ARMED FOR ACTION: James Fuller gets a paint job before joining the naked bike ride around the Channon market
ARMED FOR ACTION: James Fuller gets a paint job before joining the naked bike ride around the Channon market Mireille Merlet-Shaw

I am rider, hear me raw

CROWDS in three locations over the weekend were treated to a cheeky protest action in the form of the World Naked Bike Ride.

The Ride hit three towns over the two days: Nimbin on Saturday, The Channon on Sunday morning and Byron Bay on Sunday afternoon, with participants stripping off, painting their bodies, and mounting bicycles decorated with message-bearing flags or signs to take a cruise around town.

The World Naked Bike Ride, said one of the organisers of the Nimbin and the Channon rides, James Fuller, was to communicate to the public both the vulnerability of cyclists and the importance of reducing fossil fuel emissions.

"We want them to know that it's a protest to let people know to be aware of people on bicycles and that you also don't need to go out in a car all the time," he said.

Mr Fuller's "partner-in-crime'' and co-organiser, Mijim Beri, said the ride was about making drivers aware that they share the road with cyclists and pedestrians.

"I have a car and it's the Northern Rivers and we do have to drive, but sometimes, we don't actually need to," Mr Beri said.

"We're asking people to think about those times when we can walk, hitch or ride," he said.

The pair said while this year the ride has been branded with the No CSG tag, that's just a part of their ongoing message with the protest themes of the whole event: naturism, environmentalism, pacifism and biketivism. Mr Fuller says another part of the ride was bout accepting your own body for what it is and being happy about that.

"None of us have perfect bodies - we need to get over it."

He said while the ride had a hype surrounding it because of the nudity - he stressed that this was a clothing optional ride, and the whole point was to make sure people felt safe and respected.

He said that while most of the World Bike Rides happened to the unsuspecting, here on the Northern Rivers they announced what they were going to do, as they felt the community was a bit more welcoming and open to the nudity. And they felt they had proved just that point, because as they took their bare bodies to their bikes this weekend, they were received with cheers, laughter and a crowd haggling to take photos of the riders.



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