Endless roads
  • Anon N + 1

    I looked through the article that is alleged to show that women are safer riders than men (http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/11/e008052.full.pdf). (Note I am not that sophisticated in statistical analysis. Someone with more expertise should have a look.) It seems to me the study has a couple of deficiencies that suggest the conclusion lacks support. 1) the denominator is “trips” not kilometers so the result is injuries/trip, not injuries per km travelled. If men were to ride more km/trip than women, it would undercut the conclusion. 2) again ratio appears to be female injuries/total trips compared to male injuries/total trips (not female injuries/female trips vs male injuries/male trips).

    On the other hand, I think it is interesting that helmet use does not significantly reduce head injuries. Good infrastructure is more important.

    • Annie.

      Good points, thanks for sharing.

    • Dave

      Based on my observations on the roads of Adelaide (i.e. anecdotal, not data!), I could believe the study results to contain some truth – especially when normalised per trip instead of per kilometre or a weighted combination of both. Anecdotally, I notice more women using shared paths and going out of their way to avoid busy areas.

      I’m disappointed in the quality of the statistics and the weak treatment this was given by the peer reviewers though. If I give this to my statistics lecturer then I can predict (with a confidence level of p>0.95) that he will be exasperated, so therefore I won’t give it to him until after all the exams are marked.

      As for this bit…
      “On the other hand, I think it is interesting that helmet use does not significantly reduce head injuries. Good infrastructure is more important.”
      …surely you mean helmet legislation, not helmet use? In my case the local situation (I live in the foothills of Adelaide) will dictate that the vast majority of my cycling will still involve voluntary helmet use even if the legislation was repealed tomorrow, not least because when Noisy Miners swoop they aren’t as skilful at not hitting as magpies are.

    • Anon N + 1

      To get an idea of how much each of the sexes ride, I requested some information from the Lake Taupo Cycling Challenge, which they kindly provided. There are numerous categories — general road, professional road race, general mountain, professional mountain race, relays, kids, etc. etc. There are also some difficulties in sorting it all out, so I focused on general road riders only.

      The shortest event is an 80km ride half way around Lake Taupo. In 2014, 322 women and 379 men signed up or slightly less than equal

      The standard event is 160 km once around the lake. 1192 women and 4600 men or almost 4 times as many men as women
      There are several lunatic fringe events: 320km, twice around; 640km, four around; 1280km, eight around. The numbers aren’t broken down sub-event, but a combined total of 12 women and 127 men took part in these extreme events, or 10 to 1
      So it appears that the number of men and women ride up to about 100km are about equal but after that, the proportion of women falls significantly.

      These discrepancies in km travelled by leisure cyclists will probably reduce the difference in the relative number of injuries per km for women vs men.

      • Dave

        It would be interesting to get real stats on utility cycling.

        The last article I read on the subject suggested that for every major mode of transport, right from walking to driving with cycling and various public transport options between, the length that Australian men report as willing to commute for work is consistently 35-45% longer than the lengths Australian women are willing to commute using the same mode.

  • Cycling Fan

    Not a hint of confirmation bias in your Beyonce story is there ?!


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