512,000 WA people ride each week — mostly for fun

More than half a million people in WA ride a bike each week, according to the National Cycling Participation Survey […]

bicycle participation in perth
More than half a million people in WA ride a bike each week, according to the National Cycling Participation Survey 2011.

The number of WA residents riding in a typical week was 512,000 or around 22 per cent, increasing to 30 per cent over a month and 45 per cent over a year, the biggest national survey of its kind said.

The national average for a week was 18 per cent.

WA has one of the highest levels of participation in children with about 57 per cent of children aged under 10 and 45 per cent of children aged 10-17 riding each week.

Participation of adults decreases to about 15 per cent of 18-39 year olds and 12 per cent of those aged 40 and over.

Men and boys are more likely than women and girls to ride. About 27 per cent of males and 17 per cent of females ride in a typical week.

The lowest rate of participation is by older women with 8 per cent of women aged 40 and over cycling in a typical week.

WA has a significantly higher rate of recreational riders than the national average – 77 per cent of people who ride in a typical week do so for recreation.

About 159,000 people make at least one trip for transport in a typical week. Transport trips include riding to work, education, shopping or visiting friends or family.

Nearly two thirds of households in WA have access to a bicycle.

In a typical week across the nation, around 3.6 million people ride for recreation, leisure or sport and 1.2 million people make at least one transport journey, the survey found.

The Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory also had cycling participation rates significantly higher than the national average. NSW had lowest rate.

A total of 9,661 households across the country in urban and regional areas consisting of 24,858 individuals were interviewed by phone in March and April in the Australian Bicycle Council survey done by Dr Cameron Munro, of Sinclair, Knight Merz.

Respondents were asked when they and other members of their household had last ridden a bicycle, and if in the past week, how often and for what purposes they had ridden.  The households were selected at random.

The highest level of participation was among children with nearly two thirds of 5-9 year olds riding a bike in a typical week. This dropped dramatically in adulthood with just 9 per cent of people aged 40 and over riding in a typical week.

Men and boys were more likely to ride a bicycle than women and girls: 22 per cent of males and 13 per cent of females rode in a typical week. The gender difference was smallest for children under 10 and was reduced in areas where there were generally higher levels of participation across all age groups.

Cycling Promotion Fund spokesman Stephen Hodge said the results reinforced the findings

of an earlier survey by the CPF and the National Heart Foundation of Australia which showed similar participation figures but, importantly, that up to 60 per cent  of Australians not riding would consider riding for transport if road conditions were safer.

Cycling participation for commuting is a different story:

Bike only 2001 2006 Absolute increase
WA 8,265 9,294 12%
All modes 2001 2006
WA 643,197 737,595 15%
WA Participation rate 1.28% 1.26%

(National Participation rate has gone from 1.4% to 1.3%)

Note – the problem is that car trips to work have increased faster that bicycle trips to work

Source: ABS

Overall cycling participation in 2006 was 3.9% for females, 8.8% for males, this includes all forms including competition, recreation, mountain biking etc.

The National Cycling Participation Survey report released on August 31 is at:


The overview and state-by-state breakdown is at:


The WA results are at:


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