Road risks exposed in nude bike ride at Byron
NATURALISTS from Queensland joined up to 160 cyclists who took part in Byron's Nude Bike Ride on Sunday afternoon.
The event is part of a global campaign day to increase awareness and safety for cyclists.
Byron long-distance rider and runner Benny Ferris has been a participant for the past three years.
He said riding naked attracted people's attention but also helped to explain why people chose to ride bikes.
"Cycling is all about freedom," he said.
"If people weren't nude, nobody would take much notice."
Mr Ferris rides every day and knows how dangerous cycling can be, especially if motorists aren't thinking about cyclists.
Organiser Debra Conomy said up to 160 cyclists took part, but there could have been more.
"The ride is all about raising awareness about bike safety," she said.
"People tend to look at people when they are nude.
"That part of the ride helps to promote public awareness."
Ms Conomy said cycling was also good for the environment.
"It was great to see the master plan for Byron included an emphasis on bicycles," she said.
Cyclists began gathering at about 1pm and started preparing for the ride by dressing up and painting their bodies.
"It is all part of the fun," Ms Conomy said.
Bonnie Spring, a Surfers Paradise resident and representative of Young Nudist of Australia, came down to Byron for the ride to help promote her group, and to "bring everybody in".
"The day was about nudity and road rules - it was about both, but definitely bike safety," she said.
"The people in Byron were amazing, they offered a lot of awesome support."
Australian Naturist Federation's Colin Brooks was also down from Queensland to support the ride for cyclist safety and awareness.
"It is a major tourist attraction in Byron Bay and it is growing exponentially. People are coming up from Sydney and from overseas," he said.
Mr Brooks thought the day was helping to improve cyclist safety in tangible ways.
"There has been a distinct change for the better in driver attitudes in Queensland and Northern NSW," he said.