Recently I was asked by a journalist to define the term mamachari. That’s a good question that left me scratching my head as mamachari isn’t easy to define in a few lines of text. First up the word mamachari is a typical Japanese mash up of the words mama, meaning mother and chari, a less polite word for bicycle.
The mamachari is a cultural icon, it’s the Japanese equivalent of the family station wagon. Its the family workhorse used on shopping runs, for riding to the local station, taking the kids to school or picking them up from sports practice. Without it families around the country would be in a right pickle.
The defining features include, a top tube bent low that is easy to step over, a shopping basket on the front, a luggage rack on the back, mudguards, chain guards, dynamo lights, an integrated lock, a bell and a hefty rear stand that keeps the bike stable and upright when parked.