twizzle wrote:il padrone wrote:You'll note that yes, it looks like a decline pre-law. but there is only data collected every 5 years (census I believe) so between 1986 and 1991 in Vic, NSW, Tas and SA there was a decline - cause: helmet law introduction (and enforcement) in 1990*. A pretty clear connection.
* the graph has an incorrect date for Victoria - laws came into force in 1990 and they were enforced then. I saw numbers decline very rapidly at my school within a few months - 300+ cyclists to just 20 !!
And wasn't the early-mid 80's the period where interest rates went stupid, no-one had money, and it only started to come good in the early 90's?
Oh, look - perhaps cycling was related to money, not helmets.
I can see some merit in what you are saying and I think it could be at least somewhat attributed to the rise of sport cycling. However children and young adults rarely have large debt burdens, and these are the people that are missing from cycling.
If I wanted to be critical about your theory I could point out that even though interest rates have been low, the cost of housing is at historical highs relative to inflation that we have never seen before in Australia so people are forced to commit more of their income to housing repayments.
This graph hasn't been refreshed in the last 12 months to reflect the higher interest rates that are in place now, but we can still see a record amount of household income going to housing costs. I'm sure everybody here would agree that other aspects of cost of living are also very very high at the moment. Anecdotally people are struggling at the moment. I would argue that if finance were the primary driver of cycling then the GFC has made it more attractive than ever.