GET ready to avert your eyes!

For following last year's controversy, York's naked bike ride is back and the event is again set to divide residents, between those in favour of mass nudity and those who believe it infringes on the moral code.

This is not an impromptu naturist display but an exhibition meant to convey an environmental message.

The attention-grabbing act highlights cycling as an environmentally friendly choice, as opposed to gas-guzzling cars.

Organisers are hoping it will prompt people to think about their dependence on cars and fast diminishing oil supplies.

Organisers also say, being without their clothes, the riders are emphasising their vulnerability to other forms of transport on the roads - and the need for more cycle tracks.

Last year, 50 riders formed a motley crew of those who chose to bare all.

Jenny Goodwin, 25, who was studying for a masters degree at the University of York, took part last year.

She said: "I really believe people should get out of their cars - and that all links back to oil, world issues, what's been going on with Iraq. It all links back to these bigger issues.

"If you can make a difference in your own way, whether it's recycling or cycling to work, the more people we can get involved - it's all making the world a better place.

"I really love my bike. It's helped me a lot over the years."

Being naked is not a necessity but a choice for anyone taking part.

The ride will take place Friday, June 8, at 6pm, starting at the Memorial Gardens, in George Hudson Street.

The timing of the event will avoid the strength of the mid-afternoon sun. But considering the general attire of the participants, it hopefully won't be a chilly evening.

The route, which runs through the city centre, will be lined by fully-clothed police officers ensuring the event goes without a glitch.

Inspector Mark Kahn said: "There was a similar event last year which was trouble free, and we're expecting the same this year.

"It is North Yorkshire Police policy to allow lawful and peaceful protest.

"It is our main aim to try and ensure the safety of the participants and crowd."