Breaking news today on TheAge.com.au spells bad news for all audacious mountain bikers out there. As they see it “mountain biking could lose its reputation as an extreme sport on the back of new Australian statistics showing it is better described as extremely safe!
They continue, and I quote their entire article as follows:
A major analysis of injury rates in cross country endurance mountain biking has concluded that just a quarter of a per cent of those who do it are seriously hurt.
“It has a reputation as an extreme sport that is quite dangerous but we have shown that that’s really not the case,” said lead researcher Dr Nick Taylor, from the emergency department at Canberra Hospital.
“In fact, it’s much safer than it’s given credit for.”
The researchers analysed demographic and illness data recorded by paramedics attending the annual biking championships over the past eight years.
Of the 14,777 riders who took part over the years, just 673, or 4.5 per cent, required first aid treatment and just 37, or 0.25 per cent, were taken to hospital.
Female riders were more likely to be seriously injured than males, and a comparison with weather data showed accidents were more likely to happen in a hotter, drier climate.
“We are not sure exactly why this is but we believe that the dry heat dries out the tracks a lot, making it loose and sandy and harder for the tyres to grip,” Dr Taylor said.
“It is also likely that in endurance races like this the riders get sweaty, tired, fatigued and more accident-prone in the hotter weather.”
Accidents were also more likely on busier tracks for obvious reasons.
The study, to be presented at an emergency medicine conference in Newcastle on Thursday, is the largest to give a safety profile for the sport.
“Mountain biking is an increasingly popular sport in Australia,” Dr Taylor said.
“Yet there is a paucity of Australian information on injuries in this sport, and limited overseas literature.”
Well there you have it. What do you think? any mountain bikers out there just a little peeed-off about being demoted? or an attempted demotion anyway. What think you….?