If anyone is still skeptical that bicycling will continue to gain transportation market share, consider the new bicycle designs that appeal to every conceivable demographic. The latest case in point: Japan’s Bridgestone, known for its automobile tires, has sold 300,000 of the bicycles (displayed at right) that cater to moms with tots.
The electric bike, with a 37-mile range, is designed for a parent to haul two kids around town. The baby seats are designed to protect the rug rats in the case of accidents, and the front seat can be converted into a basket. A low center of gravity and a wide stand prevent the bike from tipping over. The price point: between $875 to $1,775, depending upon the model. (For details, see the post on the Atlantic Cities blog.)
Bicycle stores in Richmond sell bikes made for recreational use — racing, mountain biking or for kids. But the Europeans and Japanese have been incredibly creative in manufacturing bicycles for practical, utility travel. It’s just a matter of time before that revolution in bicycle design comes to the United States. Municipalities that prepare for that change by investing in bicycle-friendly infrastructure will be regarded as more attractive places to live than their bike-hostile peers.
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