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With more cyclists on the road, Quebec sees more cycling injuries

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Throughout the pandemic, commuters around the country opted for two wheels instead of four – but with more cyclists on the roads, there were also more injuries.

New numbers show a rise in bike-related hospitalizations across the country.

Montreal is said to be one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world, but it's not without its dangers.

According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, last year, Quebec had nearly 1,200 hospitalizations due to cycling accidents, up 20 per cent from the year before.

The numbers aren't as alarming as they sound, according to cycling organization Vélo Quebec. Bike sales and bike traffic are on the rise. In 2020, there were an estimated 4.5 million cyclists in the province.

"There's more people that cycle in Quebec," explained Jean-Francois Rheault of Vélo Quebec. "We have better numbers than the rest of Canada, so obviously, that will lead to more injuries. But also, the increase in injuries in Canada is greater than it is in Quebec."

The bike craze could pose another issue, though. Roughly a quarter of bikes sold in 2020 were electric, which Rheault said brings about new challenges.

"It brings higher speeds. It also brings conflict. What we're hoping is the provincial government will create good legislation to define what's an electric-assist bike and what's allowed on a bike path."

With only a small percentage of road space dedicated to cyclists, he said it's important to have clear rules on bike paths.  

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