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The number of people cycling at any given time is much more affected by the number of regular cyclists, but the article talks about the much larger number of people who rarely cycle. "even once in the last year" captures a huge number of people, but their median hours on bike or distance ridden will be low. Further, many of those are recreational cyclists who are unlikely to been see on the road. Most of them ride intermittently.

The small subset who ride frequently (more than once a week) make up most of the cyclists riding at any given time. It's quite possible for the size of that group to change independently of the "even once" group. We could quite easily have ten times as many people riding to work every day while the "even once" group halved in size. The number of everyday cyclists really is that small. Less than 2% of people commute by bicycle[1].

The increase in Australia's population is almost irrelevant to either number. It's interesting that 45% have access to a bicycle but only 36% rode one. I would have picked that gap to be bigger.

[1] http://chartingtransport.com/2014/01/27/census-cycling-to-work/

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