As gas prices continue emptying wallets, New Hampshire residents are being asked to reduce the number of miles traveled on state roads as part of a “Commute Green” initiative.

The challenge? Eliminate 50,000 miles on New Hampshire roadways this week, thereby reducing the need for roughly 100 barrels of crude oil.

Organizers are enthusiastic about the annual Commute Green New Hampshire event, and are optimistic the endeavor will get people to rethink the way they travel to and from work and school.

Gov. John Lynch and Dr. Susan Lynch are expected to kick off the week by bicycling to work this morning.

“Gas prices are through the roof right now, but for me, it doesn’t really make a difference,” said John Pelletier of Dover, who chooses not to own a car. “Being without a car means that I don’t have to worry about insurance, car repairs or gas prices. It saves me a lot of money.”

Pelletier admits he is not the norm, but says commuting with his all-weather bicycle is part of his daily routine. The 24-year-old commutes two-and-a-half miles to the Downeaster train station in downtown Dover before taking the train into Massachusetts for his job in Cambridge.

He even shops for groceries with his bike, and can carry up to 50 pounds on his rear bike rack. “It saves me from paying for a gym membership, and I’m less sick because of all the exercise and fresh air,” said Pelletier.

The Commute Green New Hampshire project is encouraging people throughout the state to follow responsible commuting habits like Pelletier’s, and is challenging residents to carpool, walk, bike or take the bus for one week.

Hundreds of bicycle commuters of all abilities are expected to take to the streets from May 16-20 as part of the program, which coincides with the 55th annual National Bike/Walk to Work Day on May 20. Last year, about 2,000

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