A day in the life of the mamachari

The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.

This morning after I dropped my daughter off at preschool and was riding to a meeting I got stopped by another cyclist, who pointed at the rear basket and asked, “Is that a child seat? Where can I get one?” I was sorry to tell her that it was made in Japan, and to the best of my knowledge, isn’t imported to the US. Then she realized I had an assist. “Is that a motor?” And I said, yes, I used it to get my daughter to preschool at the top of Mt. Sutro every morning, it was perfect for that ride. “Where can I get a bike like that?” she asked.

Now that I am riding with my daughter to preschool every day for drop-off and pick-up the mamachari is being seen by many more parents. While walking out of preschool last night I was talking with another mom, and she stopped dead when she saw my bike.  “Wait! That child seat! Is that a motor? I want that bike!”

Passenger panda in Golden Gate Park

As I was telling her that I got it on craigslist and it came from Japan, etc., a classmate’s dad walked up and said, “I NEED that bike. I NEED IT!”

We saw another classmate of my daughter’s on the way home and stopped to say hi, but couldn’t get much of a conversation over his pleas to his mom.

“Mommy I want HER bike! We need to get HER bike! Get me her bike, please!”

I think of moments like these every time someone tells me that US bicycle manufacturers don’t make family bikes because there’s no demand for them. Yeah, right. (Thank goodness this is changing.)

10 Comments

Filed under electric assist, family biking, San Francisco

10 responses to “A day in the life of the mamachari

  1. The rear basket/child seat is amazing. Almost makes me wish I had a toddler to ride around. And I can see how everyone wants your bike. It’s not only very efficient for dropping your kid at schook, it’s very attractive too.

  2. I keep meaning to ask, is the front basket also a seat? (Or would it be if it didn’t have the extra battery in it?)

    • The front basket isn’t a seat. I think that the frame is slightly different for the Bridgestone Assista (no front seat) than for the Bridgestone Angelina Assista (front seat). I haven’t ever seen one of the front seats in person, sadly (but if we ever go to Japan…) A lot of the mamacharis in Japan seem to be child seat-optional given that everyone rides them as commuters. The OGK seat on my bike is an available option, but not included in the base model, in the ads I’ve seen.

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