DARIEN - Some southwestern Connecticut bicycle businesses say the pain at the pump is pushing local residents to use bikes as a mode of transportation.

Mike Smallidge, the owner of Pedal and Pump Bicycle and Fitness Center in Darien, said he typically sold 15 to 20 bicycles a week before gas prices started to rise. That number has since jumped to 25 bicycles a week as more of his customers are using bikes to get around town.

One of the drivers-turned-cyclists is Darien resident David Epprecht, who sometimes rides his bike to work even when it rains.

"I don't live very far away,? Epprecht said. ?I feel the ride to work is good and energizes me in the morning."

Smallidge said he feels some people are doing their part by keeping their vehicles at home.

"They're driving bigger cars and feeling like they shouldn't be driving a big car to make a small trip,? he said.

Some customers buy bicycles to pedal it from home to the train station. Others, especially teenagers, are buying road bikes to avoid spending their money on gas.