Why does everyone ride mama chari shopping bikes? 4th attempt

Although this is a lot less true than even a year ago, it’s still quite striking coming from the UK where a male would probably have to cycle through a hail of jeers on the typical Japanese bike. Here’s an explanation I hadn’t come across before:

“It is illegal to ride a bike on which you cannot touch the ground when mounted (this is one of the things that the police check when registering your bike).”

Japan For Kids pg 23

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3 Comments

  1. T2 said,

    May 5, 2012 at 9:18 am

    One reason may just be because it’s a lot easier than riding a sport bicycle.
    Of course, if you intend to use the bike as just “something to ride on” as in a way to transport yourself, I don’t see anything wrong with riding a sport bicycle. And as a matter of fact, sport bicycles are a lot better if you want to travel for a pretty long distance.
    So a lot of cyclists who travel to work on their bicycles actually have a sport bicycle.
    (I know one guy who has a recumbent bicycle, which is pretty rare in Japan)

    But most of the time in Japan, bicycles are means of short distance transport around your neighborhood as well as something you often use to go shopping with.
    (As you might know, Japan isn’t exactly a car oriented society)

    And… basically going shopping with a sport bicycle can actually be a pain in the neck… Especially when you want to get a week’s month of groceries and whatnot…
    Or else a 5 – 10 kg bag or rice. Box of mineral water, etc…
    (I don’t know what they’re called but I guess it’s possible if you use one of those carts you connect to the back of your bicycle)

  2. alexcase said,

    May 6, 2012 at 7:33 am

    Or to put it another way, it might be as sensible to change the question around (as I often do) and ask “Why don’t British men ride shopping bikes?”

  3. crella said,

    May 7, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    They’re cheap, and can be fitted with child seats, or shopping baskets, which other types can’t. When I had one long ago, I got it for 16,000 yen.


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