Car Free

By Cassie Stockamp
The conversation usually starts something like this, “So, what do you do when it rains?” When I answer, I find that I normally break into a smile and simply say, “it’s just water.”

September 1, 2015. I remember the day well because I literally had just completed the transaction of selling my 5-year-old VW CC, and with license plate in hand, I walked to the press conference for the unveiling of Blue Indy on Washington Street. It was all a bit of a blur as I had talked about going car-free for quite some time, and when I heard that Blue Indy was coming to town it felt like I had found the final piece of the transportation puzzle. I had been dragging my feet to sell the car, as I was fearful about how I would navigate my life. I had kids in high school, soccer games, business meetings… When I finally found the courage and listed my car, I assumed it would take a couple of weeks to sell which turned in to a mere two days. Whew! In hindsight, I do not use Blue Indy as often as I anticipated as the location of the Blue Indy Stations are in my ‘hood both downtown and Broad Ripple. Both areas I easily cover on my bike.

Now back to that rain question. How do I describe the childlike feeling of joy I get from riding through mud puddles, lifting my feet off the peddles while completely drenched on a hot summer day? How do I describe the superwoman feeling I get when a strong storm wind presses against my back? How do I describe the awe I feel when a rainbow leads me home? So the rain. The weather. I find I pay attention and plan for it, lean into it. Slow down. Enjoy it.

The next question that follows is normally around snow and ice. I do pause a bit on this answer, as it’s a bit more complicated. 30-degree weather with a snowfall makes for an exhilarating ride. The beauty of the surroundings covered in a smooth white icing feels a bit magical as it brings a peace and soothing quietness. When the temperature drops and/or the snow melts bringing ice and that black melty mess, it’s definitely a different game. I have put together a spreadsheet in an excel format with the following on the X axis: Hands, arms, chest, neck, head, ears, legs, feet. On the Y axis: 50+, 40-50, 30-40, 20-30, 10-20, under 10. Yes, that is degrees. Over dressing, resulting in overheating is in some ways worse than being cold. Well, that may be a toss-up.

Selling my car has been life changing. Yes, that is a big statement, but I stand by it. In fact, it has been so life altering that I hope never to buy another…. Any more questions?

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