Last week Matt left the Bullitt in his office for a few days when he was away on business, so I ended up taking my son to school on the mamachari. Our kids prefer to be in the Bullitt for every trip so this never makes him happy. (I could go either way depending on the day: the Bullitt is faster, has more range, and carries more, plus there’s less whining, but then again it’s harder to park.)
On the Bullitt I’m used to a lot of attention by now—sometimes it verges into dangerous attention, as passing cars will slow and veer over when they see us—but to most people the mamachari just looks like an old bike (although parents are always asking me about the child seat). But on Friday on the Panhandle, at Masonic, another rider stopped to ask me about it. “Just how old is that bike?” he wanted to know. “I haven’t seen a Bridgestone sold in decades.” I think the idea of a decades-old bike with an electric assist was throwing him off.
I told him it was probably ten years old, but it came from Japan where Bridgestone was still selling new bikes. But I was completely distracted because his bike had a large “One Less Fixie” sticker on it even though the bike itself looked like a fixie. It was weirding me out. It was only when he grabbed onto a sign at a stop and spun the pedals backward without actually moving that I realized it was a single-speed non-fixie. As he rode ahead (everyone rides faster than I do when I’m carrying my son on the mamachari) I thought: a single speed bike advertising against fixies; now that’s really, really obscure.