The positive health effects of bicycling are well-known, and have been extensively documented, especially within the public health sector. Health professionals tout that regular bicycling can have significant impacts on a person's well being, leading to weight loss, lowered blood pressure, increased strength and mobility, and ultimately lower healthcare costs both to individuals and society.
Burning calories while bicycling
A 190 pound person rides his bicycle for work, school, church and errands etc. for 30 weeks per year (May through Nov.) for 5 days per week at 10 miles per day for these various trips. That takes into account bad weather days. In total that person uses their bicycle for 1,500 miles per year for daily living, not including pleasure trips. Weight loss: 345 calories/hour X 150 hours = 51,750 calories or 14.79 pounds/ year. (actual weight loss depends on personal eating habits)
If the person's car gets 25mpp there is a savings of 60 gallons of gasoline or 2.14 barrels of crude oil per year. Money savings @ $3 gallon of gas = $180. If 10% of the Gettysburg area (or 1,000 people) did that in a year, then the gasoline saved would = 60,000 gallons and the crude oil saved per year would = 2,143 barrels.
Reduction in carbon dioxide emissions
Carbon dioxide reduction for one person = 60 gallons of gasoline X 19.564 pounds/gal = 1,174 pounds CO2/year plus immeasurable convenient, hassle free transportation. For 1,000 people the carbon dioxide reduction would = 1,173,840 pounds of CO2/year.
Walking health benefits