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Naked Bike Ride cyclists brave the rain in Portsmouth

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NAKED cyclists took to the roads in Portsmouth for their fourth annual ride.

Around 60 nude riders battled the wind and pouring rain, shedding their clothes and painting themselves in bright colours.

Organiser Ian Henden, 67, of Fareham, was leading the troops along Southsea seafront on Saturday.

He said: ‘This is bike ride number four.

‘It’s about cyclists getting knocked off their bikes and raising cyclist awareness.

‘It’s a carnival. It’s just good fun – the atmosphere and it gets a serious message across.

‘We get all sorts – there’s a fair number of naturists, persons of alternative sexual persuasion tend to come out on it too.

‘People who want to see what it’s like come out on it too, we don’t have any trouble.’

A group of 12 from France joined the ride and a large group of students from the University of Portsmouth had gathered to watch.

Eric Feng, 20, of Norfolk Street, Southsea, was with her friends.

Erica, from China, said it was the first time she had seen anything like it.

‘It’s funny, and being from China it’s a new thing,’ she said.

‘I have never seen this before. My friends don’t enjoy doing it but they came here to watch.’

Brave Hannah Cripps, 27, of Baffins Road, Copnor, Portsmouth, took part for the first time – and on her own.

She said: ‘I thought it would be fun. People thought I couldn’t do it.

‘Now I can really say I’ve been cycling down Southsea with no clothes on.

‘Hopefully no-one will recognise me.’

The ride was one of a series of events across the world.

They aim to raise awareness about environmental issues and cycle safety.

But the ride divided opinion from some in the city.

Even before the cyclists set off, one motorists shouted angrily at them.

And some Facebook users on The News’ page were equally unimpressed.

Joanne Trueman posted: ‘Disgusting! Kids do not need to see this.

‘Why should I cover my kids eyes? Grown adults shouldn’t be naked in public. It’s as simple as that!’

Tanya Towle added: ‘Fair play to them but don’t think kids should see it personally.’

And Rebecca Martin simply wrote: ‘Not for kids.’

Others were more supportive of the cyclists.

Jo Craven posted: ‘Fair play to them they got to have a lot of confidence to do it.’

 

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