© Braedon Clark - METRO HALIFAX
Participants in Halifax's Naked Bike Ride on July 19, 2014.
Nearly 50 stark-naked cyclists raced through downtown Halifax Saturday afternoon, drawing plenty of attention and even a few cheers.
It was all part of Halifax’s July 19 version of the World Naked Bike Ride, an international event designed to raise awareness of cycling safety and cycling as a method of transportation.
Even with a larger purpose, it can be hard to get past the sheer nakedness of it all.
“I see it as more of a fun day now rather than a protest action,” said Tom MacDonald, one of the organizers.
After the ride, MacDonald was hosting many of the participants at his house on Fern Lane for a nude/semi-nude party.
Along the roughly 12-kilometre route, MacDonald said there were many people who took notice, but one in particular stood out.
“There was a girl, maybe five or six, along Gottingen Street who was just jumping up and down and cheering when she saw us,” he said with a laugh.
MacDonald added that he was grateful for the police escort along the route to ensure safety.
“There’s often a mixed reaction,” said MacDonald’s partner, Eva Mooers. “People either cheer and take pictures or pretend like they can’t see us.”
Riding under sunny skies in nearly 30-degree heat, many of the bikers were doing their best to cool off after it was all over, even though Mooers said being naked makes things a little less heated.
“It feels good, like skinny dipping,” she said.
“It’s amazing how much cooling your body does when you’re not wearing clothes,” MacDonald added.
Beyond the ability to raise awareness about cycling, there’s also a desire to celebrate the human body.
“There are all kinds of different body types here, and we want to celebrate that, not just the types that the mainstream press says are beautiful,” Mooers said.