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Globe 100 | True Green

Cycling may be the new golf

John Pepper, chief executive of Boloco, commutes on his black Cannondale mountain bike. 'It keeps your pulse on what's happening, he said. John Pepper, chief executive of Boloco, commutes on his black Cannondale mountain bike. "It keeps your pulse on what's happening, he said. (Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff)
By Erin Ailworth
Globe Staff / May 18, 2010

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A number of top Boston area executives have taken up bicycling to stay in shape, cut back on car time, and reduce emissions.

“The thing about the biking is that it’s a real opportunity for us to make a difference in the city,’’ said John Pepper, chief executive at Boloco restaurants.

Pepper often commutes to work, pedaling his mountain bike from Downtown Crossing, around the Boston Common, and down Newbury Street — or, if he’s in a rush, Commonwealth Avenue.

“It keeps your pulse on what’s happening,’’ Pepper said, adding that Boloco is hoping to encourage more employees to cycle by installing bike racks outside restaurants, offering an incentive to purchase a bike, and partnering with a sports club to help people train.

New Balance chief executive Rob DeMartini said riding his carbon-fiber Specialized Tarmac road bike keeps him fit and helps him network.

“You go 100 miles, you got a lot of time on your hands, so you end up talking about a lot of subjects, and business always comes up,’’ DeMartini said.

“I’d love to see the city continue to move toward a more bike-friendly community: bike paths and bike lanes. I think the more we do that, the more people will use it.’’