One of the (very few) retail categories to benefit from our pandemic-induced home-isolation is exercise equipment, and in particular, bicycles. Bikes have been described as the new ‘toilet paper’, with some groups reporting a doubling of sales over the past few weeks, and stores in major cities regularly seeing long queues of keen customers.
It makes sense. Cycling ticks a lot of our ‘new normal’ boxes: it provides a viable alternative to public transport and being exposed to crowds in confined spaces; it guarantees social distancing; and it provides a way to stay fit, especially when road traffic is at an all-time low on major roads.
Australian Cycle Alliance president Edward Hore says the pandemic had definitely sparked a renewed interest in cycling. "Essentially, it's the easiest way to keep your social distance and get exercise at the same time," he said. "It's good for your metabolism, it's good for your fitness and it's good for your mental health. There are just so many positives of going for a ride right now."
While Sydney ever-so-slowly embraces the bicycle as a legitimate form of individual transport, it’s been standard issue in many cities around the world for generations. One of those is Tokyo, a genuinely bicycle-friendly metropolis, and home to one of our favourite bicycle and lifestyle brands, tokyobike.
A small, independent bicycle company founded in 2002 in the quiet Tokyo suburb of Yanaka, Japan, tokyobike was created on the ethos of ‘Tokyo Slow’, where the journey is just as important as the destination. Designed in Tokyo, they exude the classic and timeless Japanese look, with clean lines, and minimalistic style, and are created to fit into a thoughtful, and design conscious urban lifestyle.
The frames are beautifully crafted of lightweight Cr-Mo steel, and made in Taiwan. Wheel sizes are typically smaller to accommodate a tight fit in small living spaces, ease of transport onto public transportation, and most importantly, to be agile and accelerate more quickly in traffic.
A tokyobike is meant to be quick, comfortable, and beautiful enough to hang in your living room, so when you’re not cruising to the office or exploring your local hood, they can double as a piece of art. When beautiful design and incredible craftsmanship can nurture both physical and mental wellness, we say that’s a recipe for true happiness.