While living abroad I had the pleasure of living close enough to work that I never had to drive. This not only saved me a ton of money on gas, insurance and car repairs; it also kept me fit. Occasionally I would ride a awkward-sized second-hand bicycle if I was running late or had to walk more than a couple of miles.
Now that I am back in the states I live about 9 miles from work, making it impossible to walk. For the first few months of employment I would get on the freeway like every other sucker and coast into the office 30-40 minutes later. I was miserable but rarely complained because most of my colleagues would drive 1-1.5 hours each way! Then it dawned on me that riding a bicycle to work would take about as long as driving!
As you will soon come to know I hate buying anything new that can be bought used. However I knew so little about bicycles that I didn’t want to risk getting scammed on Craigslist. I ended up picking up a hybrid bicycle and my first commute was pure bliss. San Jose is a great biking city. There are large bike lanes and trails. I have my own lane for most of my commute! I quit the gym and vowed that three days per week my bike ride would be my workout. I fell in love with spin class while living in Los Angeles but this was the real thing!
After a few weeks; daydreaming while riding wore off and I wanted some music. The beat of the tracks quickened my pace. I felt like I was getting a decent workout and saving money at the same time. If I could ride three times a week my relatively expensive bicycle would pay for itself in about six months.
Then I decided to step it up a notch. I knew that listening to music while riding kept me motivated but listening to audio books might stimulate my mind that much more. My library has an app called ClickOne. It allows you to download audiobooks onto your iPhone and listen to them on the go for free. I have been listening to entrepreneur and self-help books for the past couple months and it has been awesome. Lately I have moved on to podcasts. The sessions are great for listening on the go and I’m consistently learning something new. My current rotation is The Nomad Capitalist Report, Smart Passive Income, and NPR’s Intelligence Squared Debates.
I am simultaneously stimulating my body and my mind three days per week while saving money at the same time. When I arrive to work I put in 100% and do what I can to improve my company’s bottom line. With that being said my commute is still the most productive part of my day.