My last day of major training for Ironman Australia was another race rehearsal. The 180 km bike ride ended up at our cottage in Golden Bay and I then had a run along the waterfront. My timing was impeccable for the following day was Naked Bike Ride Day, and it was starting just a few kilometres from our cottage. My wife Lis suggested that our German/Canadian friend Anke and I do the ride and we were game—Lis declined on the excuse that someone needed to take the photos. Neither of us were exhibitionist enough to go fully naked, but we did keep our clothes to the minimum … But don’t read any further if you don’t like naked bodies!
Lis came up with the idea that I should wear an iron on my back—after all, I have an Ironman race in two weeks—so we managed to rig it up with the power cord. I can tell you, that it is not fun riding a bike even slowly with an iron! Still, it was better than some of the other things people had flapping about, particularly the men.
The ride started at the old Golden Bay Cement works by the port. There was a tent set up where we registered, and signed a post card to send to the Minister of transport calling for a change to the law to have vehicles pass 1.5 metres from cyclists. Definitely needed in this part of the country. I was painted, under Lis’ direction, by a young woman from Maine who had just arrived a few days ago. Welcome to Golden Bay …
There were very many creative body paintings. The woman below with the two kiwifruit won an award—or should we say her painter should have won! Others had on different outfits/costumes/whatever … Anke commented that it was easy to spot the ‘naturalists’ who are naked more than once a year—they are ones with the all over tans.
As people drove by they were laughing and scrambling for their cameras. At least the locals knew that it was on, and had positioned themselves at strategic locations to watch the ride.
It was interesting to note that most people were semi-naked, and it was almost exclusively men who were fully naked. Just proves Lis’ point that men are born exhibitionists.
We lined up and then, suitably late (it is Golden Bay) our ride started!
We were supposed to ride up to the ‘Watch for Bikes’ sign in Pohara and stop there for a group photo, but the riders just kept on going so we stopped at the general store instead. Here are some action photos …
There were a lot of people along the roadside watching the ride, particularly at the Penguin restaurant where the patrons enthusiastically cheered us on. We were even serenaded by two naked guitarists who tried to improvise songs about bicycles.
The ride ended at the ‘Dangerously Roasted Cafe’ in Pohara. Here, clothing was not optional so those who wanted to participate in the after ride festivities and prize giving had to make themselves presentable. I was given a prize for the “Iron”man outfit.
After the prize giving we headed back to our cottage, stopping for a final “Iron”man photo in front of the sign. Watch out for bikes and give us 1.5 m please.