Reduce Gas the Easy Way: Try 'Bike To Work and School' Month

With gas up to a national average of $3.97 for the first week in May -- a nine-cent rise over the previous week and 48% higher since Labor Day -- it's getting hard not to panic about gas prices. My sister, who drives more than 25 miles round-trip every day for work, is starting to reduce or eliminate all other trips; my dad, who lives 50 miles outside of Portland, decided it would be better to get a motel for two nights than to drive there and back when helping me with a fixer-upper project. "I break even," he said shaking his head. "And I don't have to drive tired."

The rising prices are enough to get people to do drastic things -- like give up your car and switch to a bike, as I did several years ago. We started easy, though, with a "car diet" for a month (anything is possible if you do it for a month, right?) It was, and we just kept at it.

That's why I love National Bike Month, a celebration that, coupled with the Bike to Work and School Day, has morphed in my circle of friends into Walk and Bike to School Month (grown with inspiration from a friend and fellow bike activist, Olivia Rebanal). It's a challenge I make to friends and family: Don't try biking to work just for a day. Give it a month -- I can almost guarantee you'll love it.