Nova Scotia

World Naked Bike Ride hits Halifax

Saturday was the fourth annual World Naked Bike Ride, and was held in cities across Canada and around the globe.

The fourth annual World Naked Bike Ride rolled through Halifax and other Canadian cities on Saturday.

Some people in downtown Halifax may have been startled to see about 100 naked bicycle riders on parade over the weekend.

The global ride was intended to promote bicycling as an alternative to cars and other oil-dependent modes of travel, and to remind motorists to drive safely around bicycles.

For some of the cyclists, the day was also a personal triumph.

"It was just like, 15 minutes before that I decided to do it," said Laura Burke, a first-time naked rider.

Burke was afraid of her first naked ride but knew if she didn't join in, she would regret it.

"I had a history of eating disorders when I was a teenager, and I had to take medications in my life which made me gain more weight than I expected. I have a very fluctuating body image."

"For me, being naked in public provokes a lot of fear," Burke said with a laugh. "So it was a really meaningful thing for me to do."

Nyima Wimberly also rode, wearing body paint. He said he used to be overweight and worried about his body, until a few years ago, when some friends convinced him to get naked together.

"And it was a lovely time and we ran around and this whole worry about nudity becoming sexual just melted away as soon as we took off our clothes," said Wimberly.

Many riders said this nude ride helps remind car drivers how vulnerable cyclists can be on the road. But as rider Ben Caplan pointed out, there's safety in numbers.

"I think once there was four or five naked people hanging out in my backyard, it felt natural to take off my clothes."

The good weather drew more people to the ride than ever before.

The riders of the 90-minute parade say the reactions from onlookers ranged from cheerful encouragement to puzzlement. Many bystanders pulled out cameras to snap a picture.