Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mama Chari

 That's a kind of Japanglish term for the kind of bike I have - Mother's Chariot. The characteristics of this kind of bike are the front and back baskets and the stable kick stand. Unless you want more features, the price is pretty reasonable (US 150). For traveling around Ichikwa it's great. Many streets are narrow, so you don't get much car traffic.

This morning I left the house for the early service at church with my handbag and a sweater that needed to go to the cleaners in the baskets. After church, I first went to the cleaner's shop near my apartment and parked just outside the front door. After depositing my sweater and getting the ticket to pick it up on Wednesday (US $12), I went to the fruit and vegetable shop a couple blocks away. I was able to park the bike in the alley beside the open air shop while I got bananas, tangerines, avocado, small green and red peppers, carrots, yellow onions, small white potatoes and sweet potatoes ($13.50). That bag went into the back basket. Then I walked across the street, leaving the bike parked in the alley, to the drug store to get toilet paper ($4.75). That went into the front basket with my purse. I then cycled about a block and a half  to a Circle K where I got a small salad and a pizza-mon ($4.85) for my lunch and while I was there, paid my monthly Health Insurance premium ($20) and my water bill ($31). The bike with the shopping in the baskets sat outside the front door. Then I cycled three blocks home.

The weather is kind of dreary and damp, rain is predicted for this evening, so after I took all my things out of the baskets, on went the cover. The bike sits just at the bottom of the stairs to my second floor apartment. I do lock it when I leave it anywhere. The locks are usually built in to the back fender assembly here. Occasionally bikes are stolen,or picked up by the city if they are left somewhere for too long or in a no bike parking zone. When I bought the bike I registered it with the city, so if it does disappear, I can check for it at the city impound lot.

All in all, unless it's raining more than a sprinkle, I'm happy for the convenience of a bike in Ichikawa. On top of all that, I get a little exercise too.


Susan said...

Nice to read your blog! Someone just said to me today that "Americans are strong wearing short sleeves in the fall"....kind of funny, huh? Happy Quilting.

Jyojia said...

Thanks Susan. Yeah, we Americans are a strong bunch!

Julie Fukuda said...

Well, I have a tricycle with a bigger basket on the back and it is plenty handy. It is a bit heavy for up-hill grades but .... The ones that get me are the mothers with a kid on the front and a kid on the back texting while they drive. Scarry!