Cyclists to show their softer side

Sanddrift resident Aimee Hoppe is one of the organsiers of the World Naked Nike Ride.

Whether it’s the Full Monty or strategically placed body paint and glitter, cyclists will decide how cheeky they want to be at the eighth annual World Naked Bike Ride in Sea Point on Saturday March 11.

One of the organisers of this year’s race, Sanddrift resident Aimee Hoppe, says it’s about advocating for “safer cycling streets and a greener attitude to transport”.

“The point of going nude is to show how vulnerable cyclists are on the road,” said Ms Hoppe.

The race also promotes cycling as an environment-friendly form of transport that does not rely on fossil fuels and cuts carbon emissions.

Ms Hoppe has taken part in two of the rides.

She went topless for the first and wore “only a hat” for the second.

She also helped to set up the Western Cape Naturists Association (WCNA) which advocates personal and social nudity.

“Naturism is all about being close to nature. Initially when people think of naturists or nudity they think of just sex. But it’s completely desexualised. There is no shame”.

The WCNA books out entire camping spots allowing naturists to strip down and feel the weather on their skin without offending anyone.

“Initially it’s very daunting. It’s one thing being naked alone at home and completely another thing being naked in front of others,” Ms Hoppe said.

“But once you go bare, it’s such a liberating feeling. You can never go back. We’ve given up liberties too freely because of others’ beliefs. We want to say it’s okay to be comfortable in your skin, but we also don’t want to offend anyone so we create these spaces for people to enjoy being in their birthday suites.”

The WCNA’s motto is, “Leave only your footprints behind,” which Ms Hoppe feels ties in ties in nicely with the aims of the WNBR.

“I feel excited and honoured to be a part of WNBR, and I hope it makes more people think about safety and the environment. This year, participants meet behind the Sea Point library in the parking lot at 9.30am for 10am.

“Cyclists will ride along the fan walk to Long Street then up to Bree Street and back along the fan walk.”

The race is not exclusive to cyclists: rollerblades, skateboards, wheelchairs and even prams are allowed. Visit the World Naked Bike Ride Facebook page or email aimeehoppe@gmail.com for more information.