Naked cyclists in New Zealand may ride "free," as long as they
take proper safety precautions. Photo from Wikimedia Commons
The world's imagination has been captivated by the Brooklyn's would-be nude cyclists. In what has become a debate about religious freedom versus freedom of expression, the Examiner has come across news stories from as far away as London and Madrid. Naked cycling appears to have sparked the imagination of cyclists around the globe, as two nude men on the north island of New Zealand were issued a warning on Monday night for not wearing helmets. Fair enough.
When Cathy Duder, a senior constable in the vacation town of Coromandel found the two fit young men stripped to their birthday suits and pedaling around town, they told her (with hands covering what bike shorts did not) that "they wanted to experience total freedom."
"'The way you're heading, you're going to experience total confinement," Duder quipped. Surprisingly, the men appeared to be sober ("That's what worried me," Duder told an Australian news source), so she set them "free" with a warning for not wearing protective headgear and sent them home.
If you're going to ride your bike naked in Massachusetts...
With temperatures set to rise above freezing for the remainder of the week, some hardy Boston cyclists may be tempted to spend their Christmas vacation joining the "total freedom" fad themselves. In the interest of safe biking nudity, the Examiner has researched Massachusetts' public nudity laws, to protect the bare-bottomed biker.
The maximum sentence for public nudity and indecent exposure in Massachusetts is six months in jail or a fine of $200. Massachusetts' public nudity laws are the most lenient in New England. In New Hampshire, you can't go to jail for going au naturale, but the fine is a hefty $1200. In Rhode Island and Maine, the maximum sentence for riding in the buff is 6 months imprisonment or $500, and in Connecticut the fine could reach $1000. The maximum jail sentence for disrobing in freedom-loving Vermont is up to five years' imprisonment, but the alternative fine is a modest $300.
If you're going to ride in your birthday suit, Cape Cod and the Islands is the place to do it. Public nuditiy is unofficially tolerated in certain regions of Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, and Provincetown, according to Wikipedia. However, avoid riding "free" on the Cape Cod National Sea Shore, as riding nude on national park land is a federal offense.
Women who wish to ride topless will find a loophole if they ride with a baby. Breastfeeding is exempt from public indecency laws in Massachusetts.
If you are caught riding naked in Massachusetts, a naked hiking resource offers the following advice, "Cover up and say, 'Oh! I didn't expect to meet anybody out here!' Smile. Be polite. Be cooperative."
Adults over the age of 18 are not required by law to wear helmets in Massachusetts. Nevertheless, helmets are always a good idea whether you're naked or not.
Find out about nudity laws by state at the Nudist Resorts page or the Nudist Law page.
*Note: This article in no way endorses naked cycling.