Cyclists in Australia are growing in number.
Cyclists in Australia are growing in number. Scott Powick

Careful of those cyclists, they're multiplying

EVER grow frustrated with the amount of lyrca-clad road-warriors on the bitumen? Bad news: their numbers are growing fast.

While some drivers may not be huge friends of the pedal-powered commuters, motorists have no choice but to get used to sharing the road, with more cyclists recorded in every state since 2005.

There are now more than 3.7 million Australians who "cycle regularly or occasionally" compared to 2.1 million people in 2005. That equates to almost one-in-five people hitting the road on two wheels.

In Queensland, 19% of the population enjoys a ride -- tying for the third most cycle-loving state.

New South Wales has 17% cycling participation.

Residents of Tasmania (15%) and NSW/ACT (17%) are less likely to cycle, but like the other states, their participation rates have risen since 2005.
Residents of Tasmania (15%) and NSW/ACT (17%) are less likely to cycle, but like the other states, their participation rates have risen since 2005.

Although the so-called MAMIL (middle-aged man in lyrcra) are perhaps the most prominent on the road, all groups are cycling more than they used to, with the exception of young teenagers.

Young men between 14 and 17 were by-far the most likely to ride bikes in 2005, making up 33% of all male cyclists.

Now they make up just 23%, with the yellow jersey now taken by men aged between 35 and 49.

Over the last decade, there has been a surge in more mature male cyclists, with participation rates rising from 18% to 26% among men aged 35-49 years, doubling among men aged 50-64 (from 12% to 24%) and more than doubling from 6% to 13% among men aged 65+.

Over the last decade, there has been a surge in more mature male cyclists, with participation rates rising from 18% to 26% among men aged 35-49 years, doubling among men aged 50-64 (from 12% to 24%) and more than doubling from 6% to 13% among men aged 65+.
Over the last decade, there has been a surge in more mature male cyclists, with participation rates rising from 18% to 26% among men aged 35-49 years, doubling among men aged 50-64 (from 12% to 24%) and more than doubling from 6% to 13% among men aged 65+.

Roy Morgan Research spokesman Norman Morris said there were now an extra 1.6 million pedalling regularly.

"This is almost certainly the result of a number of factors: soaring petrol prices, congested roads, over-crowded public transport and Cadel Evans's 2011 Tour de France victory among them," he said.

"Meanwhile, the MAMIL (middle-aged men in lycra) phenomenon shows no sign of abating. With low impact on joints and a strong social aspect (they often travel in packs!), cycling's appeal for this demographic is undeniable."

 



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