365 Days of Gratitude – Day 303

“Carlessness” an update…

The question I get most often is, “so, how’s being carless going?”! And my answer has always been something to the affect of, “it’s not as hard/bad/difficult/challenging/painful as I thought it would be!” Now, having 60 degree days in December is partly why that answer is as it is, but the truth is, because it just isn’t that hard…

The commute to work is an easy one. I take a calm local street to the catch the Monon Trail which connects to the Cultural Trail followed by a short stretch on Mass Ave to the Athenaeum. It seems so trite, but the time on my bike is something I have really learned to treasure and have discovered lots of benefits and unintended consequences:

  • Peaceful way to start and end my day
  • Saving money on gas, car insurance, oil changes, repairs….
  • Reducing my carbon footprint
  • Dedicated work out time
  • Easy (free) parking
  • Glorious sunrises and magical sunsets

People are inquisitive about weathering the weather (lol), and what I’ve learned is pretty simple. Carry rain gear, dress in layers, and I buy clothes that allow me to swing my leg over the bike frame! A friend and I experienced an important lesson when we got caught in a REALLY HEAVY rainstorm this fall. We put our heads down, got wet, kept moving, hung on during wind blasts and laughed through it! Several weeks later we were rehashing the ride and realized that both of us now have more tolerance for riding in the rain. It’s just water!

And my friends… What I’m doing does require a community to support me. My daughter’s HS soccer team had an amazing season, and we traveled as they marched through the season to win the state finals. Friends loaned me their cars for out of City games and other times when renting didn’t make sense/cents. It feels like I’m living the notion of the shared economy! Gratitude…

I serendipitously sold my car the day Blue Indy came on line and have been a solid user ever since. It was an easy sell for me as it is a mere $4 to get downtown with easy access to cars as there are 4 stations within a half mile of my home. I’ve used TURO a couple of times which is an app I liken to AirBnB for cars. Normal folks renting their cars… more of the shared economy.

And of course there’s IndyGo. I mainly use my bike, but it’s convenient to throw my bike on a bus and get an easy ride home for less than $2. I’m anxious for the Red Line to come to fruition and for the current system to continue to improve as it is still not as robust as our community (and I) needs! I know that the current limitations are no fault of the dedicated staff operating the system, but due to severe under funding… Heavy sigh.

Holidays do require some scheming as we celebrate many of them at my parent’s farm up north. I’ve hitched a ride/shared gas with my nephew and cousin a couple of times to and fro, and I’m smiling as I think about the trips and conversation as I rarely get so much time to catch up with extended family. Not a bad unintended consequence.

Oh, and I almost forgot. I’ve invested in good LED lights – both front and back. The days are short and nights are long – you gotta’ be seen!

All in all, so far so good. Let’s get through a winter and I’ll give it another review!

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