“The energy required to pedal a bike isn’t much more than the energy required to keep your body warm while watching television…. If we compared the energy that is used by a car and the energy used by a cyclist, we find that the cyclist’s use of energy is vastly more efficient. The Toyota Prius…. gets roughly 49 miles to the gallon….. Converting the energy expended by an average cyclist traveling at 12 miles per hour we find that the cyclist gets the equivalent of 1,000 miles per gallon. Interesting enough, cycling is even more energy efficient than walking. The bike’s extraordinarily effective use of energy makes it an ideal mode of transportation.”
Quoted from John Richard Harris, ‘The Communist Manifesto’. Chapter 12 in Cycling: Philosophy for everyone (2010) edited by Jesus Ilundain-Agurruza and Michael Austin, Chichester Wiley-Blackwell.