I started working for Cargill Energy at the beginning of 2009, and almost immediately decided to cycle the 23 km (14 miles) each way. I live in a small village along lake Geneva in Switzerland, and work in Geneva itself.
The cycle ride takes me along the lake road, through villages that date back to Roman times, and into Geneva itself. A shortcut through the old part of the town gets me to Cargill around 6:40. I take a shower and am at my desk at 7am.
It was tough to start with. It was below freezing, dark, and the cycle paths had big chunks of ice welded to the ground.
After a minute or two of cycling I go into auto-pilot and start thinking about stuff. I usually regain consciousness an hour or so later when I’m at the office, and I find that I’ve generally made decisions. Sometimes tough decisions about what I need to do to advance my career, what I need to propose to the team I’m in to help us work more effectively, but I also gain significant insight into how I could go about designing a piece of software I’m working on,
Two hours a day is a big chunk of time to spend commuting to work, but it really isn’t two hours spent exercising: its two hours spent thinking. And they are almost always the two most valuable hours of my working day.