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PHOTO CAPTION: Bridgeport Assista electric-assist bicycle.

Japanese Moms, Dads Get Baby Electric Bike

Assista electric-assist bicycle includes seats for infants and young children.

Published: 27-Oct-2012

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.

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