(During the trip, I decided to take a quick survey of all the riders, just after we had left Arusha in Tanzania. This has been sitting on my hard drive since then! It's time to finally use it - this will be a first in a series of posts about the results. 52 riders participated in this survey, out of 69 total riders, a subscription rate of about 75%. I've not discounted sectional riders but there were relatively few of these.)
When starting the Tour D'Afrique, it quickly became clear that I was one of the youngest riders on the trip. The two main logistical barriers to the trip seem to be getting time off from work and financing it. Most young people have plenty of time, either before or after studying and don't have other constraints which tie them to home - such as a family or mortgage. Having enough money to do the trip is pretty difficult though and I worked hard for four summers and had to borrow some money from my parents in order to fund the trip! (Incidentally, the third barrier to joining the TDA is your fitness! Arguably though, this is something that can be fixed with a little dedication and perseverance.)
A few weeks ago, I was catching up with a friend over a drink and he had a dozen questions about the trip and more specifically EFI. This Wikipedia entry details EFI fairly well but I was curious to find out what the breakdown of EFIers was, by age. Brian at Tour D'Afrique very helpfully extracted this data for me and I've combined it with the data from our trip below.
The very first question we asked people was what their age was. I've plotted a histogram of the 52 riders ages on the graph below, bucketed in 5 yearly intervals. The average age of riders on our trip was 35.2 years, of which 28% had a birthday on the trip. (Theoretically this should be 32.9% but it's close enough.)
You'll notice the following-
- The bulk of riders are aged between 25 and 45.
- There are a reasonable number of younger riders but far fewer older riders - this is probably indicative of the fitness level required to do the trip.
Using the data that Brian gave, I've plotted a histogram of the 100 EFIers ages on the graph below, again bucketed in 5 yearly intervals.
This is a little different to the 2010 age distribution-
- There is a similar peak between 25 and 45, although here it appears to extend to 50. 40-44 is a little bit of an anomaly. I think this is due to fitness.
- There are no EFIers younger than 22.
Out of interest, I've plotted the age distribution of EFIers against riders on our tour on the graph below. You should not that this is not statistically sound because the EFI data is taken from ten tours versus just one for the age distribution!
What is interesting is that-
- There are proportionally more older EFIers than riders on the 2010 tour.
- Whereas the peak bucket for riders is to be aged between 25-29, the highest proportion of EFIers are aged 35-39.
In addition to the aggregate data above, I also have a gender breakdown of both riders from the 2010 trip and of EFIers.
Women appear to be generally underrepresented in both our tour and as a proportion of EFIers as a whole. However, the proportion of EFIers who are women is much less than the proportion of riders on our tour. There's a roughly similar age distribution for EFIers - whether man or woman.