Less is more for trail riders

Riders will dare to bare all in a clothing-optional bicycle event in Middlemarch on Sunday.

For the fifth consecutive year members of the public are invited to take part in the World Naked Bike Ride along a 7km section of the Otago Central Rail Trail.

Internationally the ride has been held each year since 2004 and has grown to include more than 70 cities in 20 countries.

Middlemarch organiser Philip Matthews said it was a fun activity for people of all ages, and there was no requirement to participate naked.

The ride was usually well supported and aimed to highlight cyclists' vulnerability and promote cycle safety.

This year's event was the first to attract opposition, after a resident complained to the Strath Taieri Community Board.

Mr Matthews said many Middlemarch businesses sponsored the ride.

''We always let the police know it's on, and we always put up signs on the rail trail letting people know we'll be there.''

Senior Constable Helen Fincham-Putter, of Middlemarch, said she had never received complaints about the ride, although some people had questioned whether it constituted indecent exposure.

As the event was advertised, those offended by nudity could choose to steer clear of it, she said.

The ride will start at 11am from the Cardigan St car park at the beginning of the Otago Central Rail Trail.

Participants will cycle about 7km alongside Ngapuna Rd to the first station, then return.

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