THIS was the scene as hundreds of nude cyclists took to the streets of York yesterday.

The ninth York World Naked Bike Ride is a protest against unsustainable oil usage and car culture, and a celebration of individuality and cycling. The event saw riders, wearing nothing or just body paint, set off from Millennium Bridge, pass York Racecourse, and into the city. Elise Robinson, 22, was this year’s ride leader.

She said: “The naked bike ride is important to me as I think roads for cyclists can be dangerous. I think it is a very good way of getting the message across – well it’s definitely not going to go unnoticed, and riding naked makes me feel liberated. Society shouldn’t be so problematic about naked bodies.”

Rider Mike Smith, 49, said: “If my plucking up the courage to go naked and cycle through the city streets watched by thousands brings enough awareness to people, that one accident is prevented, one life is saved, then I’m happy to be brave.”