After much badgering from Prodigal spouse, I recently traded in my beater bike for a newer, nicer one, and boy does this make my commute better!
I am the sort of person who is reluctant to "waste" money on something new, when I already have something that gets the job done. But sometimes, it makes sense to trade in the old and barely functional for something better. I ride my bike every day the weather permits. Moving from rickety, noisy and hard to use to quiet, comfortable, and fully functional is a joy (and safer to boot). I may still be really snowed under at work and home, but for half an hour each direction, I am enjoying life.
Now I am mid-career
2 days ago