Some interesting reports came out this week highlighting the perils of trying to live longer, the dangers of living too long, and the general lottery a Federal election can be.
According to new guidelines released by the World Health Organisation this week, one of the great certainties we can look forward to in life if we live too long is dementia, and one of the keys to avoiding dementia as we age is to stay active. Perhaps by riding a bike.
In another report released this week by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, it was revealed that one in five people injured on Australian roads between 2000 and 2016 was a cyclist. And of those cyclists injured in this time, the number aged 45-64 hospitalised increased by almost 600%, and 500% among over-65s.
This has major implications for Bill Shorten and Scott Morrison because it shows an epidemic of Baby Boomers getting on their bike over the last decade, possibly in an attempt to stay active, perhaps to avoid dementia, thus placing themselves in mortal danger. Good news for young people, perhaps, because a lot seem to be asking Bill and ScoMo, "what are they living for?" And by that I mean Baby Boomers. Paying for their retirement doesn't seem to cut the mustard. Nor their franking credits and negative gearing.
Not that I'm trying to make young people sound callous or entitled, because have you ever talked to a Baby Boomer about their investment properties?
Young people just want a slice of the action, and a system that's working for them, and that's fair enough too when inheritance has become one of the only realistic ways of getting into the housing market. Pretty easy to see why parents who refuse to fall off the mortal coil are viewed by some scions as an impediment to future financial well-being. Perhaps they could try falling off their bike. And maybe these stats suggests they are, in encouraging numbers.
The report, however, confirmed that young and old alike come off their bike, but older people break easier and end up in hospital. Probably with private health insurance. Young people generally bounce back from trauma better, but not the trauma of saving for a first home. Whether this sentiment helps Shorten or Morrison get into office, only time will tell. One thing's for sure, come election time everyone believes the country will be better off if they are better off.
You can't blame Baby Boomers for taking up cycling, either, because what else are you going to do with all your spare time except spend the kid's inheritance.
The report suggested other contributing factors to the increase in Baby Boomer crash risk included rusty bike handling skills, lower muscle strength, and issues with vision. Sounds a bit like the problems plaguing Parliament, but it's reassuring to know that natural selection keeps working no matter how fancy your bike is.
Ultimately the message seems to be if you live long enough, you'll get dementia and forget what all the fuss was about.