Mixed reaction to man cycling nude

By Victoria White

5 comments
The nude cyclist has reopened the debate of public nudity.
The nude cyclist has reopened the debate of public nudity.

A man who went for an afternoon drive got more than he bargained for on Thursday.

Taradale man Deane Hadfield was heading down Seafield Rd, near Bay View, when he passed a man cycling uphill completely nude.

"At first I thought he was just a very underdressed cyclist," Mr Hadfield said.

"But we were going quite slowly to look at the view and it became apparent when he was fully frontal and his legs were pumping to get up the hill, it was quite obvious to us."

Mr Hadfield said there had been a glance exchanged between himself and the cyclist, who "looked about 60 years old and had lots of brown, thick curly hair - on his head".

The incident didn't worry Mr Hadfield: "I just thought it was interesting that someone had the audacity to do that on a reasonably busy road."

His driver was less than impressed: "He said he hadn't driven all the way out into the country to see that, and that he wouldn't be able to get the image out of his head."

As unexpected as the cyclist had been, Mr Hadfield was also surprised at the can of worms opened after he posted about his experience on a Facebook page.

He said he thought it was interesting that some people sexualised what happened while others saw it as normal.

"Most people thought it was funny, like good on this guy having this attitude and getting out there on his bike."

Opinions were varied throughout a giant thread - some applauded the cyclist, while others said his actions were offensive and dangerous.

One person said it was disgusting, and they would have reported the cyclist to the police.

They said: "There are places where nudists can go and riding along a public road where kids can see him is not one of them."

Others suggested the man had been breaking the law, but a police spokesperson said it was a "grey area".

Under section 27 of the Summary Offences Act 1981, indecent exposure is defined as a person who in or within view of any public place, intentionally and obscenely exposes any part of his or her genitals.

A police spokesperson said it depended on the circumstances, but he believed there had to be intent for the nudity to be offensive for it be a punishable offence.

Others came to the defence of the cyclist, and participated in a discussion about nudity.

One commenter even thanked Mr Hadfield for creating "this wonderful open forum on what is nudity all about".

There were suggestions the man might belong to a nearby nudist club.

Rapere, the Hawke's Bay Naturist Club is located on Glengarry Rd, not far from where the cyclist was spotted.

Mr Hadfield commented later: "I think the comments about the nudist colony are probably right, as he did have an all-over tan."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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