On Your Bike Grandpa: Bicycles for Japan's elderly

Byron Kidd
As Japan's population ages many goods and services are being developed to cater for the elderly.  Items such as these tricycles which provide elderly riders with stable transport that has ample carrying capacity have become a common site around the suburbs of Tokyo.
Standard accessories include baskets (both front and rear), a dynamo light, mudguards, and a lock.  With an average weight of 25kg the 3 speed internal hub gears offer a some help when the going gets steep.  Prices start around ¥25,000 for the most basic models and extend to above ¥10,0000 for models with electric pedal assist.

As Japan's population shrinks, many elderly are are living alone and must take care of themselves.  Tricycles such as these allow them to maintain independence well into their senior years.

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  1. Japan is facing a demographic bomb, and is politically and socially unprepared for dealing with it, but that's a much larger issue. On a smaller scale, doesn't it seem the more elderly the cyclist, the more witless and stiff-necked they ride (no shoulder-checks or peripheral vision)? Maybe it's a Borg-like response of the elderly to their hopeless position: get themselves killed by younger motorists, so their surviving families can sue the still-employed motorist for what he has.

  2. They maybe are elderly but they still have the energy and the power to have a place in their country and the last say to the family. I think they value their elderly people compared to other countries.

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