Thinking on two wheels

How I carve out 80 minutes of thinking every day on my bike commute

Like any card-carrying member of the much-maligned Millennials, I spend just about every waking minute glued to (at least) one screen or another.

Every second spent waiting for a meeting to begin or stuck in line at the grocery store is a chance to respond to emails or catch up on the news (OK, check if my latest self-indulgent Instagram photo has any new likes).

As a Web developer who spends most of my free time studying programming or editing wedding photos at my side gig, I spend enough time in front a screen each day to make even the most steely optometrist weep.

That said, sometimes I just need some time away to think. I can't imagine my life without the Internet, but I can't imagine much of anything if I don't get some time offline each day.

That's where my bike commute comes in handy.

While biking and electronics are not mutually exclusive — I could buy one of those iPhone holder racks for my handlebars or listen to music with my Yurbuds — I have so far resisted the temptation to make my ride as Internet-tethered as the rest of my life.

I’m certainly not the first person to realize that time away from your desk can yield some of the best problem-solving. There’s something about the brain’s operation that has a way of resolving problems in a unique fashion when it is given time to linger off topic. It is far above my pay grade to explain how or why; I’m just happy to have the chance to recharge on the way home.

So, next time my coworkers wonder why I’m not at my desk — tell ’em I’m out thinking.