"If before the [2008] crisis bicycle sales would reach between 80,000 and 90,000 per year, the figure now is 26,000 and there is no sign of market recovery," says Algimantas Paulikaitis, president of the Bicycle Business Association.

He believes the main reason is the black market, selling second-hand bicycles often imported illegally from abroad.

Although cycling is becoming increasingly popular with Lithuanians who use the two-wheeled vehicle for recreation as well as transport, bicycle sales in Estonia are twice as high, Paulikaitis notes, even though the neighbouring country has half Lithuania's population.

There are 12-14 bicycles per one thousand people in Lithuania, while in countries like the Netherlands, Germany or Finland the ratio is 50-60 per 1,000.