Injuries in a 1-day recreational cycling tour: Bike New York

Ann Emerg Med. 1999 Jan;33(1):56-61. doi: 10.1016/s0196-0644(99)70417-8.


Study objective: To describe injuries during a 1-day urban cycling tour.

Methods: During the May 1996 "Bike New York" tour, we monitored EMS calls to identify injuries in a cohort of helmeted cyclists shielded from traffic. We collected demographic information from entry records, injury data from ambulance call reports, and follow-up on transported patients from telephone interviews with emergency physicians. Data were summarized using proportions, relative risks (RRs), 95% confidence intervals (CIs), and chi2 RESULTS: Approximately 28,000 cyclists participated, of which 23,502 (84%) were officially registered. Sixty-eight percent of registered bicyclists were male, and 92% were between 18 and 55 years old. Of the 140 EMS calls made during the tour, 136 (97%) involved participants; this yielded an injury incidence of 5 per 1,000 riders, or 12 to 13 per 100,000 person-miles. Injury was more common among younger cyclists (RR=1.4 for age </=35 years versus age >35 years; 95% CI, 1.0 to 2.0; P <.05), and possibly women (RR=1.3; 95% CI,.9 to 1.8; P =.11). Injuries were mostly minor, but there were 7 concussions and 6 clavicle fractures; none of the 140 injuries was fatal. Thirty-eight calls resulted in ED transport, and 5 of these patients were admitted. Although EMS units were evenly distributed along the route, most EMS calls occurred in only 3 of the 7 zones (P <.001).

Conclusion: Injuries during the largest 1-day US cycling tour were uncommon. More data are needed to determine the relative importance of injury risk factors. Data collection during mass events may help guide distribution of EMS personnel.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Bicycling*
  • Emergency Treatment
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New York City / epidemiology
  • Patient Admission
  • Urban Health*