Police ordered naked cyclists to get their gear back on in central Auckland yesterday, after arresting their leader for alleged indecent exposure.
Even so, motorists were treated to a "21-bum" salute, equating to the number of scantily-clad cyclists who rode in convoy to protest against the world's dependency on oil-fueled transport.
They all had to wear underpants or briefs after the police intervention, although several female cyclists were allowed to remain topless, with or without body paint.
The expose was part of the World Naked Bike Ride, a growing movement in which cyclists in 15 countries are daubing their flesh with anti-oil slogans to "reclaim the streets for people", Auckland organiser Simon Oosterman said.
Mr Oosterman missed out on the Auckland ride, as he was arrested at the start for refusing a police order to cover up.
"We were trying to draw attention to the indecent exposure suffered by Aucklanders to car fumes and the lives lost as a result," he said after being released on bail.
"What's really indecent is the fact that 250 people die in Auckland each year from vehicle-related pollution," he said, citing a government-issued statistic.