In late June 2017 I will be setting off on a 4,000 mile cycling expedition that will cross 16 countries in Europe.
It’s called ‘Europe’s Most Minimal Cycle Tour’ because I’ll be travelling between naturist clubs & resorts along the route. The distance between them is manageable because the coverage is so widespread. The link on the main page has what is one of the most accurate comprehensive interactive maps of organisations, clubs and resorts and there is still a lot more to add.
Over the years I’ve been very body conscious and dissatisfied with my appearance; looking back and reflecting on photographs at times I’ve been thin but at the time viewed myself through a different negative lens.
Goldsmiths University research published in January 2017 found that participation in naturist activities helps build a more positive body image, and higher self-esteem.
In 2015 I tried a naturist holiday in France and since then other activities; I felt the same benefits and so along the way I’ve advocated the lifestyle, promoted options online and raised awareness of options to friends and colleagues.
The two charities I am raising money for are BEAT, the UK’s Eating Disorder Charity, and BDDF, The Body Dysmorphic Foundation. Their work is all about researching new ways to improving peoples lives who suffer from body image and eating disorder related illnesses, and at the same time helping them directly.
It’s not practical to cycle naked along the route and attitudes vary from place to place but at most of the clubs nudity is encouraged and many have a mandatory nudity policy, especially in certain areas or while taking part in activities.
I hope that coverage of the trip along with the growing number of articles and resources on this website will inspire people to go to local events and to try holidays. I think social nudity can help both people who are suffering from body image issues and generally the public for leisure enjoyment and positive mental health benefits.
Another big benefit for cycling is having so much less weight and bulk to carry which would otherwise have made doing it largely unsupported unrealistic.
Many of the clubs and resorts already encourage cyclists to use them and I hope it will inspire others to go on similar trips using the resources I’m providing in the maps section of the site.
There is such a diverse range of sport and leisure activities to try, locally and abroad, and the people who are involved are non judgemental, relaxed, friendly and easy going.
I’m hoping to take part in a lot of great sports and cultural activities at the places I visit and so for each location, activity and leg of the route I will write articles on my own and other people’s experiences.
Check out British Naturism’s website for more information on what is local to you.