Rome, May 24 - Bicycle sales in Italy have outpaced car sales for the first time in 48 years, the transport undersecretary said Friday. "There is a silent revolution taking place on two wheels in our cities," said Erasmo D'Angelis. "It's a true and proper boom of people using bikes as a daily mode of transportation". In 2011, bicycle sales outpaced cars by 2,000. Last year it was by 250,000 - 1.4 million automobiles to 1.65 million bikes. D'Angelis said the reason is largely due to Italy's ongoing recession, by some accounts the worst since World War II. "The ministry is studying innovative ways to encourage bike riding," he said, adding that "adequate resources" had to be allocated to building more bike paths.