Over the last couple of months I've been observing my fellow bike riders and have come to a startling conclusion. Most of them are aged 40 plus (including myself) and a few are in their thirties. I've seen one teenage roadie out training and the odd commuter and roadie in their twenties.
This observation was reinforced this morning when I was mountain biking in Eagle Park. None of the riders I crossed paths with were under 30. Of all the different disciplines I would have expected the mountain biking crowd to be younger but it doesn't appear that way.
There could be a few things at play here. The main one is time of day. In Winter I leave for work when it is dark so I don't see the faces of the riders doing their morning climb up Norton Summit. I also do most of my weekend recreational riding early in the morning to fit in with family commitments and am therefore likely to see those doing the same thing.
Is it just the time I'm riding that prevents me seeing all the younger riders? Are they getting out of bed after I've arrived home and started my weekend chores? Or are we suffering from a lack of younger bike riders around Adelaide?
Luke....you are not wrong. Bike riding is a middle-aged-male activity. I saw some interesting stats from the Audax Alpine Classic from a few years ago and overwhelmingly (something like 75%) the riders were, male, 40-50 years old. Its the new golf.
Do you think younger riders might not get out of bed after having more interesting social lives on Saturday nights than us?
You are very right though. Two recent ABC Radio National programs I know of investigated this. They looked at some recent studies that revealed more men between 35 - 55 who are the most productive in the Australian workforce are taking up cycling and are getting injured and the cost to the Aust. economy is quite high.
The new golf, hahaha, love it. We also wear similar gourdy garmets that only look right in their respective fields. But seriously I am also amazed that there is a real lack a younger riders, I almost kick myself for not getting into riding 15+ years ago, at least at 46 I've got a few good years in me yet.
I am a late 20s female, avid road cyclist, weekend warrior and commuter, but I am denfintely in the minority group! My friends my age (male and female) all think I am completely nuts, for the early mornings, for the "dangerous" sport, for the damn hard work, without seeing any of the reward. My friends older than me are all cyclists - go figure!
Not only getting young people riding but women riding is really hard work. I dont think the start time of rides is any different a committment to any other sport having games on weekends - in fact cycling is far more flexible around schedules if you ride with your mates. I think what stops a lot of people riding is the perception that it's dangerous- change that attitude AND reality, and you will have a lot more 'bums on bikes'.
Oh, and maybe we need to work on the fashion?
Quite a lot of younger people are on BMX bikes, skate boards, in line skates, long boards, all a lot more popular than roller skates were when todays 40/50's were in their teens and probably cheaper and their parents probably even think they are safer.
I also suspect that those of us in the 40 + range probably took up cycling as a means of transport until such time as we could afford motor cycles/cars.
Thats a great way to spend time with your grandson.....
my father wouldn't even know how to balance on a bike....
it's so cute seeing the little ones pedalling away on there bikes....
but i gotta laugh...yesterday this little boy was riding his bike with his trainers...and rode himself into the fence...cause he was too busy looking at his wheels turning and forgot to look where he was going.....ah many more accidents for him when those trainer wheels come off