Originally posted on Off The Beaten Path:
“This is the future. It will change everything!” said Koichiro Nakamura as he pointed to a bright green women’s bike in front of his office. We had met to discuss cycling and the media in Japan… and this bike wasn’t what I expected.
After I got over my initial surprise, I remembered riding through Tokyo last year on the way to TOEI, the great constructeurs of classic cyclotouring bikes. As we approached a narrow underpass, a woman on a similar city bike passed us and cut in front of Hahn in a maneuver that would not have been out of place in a cyclocross race. She took the “holeshot” and accelerated away. Nothing about her bike or her appearance suggested a competitive nature… but she had an electric motor that greatly enhanced her power output.
Then we saw them everywhere. Women (mostly, Japan still being a society with somewhat rigid gender…
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