World Naked Bike Ride in Golden Bay draws 100 nude protesters
Wearing helmets, body paint and very little else, about 100 cyclists stripped off for New Zealand's largest annual nude bike ride in Golden Bay.
Clothing was optional and participants were encouraged to ride "as bare as they dared" throughout the 10-kilometre route from Pohara to Central Takaka on Saturday.
The World Naked Bike Ride event, which has been running for 13 years in Takaka and abroad, is touted as the "biggest naked protest in the world".
The global grassroots event takes place in 17 countries and is aimed at raising awareness for safer cycling conditions as an alternative to motorised vehicles and the need to reduce fossil fuels.
It has become a popular event for naturists, or nudists, who travel from all over the country to strip off in the protest.
First-time World Naked Bike Ride event organiser, Jeremy Kelleher from Christchurch, is the New Zealand Naturist Federation South Island vice president.
He said the federation took over last year from long-time Golden Bay organiser and event founder, Victoria Davis, because it didn't want to lose the event.
"We want to make sure [the event] keeps going.The idea is to promote safer cycling and fewer fossil fuels, but as time's gone on, it's also become a protest for the natural body and from moving away from glorifying it with clothes and makeup," he said.
"We're beautiful just the way we are."
Naturists Matt and Julie Alexander from Hawkes Bay said they were protesting for better road safety for cyclists.
Dale Salmon from the Bay of Islands said she had been a naturist for 18 months.
"Now, I can't keep my clothes on," she said.
"It's absolute freedom, and you meet really lovely people. We do the same things as everyone else; we have gatherings, lunches, picnics, and we just do it naked."
Casey Reagan from California said she didn't have a bike, but she just came to support the naked bikers by getting naked with them.
"We're travellers, and we do a lot of naked rock climbing together. New Zealand is really into bringing the 'naked' out in people," she said.
Golden Bay cyclists have been lobbying for safe cycleways in the area for over a decade. A community group, together with the Tasman District Council, is planning a cycleway from Pohara to Takaka.