I have been looking at some figures on Australian Cycling posted by Leon Arundell, I'll assume he's an expert, and a good statistician. The figures show, not surprisingly that cycling has grown over the years in overall numbers, from approximately 2.8 million to 3.1 million people from 2001 to 2009. (please note someone is considered a cyclist if they ride 13 times a year)
Of course its pleasing to hear numbers like this, sadly though over those years cyclists under the age of 15 have dropped from 1.69 million to 1.64 million. That's quite a concern, more so when looked at as a percentage of total cyclists it's decrease from 8.7% to 7.5%. It is noted that whilst cycling participation generally declines with age, teenagers are bucking that trend with unusually low participation.
I guess during the teenage years its not cool to be on a bike, or parents are giving priority to studies. Its sad really, this is an age when one can really take advantage of cycling. You are old enough to ride responsibly, and can take advantage of a bicycle as transport. Actually we should really be promoting teenagers to ride in a hope that this will lead to less dependance on cars. Maybe our beloved Elle could do some campaigning.
PS - I love how Elle has different bikes depending on which outfit she's wearing.