I cycled for 6 months before I could afford a car, and counted 11 separate incidents that could have ended with me hospitalized if it weren't for some adrenalin fuelled swerves. Had one accident where someone failed to indicate left as I was crossing the road of a roundabout, and I ended up on her bonnet. No amount of apologies make up for a broken rib unfortunately. How that was my only "major" injury still baffles me. Had another where someone failed to check their mirrors as they randomly swerved out and forced me into oncoming traffic. Never tried to overtake from that point onwards. I had 4 instances where people tried to overtake me way too close and forced me to bail onto the pavement (not fun with clip-on pedals). As soon as that bank balance hit the magic number I went and invested in driving lessons, insurance and a car.
Unless my future commutes have bike paths from beginning to end, there's no chance I will ever cycle to work again. It was the most miserable part of my day. I'll stick to my morning spin class and get to work early to avoid the traffic instead.
The local council (local government in the UK) have had a massive drive to get new cycle lanes in place - problem is, they're also completely inept so have put them in places where nobody cycles anyway. I've been told they are where they are purely to fulfil a quota so they don't look so statistically bad when compared to other municipalities, which honestly wouldn't surprise me. They painted road markings for nigh-on 10km of unused road, whereas all of the roads leading to the major industrial and office estates where people travel to daily have been completely neglected. It's beyond infuriating.
You know how motorists sarcastically refer to cyclists over here? "Crunchies", or something like that.
My work trip is 5 km and all the way is bike roads and pedestrian paths. One of the advantages of living in the nordics, I suppose.
I don't even wear a helmet in the summer - I just pedal intentionally slow.
Anecdote: I was with a group of tourists and we were about to rent bikes for a guided tour. We were offered helmets, but only some were taken. Before we even departed, a girl managed to fall of her bike and injur herself. A second offer to use helmets was met with much more acceptance.
Statistically speaking, dutch don't wear helmets and they don't get much injuries. It's as much about how you cycle and what the routes are like than having or not having a helmet.
In some cities it can be quite dangerous to ride around.
Never mind we had it rain nearly every day for like a month and that this week it's in the 90Fs with air quality alerts and 60%+ humidity every day and just walking to your car gets you sweating and NO ONE wants to smell you all day because you biked to work... and then come winter it'll get below 0F many days with varying amounts of snow and ice. I think we had -35F windchill this past winter on a day or two it was -12F.
I happily biked for years in London (considered a dangerous cycling city).
I gave up in fear of my life in Fiji (tiny and sparsely populated).
I wouldn't even consider it in Dublin (which has a lot of cycle lanes).