I'm not car free, but I'm aiming for that goal. At present, I'm still commuting to work by car and striving to use a bike for everything else.
I've noticed that riding my bicycle to the grocery store, library, restaurant, or the minor league ballpark is a solitary experience (unless my wife comes along). Mine is usually the only bicycle locked to the shopping cart corral or parking meter out front. I see other bicyclists on my routes, but they are almost exclusively recreational cyclists out for leisurely rides, usually riding on the wrong side of the street! I also see the more competitive types out for group training rides on their speedy road bikes. I'm the only freak with grocery sacks strapped to the back of the bike.
I would like to lobby for the installation of proper bicycle racks at the businesses I patronize, but if I'm the only person who would use them, I'm guessing such an idea won't gain much traction. I suspect that those of you who live in Toronto, Portland and NYC see lots of other folks handling daily tasks on bikes, but in my neighborhood, I sometimes feel like I'm all alone in my desire to take care of life's chores on a bike.
Anyone else feel that way? It sure would be nice to have some company and see other bicycles leaving the neighborhood market loaded with provisions. Occasionally someone will see me packing the bike in front of the store and say, "Now that's the way to go!" or something like that. But so far I haven't seen too many other folks give it a try. Maybe if gas prices keep going up ...