Looking every inch like something Margaret won’t let me put my baby on, the Assista mamachiri (Japanese for “Mama bike”, sorta) is a fully geared pedal-assist bicycle that – surely! – can be easily hacked to positively blitz through modern-day Chicago traffic at
break-neck totally safe for babies speeds. It’s enough to make the great Nils Ferber (king of the bike-nutters) giggle.
Built and sold by a company called Bridgeport, some 300,000 Assista e-bikes have been ordered for the Japanese market, where things like this are dutifully ridden and the awesomeness of a multi-gear electric bike becomes about “efficiency” rather than “Wheee!”
Over-protective and fearful people (Margaret) should note that, despite its potential awesomeness, the Assista offers a throne-like ride for the younger occupants of the bike. The gov’t safety-spec. child seats include Formula 1-style head restraints, which protect the child in the event the bike tips over. The seats also include comfy footrests, and in the back seat, a handlebar for hanging on and “getting in the spirit” of things.
Without the rear seat, I must admit, it looks quite a bit “meaner”, but …
… I have to admit, it could use some diaper bag panniers at rear. What do you think, readers? Is this just the thing to get your little tykes all jazzed up about being the next wave of “Premium Rush” bike-messenger types, or is this going to send them down that (allegedly) dangerous path towards scooterdom and motorcycling?
You’ve got a comment section, you tell me!