Bicycles have always been a part of the everyday life of many people.
For centuries, people have used them for speed and to ride on narrow paths.
They are also useful for getting around.
But for the last couple of decades, the number of people with bikes in their everyday lives has been increasing.
Now, many people are asking: can we make cycling safer?
And is cycling a good idea?
Bicycles are used in many different ways around the world.
Many countries have special bike lanes, so cyclists can travel in safe conditions.
In France, for example, the use of bicycles is banned in major streets.
But a new bicycle lane has been constructed on the highway in the French town of Montréal, in order to accommodate the growing number of cyclists.
In the United States, the American Public Transportation Association says that about one in four people has a bicycle.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, there are about 6 million bicycles in the U.S. But many of those bicycles are used only for commuting.
A bike shop can only be an option for the most affluent people.
Bicycling is also a popular recreational activity, especially in the summer months, says Daniel Rieder, a member of the Transportation Safety Institute in California.
“In the summer, when the weather is hot and the sun is shining, people really enjoy riding their bikes,” he says.
The U.K., for example is famous for its cycling infrastructure.
“We have some really good infrastructure for cycling,” says Daniel Stowe, director of cycling in London.
In the summertime, he says, the city sees up to 1,000 cyclists a day, who ride around on the city’s greenways.
In a country where about two-thirds of the population lives in the countryside, it is not surprising that many people do not own bicycles.
Many people simply do not have the space, or are afraid to leave their homes in the middle of the night, says David Bremner, who teaches urban studies at the University of Warwick.
“I would be surprised if cycling was a serious health hazard in Britain,” he adds.
There are also safety concerns.
People with health problems can become injured or even killed when they are hit by vehicles or cyclists, says Dr. Peter Torgersen, who heads the Transport Safety Institute.
“They might get injured on the street or in the road,” he explains.
“People with serious health problems, like heart disease or diabetes, might get more serious injuries when they get into a collision with a vehicle.”
Bicycle helmets have also become a problem in Europe, with the number in some countries increasing by more than a third.
In recent years, the European Union has increased the safety standards for helmets and has started to regulate the number and types of helmets, says Rieden.
Bremners worries about the safety of helmets in the future.
“I’m afraid we will have helmets that are not as safe as they need to be,” he warns.
But, he adds, “we have to make sure they are safe.”
The European Union currently has no plans to introduce regulations for bike helmets in Britain, but the British government is working on the issue, says Bremers.
“The British government has been talking about it for some time,” he continues.
“The UK’s bicycle industry has been very positive about it, so it would be very good to see the British Government make a decision soon on that.”
Bike insurance is a problem, too.
Bikes are often seen as expensive because of their high insurance premiums, and insurance companies often refuse to pay for a bike if they have not received the registration number, says Peter Jansen, a bike insurance agent based in the Netherlands.
“If they do not get the registration, they will refuse to insure,” he said.
Insurance companies also may not pay out the full value of a bike’s value, which is why people often find it cheaper to buy their bike at a bike shop than to get a bike repaired.
Another reason for bikes not being as safe is that some cyclists have been caught stealing them.
“There is a lot of evidence of thefts, and people who have been stolen tend to get their bikes back, rather than the other way around,” says Torgensen.
A recent study showed that more than half of all bicycles stolen in Denmark were used by cyclists, and that some of them were used as weapons.
Bike theft in the United Kingdom is not a problem that is solved by laws, says Trogersen.
“It is a bigger issue than we realize.
We don’t have a big enough focus on bike theft to prevent the problem,” he agrees.
Torgersen adds that the number one thing cyclists need to keep in mind is to always have a helmet.