|Biking to Work (M McVeigh/CityLab)|
The best thing about biking to work has nothing to do with exercise, the environment, or saving money. It’s all about the chance to unplug.
Since moving to Washington, D.C., six years ago, there’s one question I know I’ll hear when I go home to sprawling suburban Phoenix: “So, you don’t have a car?”
At first, I felt this anxiety, too. I’d imagine phantom buzzes in my pocket and check to make sure I didn’t miss an email before the light turned green. I considered getting a smartwatch as a handy way to keep up with notifications on my commute. And then it hit me: Just ignore the damn thing! When I did, I caught my mind wandering, and—it’s almost embarrassing to admit—had to fight the urge to cut it off with a quick hit of lit pixel. It was an exercise in its own right, and a difficult one. But I’ve since figured out how to be a refreshing mix of bored, contemplative, and daydreamy for those 30 minutes on both ends of the workday, and I can’t recommend it enough for anyone who thinks that sounds like a nightmare.