In Japan, mamachari bicycles — literally “mother’s bike” — are everywhere! And they are not just for moms.
Riding a mamachari to work, school, or the local market is a part of daily life for many Japanese. Seemingly everyone, from junior high school students to grandmothers, owns one.
Mamacharis come in a bewildering variety of styles with a large range of optional accessories. The typical utilitarian model is bought for about $100, and features a basket in front, a kick-stand, a bell, mud guards, and a few gears.
Bicycle shops are seen every few blocks — offering free air pressure to those whose tires are running low. At train stations, a sea of bicycles sit patiently waiting for their owners to return. Bicycle thefts are rare, and it is not uncommon for bicycle shops to leave their inventory outside overnight.
What? You say you don’t have a mamachari? How about a used one in good condition for $20??