PEDESTRIANS and motorists alike could bare-ly believe their eyes last night as scores of cyclists stripped off for Southampton’s annual Naked Bike Ride.
Now in its eighth year, it attracted around 50 brave men and women looking to promote green travel and protest against the dangers faced by cyclists including poor road planning, bad driving and use of fossil fuels.
Some covered their modesty with bikinis and shorts but the majority were kitted out in their birthday suits as they rode a six-mile route around Southampton Common.
There were also creative attempts to obscure private parts using flamboyant hats, masks and body paint to draw the eye away.
And they received a good reception with onlookers reacting with good humour.
Dominic Crockford, 44, a computer software consultant of Winchester, said: “It’s all quite amusing and if people want to express themselves in this way I think it’s fine they do so.”
The event proved very popular with the city’s Asian community with hundreds turning out to watch the riders, creating one of the biggest audiences the ride has ever had according to regulars.
This year’s event was a close-run thing, organised at just six weeks’ notice due to the usual co-ordinator taking part in a ride from Prague to Copenhagen.
But Ian Henden, organiser of the Portsmouth event, stepped in and said he was pleased with the turnout.
He said: “If you look around, you will see no airbrushed people but only ordinary human beings. There is nothing wrong with the human body. God created man naked; it was sinners who came up with clothes so we have nothing to be ashamed of.”