This doesn't mean you're a terrible person. It just means you're not carfree. But you are incredibly carlight.
One still gives over the space that the car takes up, but there's no reason one can't use the bed of a pick-up for something like potted plants. I'm going to explore with my agent just how much of the thing I have to keep in order to insure it. Maybe all I need is the VIN tag off the dash.:lol:
I'm certainly willing to stipulate that people who own cars but don't use them are "carfree" within the working definition on this forum. The point, as I see it, is not to come up with a definition that I like or you like, but just to have a definition that we agree on so we don't hAve to always explain ourselves or quibble about mere words.
I doubt if I personally would be considered carfree by anybody. I don't own a car, but somebody in my household does. And I regularly "make use" of that car, although I never drive it.
The problem is simple and the OP is not the first to point it out. When a new person that may indeed see car free as an absolute reads the title on the forum they get:
Forum: Living Car Free Did you give up your car for good? Is your bike and public transportation the only way you travel from point A to point B? If your only mode of transportation is your bike, discuss your car-free lifestyle here.
We have talked about this before, If being car free involves A: Giving up your car for good, and B: Your bike and public Transportation is the Only way you get from Point A to point B. Or C: if your bike is your only mode of transportation then you have a car-free lifestyle.
You could modify the working definition in the title to be more inclusive if the goal is to get more people talking about using a Bike for transportation. You could also make a sticky explaining how many times and for what reason you can use a car, yours or not, owned or rented or borrowed and call yourself car free or call anyone who rides in a car, rents a car, drives a car once, or pick number, a day, week month or a year car light.
It is just that so often this forum tries to hit a moving target when defining car free. In this thread alone we have had definitions that do not fit the title at the door. But like the OP indicated it is a "Bike" Forum so it would seem we would be far more interested in how people have used cycling to modify their transportation habits than we would about walkers, runners pilots, cross country skiers, or whatever. They should have a forum somewhere you would think?:lol:
People can be car-free when they bike to and from work and leave their cars in their garages. Or make a utility trip to the supermarket. You can own a motor vehicle, and still live car-free for parts of the day or week or month.
The title of this forum is exclusionary. It implies that you are not permitted to be a participant unless you are "pure". Most fundamentalist forums are like this.
Fortunately, the main antagonist to those who don't have the "pure" lifestyle has outed himself and is now just like most of the rest of us... using a motor vehicle when it's convenient. Which amuses me, because his assertiveness about the intent of this forum appears to be much less fundamentalist than it was when I have raised this subject several times in the past.
I'm a zipcar member, too, so sometimes-itarianism is leaking into my car free lifestyle, but I'm ok with it, because I don't drive on Tuesdays. Ever. It's principle.
I agree there is absolutely no reason not to be more inclusive to get more people involved. I have no problem defining myself as car light based on only using my vehicle once or twice a week. This year my mileage for both bike and Truck was about 12000 miles. 6800 on the bike. :) Still should they simply change the description of the forum?;)
Change it from ...
Did you give up your car for good? Is your bike and public transportation the only way you travel from point A to point B? If your only mode of transportation is your bike, discuss your car-free lifestyle here.
To something a little bit more like ...
Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.
What this forum can do, in a world where the cost of living increases substantially every year, and commercial interests are the fore, is to give people a clue as to how they can reduce those costs -- financial and environmental -- without having to be "different" and "fundamentalist" about it.
There are people who post in the commuting and utility bike forum who are as committed to using their cars less as many who post here. But they have little interest in joining the discussions here because they haven't up to now, fitted the required "membership profile".
Cycling Lifestyle, to me, opens up a whole new gamut of ideas including the concepts of living car-free, but expanding out in to the lifestyle choices that reflect what I have said above. After all, many of the subjects here have done that, anyway.
Also I have never said I was carfree myself, and I don't need to "outed" because I have always been open and honest about my car status. I was carfree when I lived alone, but became carlight when my son and his family, with their one car, moved in with me. This circumstance has obviously changed my lifestyle, but has in no way changed my attitude or opinions about cars and the desirability of being carfree when possible.
As I've posted before over the years, I'd like to see something along these lines in the BF index page:
Living With Bikes subforum
For those interested in using their bikes for everyday activities and relying less on cars. Also includes discussions of the roles of bikes, infrastructure, and cars in our modern society.
I think such a change would not only help bring in more participation, but it would remove the chip on a few shoulders regarding purity and likely lead to better quality discussions.
Wooow wooow woow....isn't car short for "carriage"?? So can't you say a Bike is a form of a "car"? :lol:
I am interested in "alternative" lifestyle options. It's one (minor) reason that attracted me to cycling in the first place.
I think the two forums should be reunited into one again!
As for a description ...
The Utility Cycling wording is a good start for a description, but I might add something about work and recreation ... using the bicycle for hauling things, but also for commuting to work, getting the groceries, and going to the beach. :)
I might also include something about making use of public transportation, walking (and ... roller blading, using those scooter things, or any other human-powered method of transportation) as well as cycling.
Pro-cycling, pro transportation alternatives, pro lifestyle alternatives ... rather than anti-automobile.
The title Living Car Free is fine, but if it were going to change, maybe Living Car Light might be more accurate.
I do know the historical reasons for why Utility broke off from LCF, because I was peripherally involved in the process. It was because some people did not want to be exposed to what they called "political" discussions on LCF. They wanted a subforum that dealt only with questions about bikes, gear, and riding techniques. I said that a Utility forum would be unpopular, and I was right. Those topics get boring pretty quickly for frequent users of BF. It's really hard to have a lively ongoing discussion about handlebar baskets, although the information is valuable if you actually want to purchase a basket.
Ironically, LCF itself was formed by Koffee Brown in order to get "political" discussions out of the Commuting forum. The current mods aren't aware of this fact, so they always want to lock "political" threads or (worse yet) banish them to P&R.