Brazil: Cyclists hit Sao Paulo streets naked to demonstrate their susceptibility to traffic accidents

Over 30 semi-nude bikers hit the road in Sao Paulo, the biggest city in South America, to make drivers more aware of their “vulnerability” on the road. The majority of people using Paulista Boulevard, one of the main streets in Brazil’s financial centre, were nude, as reported by AFP.

One cyclist was completely coated in green paint from head to toe, with the exception of a Russian-style chapka on his helmet.

The group was participating in the International Naked Bike Ride’s Brazilian equivalent, known as Pedalada Pelada (Pedaling Bare).

“We are naked on one of Latin America’s biggest avenues, showing that we are vulnerable to the force, the violence of cars,” Allis Bezerra, a bearded 41-year-old photographer, told AFP.

He added: “This movement serves to demonstrate to society just how important we are. By using bikes as our means of transport, we take cars off the street that would be polluting the environment.”

The word “Sustainable Pedaling” was painted on the stomach of Andresa Aguida, a 43-year-old artist, before she started off bare-breasted on Paulista Avenue.

“Motorists show us no respect when we are riding,” she said. “They honk and seem to be saying: ‘Move or I’ll run you down.'”

A study released in June by the Brazilian Association of Traffic Medicine, or Abramet, found that more than 16,000 significant incidents involving cyclists resulted in hospitalisations — 44 every day on average.

The second Pedalada Pelada demonstration, which will take place in the streets of Rio de Janeiro, is scheduled for next Saturday.

(With inputs from agencies)

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