ACT News


Hospitals see surge of middle-aged male riders

MIDDLE-AGED male cyclists in Canberra are turning up to hospital almost as much as teenage boys and blokes in their early 20s.

Nearly 80 per cent of the 1040 cyclists taken to Canberra Hospital in the past three years were men, and ACT Health figures suggest large groups of them were MAMILs - or Middle-Aged Men in Lycra.

The increasing number of injured middle-aged male bike riders is one of the main reasons there has been an 18 per cent increase in the number of cyclists admitted to Canberra Hospital in the past three years.

There were 151 men aged 35 to 44 taken to the hospital with cycling injuries, and another 138 aged 45 to 54. The number in each category is not much less than the 166 lads aged between 15 and 24 admitted to the hospital with cycling injuries.

Dr Michael Hall, clinical director of the hospital's emergency department, said cyclists could be injured in a variety of ways.

''This includes cuts, abrasions, fractures, sprains, broken bones and head injuries,'' he said.


Men are riding bikes and injuring themselves at a much older age than previously.

Even men older than 85 are turning up to the emergency room with cycling injuries.

Several of their slightly younger colleagues, aged between 75 and 84, also turn up to hospital.

No women older than 74 have turned up with cycling injuries in the past three years.

Of the 1040 cyclists taken to Canberra Hospital, 276 were discharged without a procedure being recorded, while 138 had fractured bones.

More than 100 fractured forearm bones were fixed, and 48 broken collarbones needed repair.

Broken bones in the hands and on the upper arms followed.

When it came to women riders, those aged 25 to 44 made up 45 per cent of all injuries.

Earlier this year, Fairfax Media mapped the crashes involving cyclists across the territory, showing there were 220 recorded crashes a year on average.