There was plenty of bare-faced cheek on show as hundreds of cyclists took to the streets to protest about the use of oil.

Little modesty was preserved as people of all ages tore off their clothes and hopped on their bikes for a jaunt around Brighton and Hove.

The aim of those taking part was to highlight sustainable methods of transport and voice major concerns over the environmental cost of using a car.

Jenny Johnson, 24, from Brighton, was among the 400 cyclists who gathered at The Level on Saturday morning for the Brighton leg of the World Naked Bike Ride.

The history student said: "Most people use cars day in day out.

"We're urging people to use their bikes far more. There's absolutely no reason why, if you live in a city and you're fit and healthy, you can't get on your bike all the time.

"The rising cost of oil is hurting everyone in the pocket and it's use is doing long-term damage to the world."

Her environmental concerns were echoed by just about everybody taking part.

There was a huge spread of ages getting involved, from young children to pensioners.

After a minute's silence in memory of Marie Vesco, the 19-year-old French student who died while cycling on the A23 last week, the massed ranks of cyclists set off around the city.

Miss Vesco was on her way to the EDO weapons protests in Brighton when she was hit by cars near Hickstead.

Onlookers were astonished as the mile long queue of cyclists wound their way first to the King Alfred, then back past Churchill Square, through the Laines and then onto the nudist beach at Black Rock where many took a refreshing dip.

One spectator, Judy Fiske, told The Argus: "It's a pretty amazing sight. It's not something I could do, getting my kit off like that.

"But fair play to them, they're making their point in the best possible way."

Dozens of police officers accompanied the cyclists on the journey around the city, although they stressed it was to help clear the way rather than as a result of any expected trouble.

Gary Clark, another cyclist added: "It's been a fantastic day, the sun is shining, everyone is enjoying themselves and it's all for a good cause.

"The good thing about it is you can do it fully starkers or you can preserve a little bit of modesty by covering up a bit.

"I think generally most people like to go the whole hog and get their kit off."

There were no reports of any dangly bits becoming caught in chains or spokes.

A spokesman for the organisers said: "It's a fabulous event which has gone from strength to strength in recent years.

"We thank everyone in the city for accommodating us and of course all those who have taken part."