Naked cyclist ticketed for helmet fail

WORLD NAKED BIKE RIDE 2010: As this pair shows, helmets are important even if clothes are not.
Hayley Gale

WORLD NAKED BIKE RIDE 2010: As this pair shows, helmets are important even if clothes are not.

A naked cyclist has been ticketed by police - for not wearing his helmet, not for his lack of clothing.

And despite having apparently been drinking, he wasn't charged for drink-driving either.

The man was stopped on Timaru's High St at 3.30pm yesterday and Timaru police Senior Sergeant Randel Tikitiki said he wasn't charged with indecent exposure, because that would "depend on what could be seen".

Tikitiki said the cyclist could also have been charged with careless use of a vehicle, but police opted to charge him with not wearing a helmet.

A New Zealand Transport Agency spokeswoman said there was no legal alcohol limit for cycling.

"But there is an offence of careless use of a vehicle, and as 'vehicle' is defined in a way that includes bicycles, it could be used," she said.

"While impairment on its own would unlikely result in a conviction, impairment combined with erratic driving behaviour - ie weaving all over the road and getting in the way of other drivers -possibly could. 

"There is a maximum fine of $3000 and the court may disqualify from holding of obtaining a driver's licence for a period."


- Tauranga naked runner Andrew Pointon received international attention for a successful appeal to the High Court after being found guilty of a charge of offensive behaviour. A woman walking her dog had complained after seeing Pointon, wearing only a pair of shoes, running in a forest near Tauranga in 2011. Police arrested and charged Pointon as he emerged from the forest after another run. He was found guilty in Tauranga District Court of offensive behaviour but appealed to the High Court and Justice Paul Heath upheld the appeal in a decision in 2012. Heath said Pointon was a genuine naturist who had chosen a time of day when it was unlikely children would be on the track.

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Pointon was not so lucky after being found guilty of offensive behaviour for gardening at his home and mowing the lawn on two dates in 2012. He appealed those cases but this time Justice Heath dismissed his appeal, endorsing the District Court finding that Pointon had known he would cause offence to some of his neigbours but did it anyway.

- Nude cyclist Nick Lowe successfully appealed a conviction for riding his bike naked near Upper Hutt on World Nude Bike Day 2010. Lowe was convicted for offensive behaviour but the conviction was quashed by the High Court. Lowe has run the Coast to Coast naked from the waist down and regularly trained in the buff.

- Hikers walking naked through the bush have caused their share of excitement. The magazine Wilderness has reported on naked men seen on tracks around Wanaka and in the Waitakere Ranges near Auckland, and even believes one of its staff writers came across a man often seen unclothed in the Waitakeres. The man was sitting above a water hole near the edge of Piha's popular Kitakita Falls in December 2012, and said he was just taking a dip. A naked hiker seen on a track near Wanaka in December 2011 was wearing only a backpack, cap and shoes. An international hiking forum rated New Zealand one of the best countries in the world in which to hike naked, partly because the country had a low population and a large area of park land.

- Many New Zealanders appear prone to public nudity if the mood is right, with officials counting 745 participants in a world record attempt for the largest skinny-dip in Gisborne last December, with Rhythm and Vines Festival-goers among those taking part.

- Rugby attracts its fair share of nudists, with streakers at two All Blacks games this year getting plenty of attention. Builder Adam Holtslag admitted a charge of offensive behaviour after taking to the field during a game against England in Dunedin in June. But the incident was mostly memorable for the controversy around the powerful tackle on the streaker by security guard Brad Hemopo, who shortly before had been named in Canterbury rugby's ITM Cup wider training squad.

Rose Kupa, who ran onto the park at Napier in September during a game against Argentina, was let off with a warning. She gave All Black Israel Dagg a slap on the bum, although later said she had been aiming for Richie McCaw.

 - The Timaru Herald


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