My commute is fairly easy. I bike down my street, cross and take another street to it's end. About 3 miles of my 4 mile commute to work is on a sidewalk that is shared by bikers and walkers. I cross the street at the capitol and I'm at work.
I'm 45 years old. I just started commuting. I'm on week 3 of my commute to work. I rode down to work several evenings after work before I started riding to work. I started on a mountain bike. A little over a week ago I got a Cannondale Adventure 4 .. makes the commute much nicer.