WEARING nothing but their safety helmets, scores of cyclists hit the streets of Southampton last night for the city’s sixth Naked Bike Ride.

More than 100 bold riders set off in the buff on a tour of the city to encourage people to dump the car and go green.

To the amazement of unsuspecting passers-by about 150 people showed off a little more than their pedal power for the protest ride which campaigns about the country’s car culture and dependency on oil.

With many sporting little more than colourful slogans and pictures, they also wanted to highlight the vulnerability of cyclists on the roads.

Poignantly this year’s event was dedicated to former university lecturer Mark Brummell, a former member of the Southampton Cycling Campaign, who was killed in an accident while cycling in the New Forest last month and there was a minute’s silence in his memory.

The ride started and finished at Southampton Common, attracting bemused and amused onlookers on a six-mile course through Portswood and the city centre.

Drivers honked their horns in support as the cyclists of all ages, shapes and sizes pedalled through the cold temperatures.

Southampton Organiser Rob Jordan told the Daily Echo the ride was about having fun while driving home a serious message.

He said: “Although cycling is very healthy and a great way to get around it does have its risks.

“This is about making people aware of cyclists on the roads.

“I’d like more people to get out on their bikes and we also want people who design junctions and plan road layouts to think bike.

“I think the atmosphere is outstanding and it’s amazing everyone has made such an effort. Regardless of the cold weather people are stripping off and it’s just great to have their support.”