Monday, June 19, 2017


Yes! We got this beauty from Alicia Every in Seattle, who got it from someone who got it from someone who used to live in Japan, and brought it back with them. God bless her, she shipped it all the way to Harrisburg because I wanted it so much (and I paid her, so...).

As a cargo biker who has only ever ridden a trike with kids, this bike with pedal assist feels incredibly light and nimble by comparison. Even though it's about 65 pounds. The assist is a wild sensation when you're used to using a throttle powered assist - it kicks in naturally, like little angels lifting your feet along.  :D We've taken it for a few 10 mile rides, no issues other than needing to downscale the assist level so the battery would last all the way home. I could ride without it, but it's so nice to have that boost at the end of a long ride.

It has the awesome kickstand, a rear wheel lock for quick stops, a front wheel "deflopilator", the two baby seats, a saddle that I hadn't even noticed the first 5 rides or so because it was so comfy as to be invisible, power assist, and an integrated front light with a solar powered/activated rear light. It has so many built in goodies it's almost embarrassing to look at my kids second hand bikes and realize that they don't even have fenders or chain guards! The one thing it lacks while the kids are on board is storage, so Alicia threw in a pannier bag that hooks onto the back baby seat. She also threw in wonderful rain covers for the kid seats - they're made to fit right over the seat, baby and all, and keeps them out of the wind and rain. It's like putting a poncho with a vinyl window over them, but more breathable and fitted.

I love these bikes, and I wish I could import them, but I've come to a point where I've accepted that it's not for me to do right now. I have enough on my plate with 4 kids! If anyone is interested in importing used mamacharis to fix and sell, email me and I'll pass along my research and contacts.

Meanwhile, I've discovered that our local Commuter Services offers some very nice incentives to bike/walk/carpool/vanpool/bus to work. If you get stuck or have an emergency, they'll reimburse you for your ride home! (They call it a free ride home, but that sounds like they'll pay your Uber driver for you on the spot, and that's not quite it.) I requested a beginner bike commuter pack, and they sent a huge envelope of information, a bumper sticker, and a set of cheap but bright blinky lights! They went right on Catherine's bike, since she's riding to a friend's house almost daily now, and I want her to be safe in bad weather.

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