Cyclists bare all on Naked Bike Ride in Southsea

From left, Karen Lee, 36, originally from Portsmouth, with her 19-week-old baby Jasmine and Gemma Mallard, 29, from Bedhampton, with Jasmine's second cousin Primrose Mallard, who is 20 weeks old

Picture: Sarah Standing (170498-9764)

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CYCLISTS have bared all in a naked bike ride through the sunny streets of Southsea.

The annual event called the Portsmouth World Naked Bike Ride, was attended by a group of around 50 people, mostly men, who cycled along the seafront on Saturday.

Portsmouth naked bike ride along the seafront''Picture: Paul Jacobs  (131423-5)

Portsmouth naked bike ride along the seafront''Picture: Paul Jacobs (131423-5)

The event is organised to raise awareness about road safety and to allow people to be able to celebrate the human body.

Organiser Ian Henden, said there are many reasons why he likes to take part.

‘There are various issues. The first one is the vulnerability of cyclists on the roads.

‘Portsmouth happens to be the second most dangerous city in the country in which to ride a bike outside of London.

‘Who would notice us if we weren’t naked? The whole thing is about raising awareness.

‘It’s completely liberating. A lot of people have got hang-ups about nudity.

‘Don’t knock anything until you’ve tried it.’

Claire Smith, 52, from Edinburgh Road in Portsmouth, was being sponsored to do the bike ride and is raising money for the RNLI and Help for Heroes.

She said: ‘I’ve got grandchildren. The roads have got to be made safe. I’m in full support of it.

‘Being right by the dockyard as well we get a lot of cyclists coming in and out.

‘It’s a good thing for everyone to come out and there’s a voice to be heard.’

Simon Martin, 47, from Ashburton Road in Southsea, said: ‘It’s protesting against the car culture.

‘We should be out on our bikes a little bit more.

‘The whole point is that cyclists are naked all the time because we are vulnerable on the road.

‘I have done the bike ride every time in Portsmouth.

‘There is a sense of freedom in it all.

‘I hope people get the message, it is a world event.’

The route went along Sea Front to Clarence Pier, through Old Portsmouth to Commercial Road, back through Queen Street, The Hard, Museum Road and through Kings Road, Elm Grove, Albert Road and down Festing Road to Canoe Lake before weaving its way back to the start.

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