In an effort to stem the loss of cyclists in traffic accidents, bikers in São Paulo, Brazil, took to the streets to protest on Monday for the World Naked Bike Ride. They wore helmets, hats, shoes, and not much else. Protesters painted slogans and signs on their bare bodies.
Bicycling reports that thousands were in the crowd to raise awareness.
World Naked Bike Ride is usually a free-spirited event to raise awareness about cycling and body positivity, but like in years past, this Brazilian iteration has a political edge as well.
After one grisly traffic incident in 2013, even the mayor of São Paulo became involved when the local cycling community stepped up in protest. But the mayor’s promise to improve conditions haven’t come to fruition and from 2010 to 2015, 8,500 bicyclists were killed in Brazil.
Cycling deaths are on the rise in the United States as well. More bikes are hitting the road than in previous years, and with that, an increased risk for accidents and fatalities. Bicycling reports that 818 American cyclists died in 2015, and that number stands to increase further. However, many cities are looking into new ways to install bike lanes or barriers, increasing penalties for reckless drivers.
Those are the kind of measures bicyclists in Brazil are demanding. Women are more likely to bike when there are better safety laws. In the U.S. and other countries, many women choose other commuting options because of relaxed safety rules or harassment.