQWJE93VKKC1BG3UTYCK
- Story Text: More than 100 naked cyclists rode through the streets of Mexico's capital on Saturday (June 13) to demand respect from drivers in a city choked with some 4 million vehicles.
The men and women, most of them nude, pedaled along Mexico City's historic Reforma Avenue to the vast Zocalo Square.
"The fact that it is a special type of protest makes the people notice us and we are fighting for rights. I think very little has been achieved and that cyclists and pedestrians have very few rights, especially here in Mexico City. Everyone here gets around by car. The only way we can make a point is by doing this," said cyclist and Mexico city resident Roderick Gutierrez.
To combat daily gridlock and chronic air pollution in the sprawling metropolis of about 20 million people, the capital's leftist government is promoting bicycle use and has begun building a network of cycling lanes.
But the lanes are still few and far between, so the city's growing number of cyclists must ride alongside old buses, trucks and stressed motorists.
"It's very gratifying, especially because car drivers will notice us cyclists and give us more respect, and also so the city will be more ecological," said Maika, a resident of Mexico City.
Mexico City is one of the world's most polluted capitals, along with Beijing, blighted by its thin, high-altitude air and a ring of surrounding mountains that traps exhaust fumes from buses and factories on the city outskirts.
Authorities have worked to remove the worst-polluting vehicles from the road. But as the capital's population grows, the city gains up to 250,000 new cars each year.
The bike ride in Mexico City is part of the World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) which protests against oil dependency and car culture.
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