A BICYCLE CLEARS WRITER'S BLOCK
Like a lot of people in Chicago, I decided to buy a bike to get and stay in shape. I was a little hesitant because bikes are expensive and because I didn’t know when I’d find time to “exercise” on it. But I bought it, began training for a mini triathlon, and felt a lot better about my purchase. I only associated it with exercise, so when I was feeling lazy (which happens a lot), the bike sat in the basement collecting the guilt of nonusage. And dust.
One day I had to run an errand that usually would’ve taken me a half hour. Instead, I jumped on my bike and got it done in ten minutes. It was a lot faster than walking would’ve been, and it was such a nice day out, it didn’t even feel like I was running an errand. Plus, I had fun.
Then my wife and I moved into a new neighborhood and started walking around to get to know all the shops and stores in our area. After a while we knew where to find the grocery store and the local Dairy Queen (very important). And that’s when it hit me: riding my bike around would let me see even more of my neighborhood in less time. So I got to know even more of my neighbors and expanded my reach. All while getting in some good exercise without going to the gym!
Being a writer, I need to be free of distractions. It can sometimes be tough to focus at home. While riding around the neighborhood, I discovered a great coffee shop that’s only a five-minute ride away. Whenever I need to get away from home to get some work done, I throw my netbook into a bag and ride on over there. I’m incredibly productive in coffee shops, and the bike ride over makes it feel a lot closer than it is, meaning I’m productive more often.
Every now and then, I’ll still take my bike out on exercise runs. But what I use it more for these days is getting around and getting things done. It has not only made me faster when running errands, it’s made me more productive as a writer, too. And the exercise comes included as part of the deal!