Back in the 90s, designers for the U.S. auto market began making cars monstrously huge, culminating in manly SUVs that smells like a steak and seats 35 for your runs to the corner store.
The Japanese market, in the meantime, never eliminated their bike culture of stay-at-home moms who toted their children around town on their mamachari or “mama bicycles.” When I lived in Japan in the 70s and 80s, they looked mostly like standard European-style utility bikes. Since then, Japanese designers applied the American trend of adding features and size to their bicycles. The result is bikes like this Bridgestone Angelino, shown here in the base configuration.
Shuichi in Kyoto runs the Mama Bicycle blog, which shows Japanese bike culture. He’s been wanting to ship a container of mamachari bikes to the USA for a few years now. Shuichi posted a survey to gauge demand. If you think you might be interested in a a very unique bike from Japan, check him out and fill out the survey.
My pal Shuichi is now accepting orders for a few models of Japanese “mamachari” utility bikes. You can select from among electric bikes or a non-electric model with big, front mounted child seats.
Price includes U.S. tariff and shipping. These are premium models and they’ll be shipped in a container to Oakland once he gets enough orders. You’ll certainly have a very unique bike no matter where you live in the United States. I imagine you’re on your own as far as servicing these bikes go.
Three years ago, Shuichi Kobayashi was riding his ‘mamachari’ bicycle around Kyoto when a gaikokujin (foreigner) woman asked where she could buy one of the distinctively Japanese utility bikes. Today, he blogs about the “mama bicycle” to get the word out about these Japanese utility bicycles.
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