Youth is centrally associated with many things.

Like potential. And a sense of adventure. Perceived immortality. Rashness.

And, of course, middle age has its own defining characteristics than can be readily observed in many of its members. A number of those on-display traits are mirror opposites of what notably defines adolescents.

That is, things like patience. Caution. Informed judgment.

And brittleness.

That last-mentioned element is likely to be acknowledged by virtually every boomer-aged person in the country, save for a few stubborn types who refuse to accept that they are aging and that their bones aren’t quite as forgiving following a spill, tumble or collision as they used to be.

Californians and other states’ residents across the country looking for assurance that they’re just as pliable as they ever were aren’t going to get it from doctors who study bicycle-related accident statistics.

In fact, researchers who zero in on that subject simply note what they see as being exceedingly obvious, namely, that older riders have more accidents than younger bicyclists and suffer more serious injuries from their spills and collisions.

One California doctor and researcher notes “the trend in riders older than 45 getting hurt” and the basic fact that older riders will typically “have more severe injuries” in bike mishaps than people who are young enough to be their children.

Here’s an incontrovertible bike-related finding: More people — and of all ages –are riding all across the country, with, unsurprisingly, more of them being injured in accidents. And, increasingly, riders over the age of 45 are the persons showing up in emergency rooms with injuries needing medical treatment.

The spiking popularity of biking nationally is unquestionably a positive thing, given the established nexus between riding and its corresponding health benefits.

And older bicyclists are literally driving that popularity. They just need to take due care to ensure their own safety while leading the pack.