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granny bikes

they are called mama-chari (ママチャリ), the standard issued bicycles of japan.  these russian and chinese socialist throwback bikes are easy to spot.  a grocery basket up front and a child bucket seat in the rear, occasionally removed to allow for your high school girlfriend to ride along.

mama-chari basically stands for granny bike.  in america you don’t want to be caught riding one.  it can lead to name calling and bullying.  ;)

in japan, their existence is undeniable.  these grocery-getting chariots of steel announce their presence with a thunderous bell and a thrusting squall, leaving one confused and angered at the threat of injury.  the sidewalks are for bikes and the roads for cars, where is a pedestrian to stride?


a ghostly swash.

someone could get lost in there.  which one is mine?

some bicycle parking spots are double-decker, like this one.

2 comments so far

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  1. I heard the ママチャリ comes from “Mama’s Chariot”. Have you heard so yourself?

  2. hi dan! i have not heard so myself, but sounds reasonable. :)