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Ekdog 01-04-14 04:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rowan (Post 16381434)
It's not meant to be. Take a good hard long look at what Living Car Free means, and it means using a bicycle for utility purposes. I always thought the Utility Cycling forum should have been incorporated into this one. As it is, that forum has hardly any participation, and many of the bikes and functions mentioned there have been discussed here.

I think living car-free encompasses a lot more than just "using a bicycle for utility purposes". Some of the most interesting threads I've read here have centered on things like mass transit, multi-modal transport and how society can move away from motor cars in the future. If we were to be limited by your definition, those types of discussions might be declared off-topic and closed or moved elsewhere, limiting us to nuts and bolts type conversations which can soon become boring and repetitive.

If we were to follow your advice, Living Car Free would soon go the way of the Utility Bike sub-forum.

Machka 01-04-14 04:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roody (Post 16381471)
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.

The political discussions belong in P&R.

And Living Car Free and the Utility Cycling forums should be re-merged.

No one is suggesting that Living Car Free should be all about nuts and bolts type conversations, but rather that those topics should be part of the Living Car Free discussions. After all, if one wants to be "car free" or "car light", those types of discussions are part of it.

ironwood 01-04-14 05:26 AM

I don't think you can really separate and compartmentalize living car free, utility cycling and advocacy & safety, and some politics. It is difficult to live car free or light without some cargo carrying bike or trailer. We also need cycling infrastructure and laws protecting us; and this has to involve some sort of political action, at the local state or national level. As I mentioned in another thread, those countries with both a high standard of living, and a high percentage of bicycle usage, eg; The Netherlands and Denmark have government programs encouraging cycling, walking and public transportation. This involves politics.

If you want government action you have to get involved in politics, in the broad sense of the word. Otherwise the Sarah Palins, and Rob Fords of the world will bury us.

Machka 01-04-14 05:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ironwood (Post 16381502)
I don't think you can really separate and compartmentalize living car free, utility cycling and advocacy & safety, and some politics. It is difficult to live car free or light without some cargo carrying bike or trailer. We also need cycling infrastructure and laws protecting us; and this has to involve some sort of political action, at the local state or national level. As I mentioned in another thread, those countries with both a high standard of living, and a high percentage of bicycle usage, eg; The Netherlands and Denmark have government programs encouraging cycling, walking and public transportation. This involves politics.

If you want government action you have to get involved in politics, in the broad sense of the word. Otherwise the Sarah Palins, and Rob Fords of the world will bury us.

You can be car free or car light without a cargo bicycle or trailer quite easily. I did it for 6 years ... it never even occurred to me to get those things.

And I was also car free without any particular cycling infrastructure, or any particular political involvement. I was certainly not car free because of any political statement or involvement ... politics had nothing to do with my being car free.

So while I think there are some overlaps between Living Car Free, Utility Cycling, Advocacy and Safety, Commuting, and a teensy bit of Politics ... I think we can safely leave Advocacy and Safety on its own, and we can put political stuff in P&R, but re-merging Living Car Free and Utility Cycling is a good idea. As for Commuting ... sometimes I wonder if we should merge Commuting, Living Car Free, and Utility Cycling, and just call it Commuting. :) But I suppose that Living Car Free/Utility Cycling encompasses a bit more than just commuting to and from work.

Roody 01-04-14 07:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Machka (Post 16381483)
The political discussions belong in P&R.

And Living Car Free and the Utility Cycling forums should be re-merged.

No one is suggesting that Living Car Free should be all about nuts and bolts type conversations, but rather that those topics should be part of the Living Car Free discussions. After all, if one wants to be "car free" or "car light", those types of discussions are part of it.

Excuse me, but it's the so-called "political" discussions that YOU almost exclusively post on. I have known you to submit 15 or 20 messages to a single "political" thread, so evidently it is an activity that you enjoy. We do have quite a few nuts and bolts threads on this LCF page, but they get significantly fewer posts and page views. If so-called "political" activity was barred, the forum would wither away and die--just like the Utility forum. If anything, they should, as you say, reunite LCF and Utility to get more participation. Or just leave it the way it is, but with a more inviting title and blurb for LCF.

Out of curiosity, when is the last time you posted on the Utility forum? Do you ever spend more than 5 or 10 minutes a week there? Obviously you spend several hours a week on THIS forum, then you complain that there should be no political discussions.

(To clarify, by "Political" I don't mean electoral politics or campaigns or democrats/republicans. I agree that this has no place on this type of forum. I mean issues like how to spend transportation funds, social and economic problems, environmental concerns, and so forth. That's why I always put quotation marks around "political".)

Roody 01-04-14 07:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Machka (Post 16381510)
... As for Commuting ... sometimes I wonder if we should merge Commuting, Living Car Free, and Utility Cycling, and just call it Commuting. :) But I suppose that Living Car Free/Utility Cycling encompasses a bit more than just commuting to and from work.

Commuting made it quite clear at the time that they didn't want us around. They thought carfree issues were too political.

I thought ironwood said it very well. For better or worse, carfree issues touch on many other issues in our society. People often get very defensive because they wrongly feel that we threaten their lifestyle. If you are carfree, you can try to be apolitical but "they" won't let you be. Unless you just live in the carfree closet, people will challenge you and some (a minority) will become ugly and defensive when you try to explain your life choices. There are Rob Fords all over this world, but luckily most are not mayors.

Those who want to avoid political discussions on this board can easily turn away from them. It's as easy as changing the channel on TV if you don't like Big Bang Theory. There are other threads they can enjoy, DIY stuff and how's the weather. I think they will miss some informative and entertaining discussions, but that's just my taste.

Machka 01-04-14 07:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roody (Post 16381600)
Commuting made it quite clear at the time that they didn't want us around. They thought carfree issues were too political.

I can understand that.



Sorry ... I've got no idea who "Rob Ford" is, and I managed to live for 6 years without a motor vehicle without it ever becoming a political issue. One person, in that entire time, asked me if I couldn't afford a car, but that was the only time anyone questioned it.

Roody 01-04-14 07:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Machka (Post 16381606)
I can understand that.



Sorry ... I've got no idea who "Rob Ford" is, and I managed to live for 6 years without a motor vehicle without it ever becoming a political issue. One person, in that entire time, asked me if I couldn't afford a car, but that was the only time anyone questioned it.

Rob Ford is the mayor of Toronto who took a strong stance against bikes and cyclists making life miserable for motorists. All that has taken a back seat to his crack smoking and physical altercations with council members and others.

i have had a few run-ins with people about being carfree, but not too many. Some were interesting discussions with good give and take. The rest I walked away from.

ironwood 01-04-14 07:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Machka (Post 16381510)
You can be car free or car light without a cargo bicycle or trailer quite easily. I did it for 6 years ... it never even occurred to me to get those things.

And I was also car free without any particular cycling infrastructure, or any particular political involvement. I was certainly not car free because of any political statement or involvement ... politics had nothing to do with my being car f

I also got along without a trailer, and I used mytouring bike to carry stuff, but it is a lot easier with a trailer.

Fifty years ago I didn't think much about cycling infrastructure. I don' know off hand how many more cars are on the road now as compared to fifty years ago but there are and the drivers are more distracted. There weren't that many drugs and electronic gadgets. Just booze.

But you live now in Australia or Tasmania, not near a large American city. Why do you want to stop us from talking about how to live car free inour country? We need an infrastructure, and that involves politics.

I looked at the P&R forum for the first time and I saw only one thread remotely related to car free living on the first page.

Ekdog 01-04-14 12:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ironwood (Post 16381644)
But you live now in Australia or Tasmania, not near a large American city. Why do you want to stop us from talking about how to live car free in our country? We need an infrastructure, and that involves politics.

There are some car advocates who post here who would like nothing better than to put a muzzle on anyone who speaks out in favor of such topics as the need for cycling infrastructure (whether that be in the States, in Australia or elsewhere) or who calls into question the privileges motorists have enjoyed over the last century and the great harm they've caused to society. It's much easier, you see, to have someone's posts expunged than to actually come up with convincing arguments oneself and present them in a coherent manner.

Artkansas 01-04-14 01:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roody (Post 16381400)
How would that be different from the Utility Bike forum?

Which was split off of the Living Car Free forum. :thumb:

Pedaleur 01-04-14 01:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roody (Post 16381591)
If anything, they should, as you say, reunite LCF and Utility to get more participation. Or just leave it the way it is, but with a more inviting title and blurb for LCF.

Really, they need software that allows you to cross-post a single thread in multiple, but appropriate, forums. eg, question about dynamo lights for commuting (all the rage these days, apparently)? Put it in both commuting and electronics. Allow people who frequent one or the other to see them. "Political" question? LCF. Question about hauling groceries on snowy days? Utility, LCF.

Pedaleur 01-04-14 01:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rowan (Post 16380506)
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.

That's just goofy. There may well be too much effort put into defining "car free", but saying you can live "car-free" just by not driving your car for the afternoon is ludicrous.

Also, I've never felt excluded and I own a car and drive it once a month or so (and my wife uses it regularly). I would never consider myself car-free, but who in their right mind would say I can't post here?

Pedaleur 01-04-14 01:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Machka (Post 16381448)
boggled the mind, given that the two forums are one in the same idea.

Uh...no.

Machka 01-04-14 06:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ironwood (Post 16381644)
But you live now in Australia or Tasmania, not near a large American city. Why do you want to stop us from talking about how to live car free inour country? We need an infrastructure, and that involves politics.

I looked at the P&R forum for the first time and I saw only one thread remotely related to car free living on the first page.

I live in Tasmania ... a State in Australia. And cycling is a very politically charged topic here. Just last week the 1-metre rule was almost passed into law. I'm not sure what happened with that, but I don't think it became law. And there are ongoing political debates regarding bicycle lanes, bicycle paths and other bicycle infrastructure.

However, there is a forum for that, and it is called Advocacy and Safety.


One of the main reasons people come here is to see how it is done ... how it is possible to live car free or car light ... and to get some ideas for incorporating that possibility into their own lives.

That's why I think that the Utility forum should reunite with the Living Car Free forum, and that the description of the Living Car Free forum should 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.

As I said before, the Living Car Free should be pro-cycling, pro transportation alternatives, pro lifestyle alternatives ... rather than anti-automobile.

Unfortunately, I think that an emphasis on political discussions does turn people off ... as Roody mentioned, the Commuting forum wants nothing to do with the Living Car Free forum, even though they should be almost the same forum, and Utility broke off to get away from the political side of things.

If you want to attract people to the Living Car Free forum, provide them with positive pro-cycling, pro transportation alternative, pro lifestyle alternative information. And leave the bulk of the political in Advocacy and Safety.

Roody 01-05-14 12:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Machka (Post 16383132)
I live in Tasmania ... a State in Australia. And cycling is a very politically charged topic here. Just last week the 1-metre rule was almost passed into law. I'm not sure what happened with that, but I don't think it became law. And there are ongoing political debates regarding bicycle lanes, bicycle paths and other bicycle infrastructure.

However, there is a forum for that, and it is called Advocacy and Safety.


One of the main reasons people come here is to see how it is done ... how it is possible to live car free or car light ... and to get some ideas for incorporating that possibility into their own lives.

That's why I think that the Utility forum should reunite with the Living Car Free forum, and that the description of the Living Car Free forum should 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.

As I said before, the Living Car Free should be pro-cycling, pro transportation alternatives, pro lifestyle alternatives ... rather than anti-automobile.

Unfortunately, I think that an emphasis on political discussions does turn people off ... as Roody mentioned, the Commuting forum wants nothing to do with the Living Car Free forum, even though they should be almost the same forum, and Utility broke off to get away from the political side of things.

If you want to attract people to the Living Car Free forum, provide them with positive pro-cycling, pro transportation alternative, pro lifestyle alternative information. And leave the bulk of the political in Advocacy and Safety.

You do that and the forum will be abandoned within three months. Most of the people who say they don't like the political threads are the same ones making multiple posts on them.

IMO, the key to making everybody happy (not that it's ever totally possible) is to make sure that thread titles clearly and accurately reflect the content of the thread. That way, nobody has to be even briefly exposed to content that makes them uncomfortable. If the topic doesn't interest you, just pass it by. Any adult should be able to do that with a minimum of whining and name calling. For example, when I see something about internal geared hubs, my eyes glaze over. But I don't complain to a mod that that thread should be moved to the Utility forum. If the title mentions IGH or Rohloff, I simply fail to click on it. It's pretty simple, really.

Machka 01-05-14 12:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roody (Post 16383804)
IMO, the key to making everybody happy (not that it's ever totally possible) is to make sure that thread titles clearly and accurately reflect the content of the thread.

I agree.

The description should include comments about:
-- living car free
-- living car light
-- opting to use alternate transportation (including: bicycles, walking, other human powered transportation, and public transportation) for everyday activities (including: commuting, groceries, recreational activities, etc., etc.) whenever possible

And, because this forum already includes threads about lifestyle alternatives and wellness (i.e. the recent Sleeping thread, the Living More Simply thread, etc.), and those lifestyle alternatives are indeed interesting, I think the description should include a comment about that too.


IMO, that would make this forum seem more inclusive, and could open it up to a variety of interesting discussions.

And of course ... re-include Utility! :)

ironwood 01-05-14 06:24 AM

[QUOTE=Machka;16381606

Sorry ... I've got no idea who "Rob Ford" is, and I managed to live for 6 years without a motor vehicle without it ever becoming a political issue. One person, in that entire time, asked me if I couldn't afford a car, but that was the only time anyone questioned it.[/QUOTE] As Roody mentioned ,Rob Ford is the mayor of Toronto. He is on record as saying roads are for cars, trucks and busses; he doesn't care if cyclists are injured as it is their own fault for riding on roads where they don't belong. He has removed bike lanes; and he has stopped a light rail project because he thinks street cars are a pain the ass.

But he isn't alone: we have Rush Limbaugh who doesn't care if he doors and injures a cyclist; we have Dorothy Rabinowitz, of the Wall Street Journal, who considers bicycles a blight on New York; and there are other policians and commentators who are anti cycling. They see an internationalist, socialist plot.

Machka 01-05-14 06:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ironwood (Post 16383979)
As Roody mentioned ,Rob Ford is the mayor of Toronto. He is on record as saying roads are for cars, trucks and busses; he doesn't care if cyclists are injured as it is their own fault for riding on roads where they don't belong. He has removed bike lanes; and he has stopped a light rail project because he thinks street cars are a pain the ass.

But he isn't alone: we have Rush Limbaugh who doesn't care if he doors and injures a cyclist; we have Dorothy Rabinowitz, of the Wall Street Journal, who considers bicycles a blight on New York; and there are other policians and commentators who are anti cycling. They see an internationalist, socialist plot.

All of which is, no doubt, being discussed in the Advocacy & Safety forum ... I just did a search on Limbaugh in there, and all sorts of threads came up.

I'm sure they'd welcome any contributions you'd like to make to the various discussions. :)

Roody 01-05-14 07:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Machka (Post 16383996)
All of which is, no doubt, being discussed in the Advocacy & Safety forum ... I just did a search on Limbaugh in there, and all sorts of threads came up.

I'm sure they'd welcome any contributions you'd like to make to the various discussions. :)

Nice. :rolleyes:

Ekdog 01-05-14 08:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Machka (Post 16383996)
I'm sure [the Advocacy & Safety forum would] welcome any contributions you'd like to make to the various discussions. :)

I'm sure the Utility subforum would welcome your participation in any of the nuts and bolts discussions you profess to favor. :)

Bluish Green 01-05-14 12:39 PM

This LCF forum is most useful to me when we discuss and share ideas on how to live more car-free. I have found enough useful information and good exchange of ideas to keep coming back.

Having said that, of the sub-forums I regularly read on BF, this one is the most contentious. It's less fun to post in LCF because you can be sure that every word you write will be parsed by someone who doesn't like bicycling and wants nothing more than to stop the conversation by going negative and gumming up the works.

I suspect that the title of the sub-forum, "Living Car Free", specifically attracts some people who are either paid employees of auto or oil industry groups or those of the political bent of Rob Ford and Rush Limbaugh that just don't like treehuggers, bicyclists, socialists, etc. and are here just to go negative. I am surprised at times by the effort and time put into writing negative posts on LCF by folks that don't appear to like bicycling very much.

I am a bicycle commuter who got rid of a car. My wife still drives, so we are "car light" and don't neatly fit the LCF definition, however you put it. But that doesn't mean that I don't still have Living Car Free as an ultimate goal. Perhaps "Living As Car Free As Possible" would be more inclusive as a title, but it would be less effective.

The Bicycle Commuting sub-forum is a perfect match for me, is useful every day, and is 99% troll-free. It's great. This LCF sub-forum is more difficult, but still worth it, because it is aspirational for me and does include useful content not related to commuting from home to work. I'm sure others have different interests and needs; I'm just expressing mine here. The trolls won't keep me away. Some Troll-Away Spray would be welcome, though. If you are reading this and just absolutely personally hate bicycling, why don't you take the time you would have spent on a snappy cut-down reply and go out and do something nice for a fellow human instead? Leave this place for those who want to live car free, please.

I-Like-To-Bike 01-05-14 01:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bluish Green (Post 16384695)
This LCF forum is most useful to me when we discuss and share ideas on how to live more car-free. I have found enough useful information and good exchange of ideas to keep coming back.

Having said that, of the sub-forums I regularly read on BF, this one is the most contentious. It's less fun to post in LCF because you can be sure that every word you write will be parsed by someone who doesn't like bicycling and wants nothing more than to stop the conversation by going negative and gumming up the works.

I suspect that the title of the sub-forum, "Living Car Free", specifically attracts some people who are either paid employees of auto or oil industry groups or those of the political bent of Rob Ford and Rush Limbaugh that just don't like treehuggers, bicyclists, socialists, etc. and are here just to go negative. I am surprised at times by the effort and time put into writing negative posts on LCF by folks that don't appear to like bicycling very much.

I am a bicycle commuter who got rid of a car. My wife still drives, so we are "car light" and don't neatly fit the LCF definition, however you put it. But that doesn't mean that I don't still have Living Car Free as an ultimate goal. Perhaps "Living As Car Free As Possible" would be more inclusive as a title, but it would be less effective.

The Bicycle Commuting sub-forum is a perfect match for me, is useful every day, and is 99% troll-free. It's great. This LCF sub-forum is more difficult, but still worth it, because it is aspirational for me and does include useful content not related to commuting from home to work. I'm sure others have different interests and needs; I'm just expressing mine here. The trolls won't keep me away. Some Troll-Away Spray would be welcome, though. If you are reading this and just absolutely personally hate bicycling, why don't you take the time you would have spent on a snappy cut-down reply and go out and do something nice for a fellow human instead? Leave this place for those who want to live car free, please.

Got it, you are expressing your ideas here, and acknowledge that others hold different views, only that you object to anyone actually posting different views than your own.

Roody 01-05-14 03:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bluish Green (Post 16384695)
This LCF forum is most useful to me when we discuss and share ideas on how to live more car-free. I have found enough useful information and good exchange of ideas to keep coming back.

Having said that, of the sub-forums I regularly read on BF, this one is the most contentious. It's less fun to post in LCF because you can be sure that every word you write will be parsed by someone who doesn't like bicycling and wants nothing more than to stop the conversation by going negative and gumming up the works.

I suspect that the title of the sub-forum, "Living Car Free", specifically attracts some people who are either paid employees of auto or oil industry groups or those of the political bent of Rob Ford and Rush Limbaugh that just don't like treehuggers, bicyclists, socialists, etc. and are here just to go negative. I am surprised at times by the effort and time put into writing negative posts on LCF by folks that don't appear to like bicycling very much.

I am a bicycle commuter who got rid of a car. My wife still drives, so we are "car light" and don't neatly fit the LCF definition, however you put it. But that doesn't mean that I don't still have Living Car Free as an ultimate goal. Perhaps "Living As Car Free As Possible" would be more inclusive as a title, but it would be less effective.

The Bicycle Commuting sub-forum is a perfect match for me, is useful every day, and is 99% troll-free. It's great. This LCF sub-forum is more difficult, but still worth it, because it is aspirational for me and does include useful content not related to commuting from home to work. I'm sure others have different interests and needs; I'm just expressing mine here. The trolls won't keep me away. Some Troll-Away Spray would be welcome, though. If you are reading this and just absolutely personally hate bicycling, why don't you take the time you would have spent on a snappy cut-down reply and go out and do something nice for a fellow human instead? Leave this place for those who want to live car free, please.

I don't think they're necessarily paid by the auto industry, but some folks get very nasty and defensive when they feel like they're defending their beloved cars. As if cars need defending in this extremely auto-centric society! But these folks find it gratifying to come to one of the few forums that exist for discussing carfree issues, and spewing their venom. They like to call us "anti-car".Oh well, the rest of the time they're probably on country music forums complaining that everybody there is "anti-disco". They like a fight, so they write posts that will be sure to start one. There have always been negative people like this in the world, but the Internet sure does cater to them.

ironwood 01-05-14 03:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roody (Post 16385050)
I don't think they're necessarily paid by the auto industry, but some folks get very nasty and defensive when they feel like they're defending their beloved cars.

It might not be defending their cars, but rather defending what their car represents to them: status and self worth. It is a symbol of success and wealth. It could be that cyclists, because they haven't bought into this value system, are mocking them and their values. We're not playing the game.


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