Most of my ride is on minor surface streets, though for a few blocks I ride on a major street, and for a few blocks I'm in a bike lane. I also go through a city park and a large parking lot. My work schedule is early (7:30 am to 4:30 pm) and there really is less traffic to contend with then.
When we looked for a house 19 years ago, we bought one within easy commuting distance for me and also close to a convenient bus line. I had commuted slightly longer distances, but I was getting older. I am not a hero. When it rains, is too hot, or I'm sick, I take the bus. hot
One of delights of bike commuting is being able to pick up lose coins in the street. But you all know this. I once got a whole roll of pennies (admittedly smashed) and have gotten occasional bills. I also find it satisfying to rip outdated yard sale signs from utility poles.