Bare biking a real sea change

A record turnout for the Golden Bay World Naked Bike Ride indicates a "sea change in attitude towards transport", says ride organiser Bike Lanes in Paradise representative Victoria Davis.

Wearing little more than helmets and shoes, 110 people pedalled the two kilometres from Tarakohe to the Totally Roasted Cafe at Pohara for the seventh annual naked bike ride on Saturday. Similar rides also took place in Sydney and Brazil in the global event.

Far more bikers were totally nude in the clothing-optional ride this year, possibly encouraged by a High Court ruling just two weeks ago that riding a bike naked on a public road was not offensive behaviour.

Among the pro-cycling, anti-car slogans painted on riders' backs was Nigel Marsden's "My bum smells better than your car".

As riders regrouped outside Pohara Store, they were serenaded by two naked guitarists and many passing motorists tooted their horns in support.

"It's been one great big hilarious event, with a great turnout of fun-loving creative people and beautiful weather," Ms Davis said.

This year, the ride highlighted the 1.5-metre campaign, which calls for legislation to require drivers to give cyclists a wide berth of at least 1.5m as they pass.

Ms Davis said cyclists would hold the event every year "until we feel it's no longer necessary".

Third-time participant Kat Heeramaneck, of Rangihaeata, said she had almost been hit by a car twice when cycling on Bird Hill. "I would like to feel safe when I bike to work."

First-time participant Chantelle Waters, of Golden Bay, said she was taking part "to remind us of our free spiritedness. All bodies are beautiful".

Naked rider Ryan Carlton, of California, who was towing a full sound system in a trailer, said the promotion of pollution-free transport was a global issue. "People should drive less and bike more."

The event also attracted many spectators. Ant Peters, of Brisbane, said he had first heard about the event when picking up two hitchhikers earlier in the day.

"Some people are born exhibitionists," he said.

Another bystander, who declined to be named, said: "It's fun if you've got the balls to do it."


From Nelson Mail