Woman took part in nude bike ride after Insta followers persuaded her to strip

A brave woman admits she was shaking as she stripped naked for a nude bike ride through her home city.

Laura Poole says she was a last-minute entry into this year's World Naked Bike Ride in Cardiff after her Instagram followers convinced her to take the plunge.

The 29-year-old decided to prove she was not all talk when it comes to body positivity and threw herself into the ride, with hundreds of largely older men all "ringing their bells".

Laura told WalesOnline that she anticipated keeping her underwear on but when it came down to it last weekend, everything was off.

"Up until about two hours before I didn't know that I was definitely going to do it," she laughed.

"I thought, shall I do it? So, I posted on my Instagram, which is full of self-love stuff, asking whether I should do it. And not a single person said no, so I decided to go."

The ride is part of the global World Naked Bike Ride protests, which take place in cities across the world every summer, including Madrid, Toronto, and Mexico City.

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It aims to highlight the vulnerability of cyclists against traffic in cities, with the human body presented as a contrast to high-powered vehicles – although the event has also become a way for people to express body positivity, champion environmental causes, and more.

Participants are encouraged to "bare as you dare", embracing whatever level of nudity they felt comfortable with.

Life coach Laura chose to take part to promote body positivity, which she does on her blog andInstagram.

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She said: "I didn't know that I was going to get naked – I thought that maybe I would keep my underwear on.

"To begin with, it was nerve-wracking, so when I got there, we were painting ourselves but I was shaking so much that when I tried to paint my face it just went everywhere.

"We were about to set off, and I still had my underwear on, just the bottom half. And everybody in my view was naked. So I knew I had to do it."

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Laura attended the event alone, while many first-timers take along a friend for support.

But she said overall the experience was overwhelmingly positive.

"People were taking photos, people were waving. When we got going, I actually started to like it. Someone said after a while you'll forget that you're naked and I was definitely still aware that I was naked for the whole time.

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"It was fun. It was exciting. We were all laughing and cheering when they saw us. Everybody was ringing their bells.

"There weren't as many women as men and I kind of guessed that that was going to be the case. And lots of people were older than me as well so I was one of the younger ones.

"I was 29 on Monday, two days after the event, and I thought what better way to celebrate my birthday than in my birthday suit?"

"You can interpret the naked bike ride however you want. It's about body positivity; saving the planet; watching out for bikes. The event doesn't just mean one thing, it means many things."

Laura, who has tried bungee jumping and even went travelling around Australia on her own, said the bike ride was by far the scariest thing she had ever done.

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