Biking downtown in my New York suburbia hometown this week, I parked my bike next to what looked like a spaceship emerging from its bicycle cocoon:
All labels and writing on this bike were in Japanese, except for the Model on the frame, which read “Angelino Assista.” The owner was nowhere to be found, so I snapped a photo and went online to see what I could find out about it.
As it turns out, this spaceship is actually an electric-assist Bridgestone Angelino Assista, sold exclusively in Japan (where Bridgestone’s main factory is). Those tail wings in he back are actually headrests for small children. For a moment, I wished I was three again so I could fly around town as a tiny human elevated 5 feet in the air in this moving spacecraft.
Yet again, Japan kicks our ass in building fancy futuristic (yet practical) bikes. Glad to know that in Japan safety standards exist for bikes made to carry more than one person. (Do standards like this even exist in the US?) On second thought, something about this bike looked familiar…
Ah-ha! I have seen this bike before! But the bike wasn’t in New York, it was in Japan, and it belongs to my cousin Alicia, who lives Tokyo and bikes everywhere with her two boys Conor and Ronan; the same Conor and Ronan who braved the Tokyo winter on bikes last February:
I don’t know about you, but the thought of being a three-year-old and waking up from a peaceful nap to heavy city traffic whizzing my by head sounds like the ultimate adrenaline rush.
Closer to home in Somerville, families go by bike too. Janie Katz Christie, Director of the Green Streets Initiative, lives care free and carries her kids around by bike, and occasionally my commute crosses paths with Brian Postlewaite, who carries his infant on his front-loading bakfiet-style bike:
But I have yet to see a spacecraft quite like the Angelino anywhere near Boston.