Cop to nude cyclists in New Zealand: Wear helmets

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - December 23, 2009

"They were wanting to experience total freedom," said Senior Constable Cathy Duder, who stopped the pair about 10 p.m. on a recent night in the beach resort town of Whangamata. She told them: "You may experience total confinement. You should head home and get helmets."

The duo turned tail and headed directly back to their house, Duder told The Associated Press on Wednesday. She said she did not see them again during her shift, and it was not known if they donned helmets and resumed their ride.

Public nudity can attract a charge of offensive behavior in New Zealand, but Duder said she cut the two men a break.

"It was dark and there was no one else around. They were jovial young men who had not intended to cause offense," she said.

She described the two as "happy young men in their mid-20s ... they appeared to be as sober as two judges."

The Dec. 7 encounter, which has only just come to light, probably signaled the start of what Duder described as summer hijinks in Whangamata, a popular surfing and holiday getaway where partying is common during Christmas and New Year season.

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