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Characteristics of injured off-road cyclists
  1. RQ Ivers1,2,
  2. L De Rome1,2,
  3. S Boufous1,
  4. T Senserrick1,
  5. D Richardson3
  1. 1The George Institute for Global Health, Australia
  2. 2School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Australia
  3. 3Medical School, Australian National University, Australia


    Background Despite increasing popularity of off-road cycling, data on injury in off-road riders are rarely reported. This study aimed to describe characteristics of a sample of injured off-road cyclists.

    Aims/Objectives/Purpose Phone interviews were conducted with adults presenting to Canberra or Calvary Hospitals in Canberra with a cycle related injury between November 2009 and May 2010; medical records were accessed to verify patient data.

    Results Of 372 eligible cyclists, 84.1% (n=313) participated; 111 (35.5%) were riding off-road. Of off-road riders, most were riding mountain bikes (76%), 93 (84%) were male, compared to 74% overall and more were aged 17–25 (28% vs 22%). Most (63%) were riding on designated off-road trails, 22% in BMX- or skate–parks; 33% of cyclists involved in off-road crashes reported ‘riding for thrills’ compared to 5% in other cyclists, with the most common risk behaviour being downhill speeding. More off-road incidents involved a fall (93% vs 65% of all riders) but fewer involved collisions (6% vs 25%); more off-road riders were recreational riders (73% vs 43%) and more reported previous crashes (72% vs 60%). Most common injuries were bruises, abrasions and sprains; 36% had fractures. Most common injury sites were shoulder, elbow and hand. Helmet usage was higher for off-road riders (89%) compared to those riding on footpaths (71%) or cycle lanes (68%).

    Significance/Contribution to the Field A high proportion of injured cyclists were recreational, off-road riders. Although more research is needed, injury prevention programmes for off-road riders might focus on management of risky riding behaviours and hazards in the riding environment.

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