$5.5billion transport asset, left most days in Australian sheds

Store-and-forget solutions, for bicycles you are too frightened to use.

Can I bore you with some quick figures? Australia’s National Cycling Participation Survey, 2011, found there to be 1.46 bicycles, in working order, per Australian Household. Given the 2006 census counted 7.6 million households, we can guess there to be around 11 million bikes, in this country’s garages. Though we don’t have this data, $500 is a fair estimate for the average cost of a bike and associated accessories (helmets, etc) in this affluent country, in which case Australia has a $5.5 billion transport asset being used for less than 2% of all trips. For some perspective, the new 72km Perth to Mandura rail line cost $1.3billion. 
The Australian population has shown a $5.5billion interest in bicycle transit, and is just waiting for their government to match that.


  1. Anonymous says:

    I wonder that this may be related to your Top Gear thread. My “research” on this would not pass even the gentlest academic test but I have met quite a few people who bought a bike to get fit and / or reduce their carbon footprint, rode it to work a few times, got terrified by motor vehicle’s behaviour towards them, and gave up. You’ll find their bikes under the bed, in a cupboard or rusting slowly outside.

    • Steven says:

      Oh Paul, adulterating such a scholarly forum as this with anecdotals! I shall forward that comment to the reviewers and notify you of their responses 🙂

      • Anonymous says:

        I’d rather you forwarded it as an interesting hypothesis then convinced them to test it with rigor. The results would be a very valuable return on the taxes that fund them.

  2. Anonymous says:


    i can back up paul’s anecdote. my in-laws bought (matching! haha) bikes a couple of years ago, rode them a few times on their local rail trail but soon gave up – too hard to get to the trailhead what with all the subrural traffic. now they hang in the giant shed along with my wife’s beautiful orange ’70s peugot foldie with white walled michelin tyres, which i fully intend to import to SG, “soon”. that would make 3 foldies, 1 single speed and 1 road bike in a 2 person household.

    when we left i donated my commuting mtb to a bike-less mate, who never rode it. he passed it on to another mate, who’s gf rode it. they then passed it on to another mate who’s bike had been stolen, and who promptly allowed ‘my’ bike to also be stolen. at least someone is (probably) still riding it, and it’s not hanging in a shed.

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