Japan’s Youngest Bike Friday Owner


Naoki Kawashima saved New Year’s gift money and has a part-time job, on top of his busy academic schedule, in order to buy a Bike Friday.

The following is an interview with Naoki Kawashima, who at only 18 years of age, bought himself a Pocket Rocket, making him the youngest Bike Friday owner in Japan! Naoki is a student of a technical college in Japan, which will provide him a five-year education and an associate degree upon graduation. He is studying architectural design.

This interview was conducted with Naoki at the time of his bike-fitting by Mutsuko Nagatsuma, co-owner of ehicle bike shop in Tokyo.

Q. What are your hobbies?

A. Bike riding. I have a hybrid bicycle and ride it along the riverside bike path. Seeing that I got my bike, my father also bought himself a new bike, perhaps feeling that it is nice to have a bike. He is 49 years old. My father and I get up early in the morning and ride bikes together.
Before having had a hybrid bike, I had a comfort bike (granny’s bike or everyday bike). When I was 11 years old, my father told me to try to ride up to the sea by bike. We pedaled tens of kilometers, and I first became aware of the power of a bike. It never crossed my mind that I would be able to do something like this with my bike.

Q. Do you participate in extracurricular activities?

A. I used to belong to the basketball club, because of Manga. I have to work very hard, but I found I like to run. I love to run at my own pace. I also pedal at my own pace.

Q. How did you come to hear about BIKE FRIDAY?

A. I started to ride a hybrid bicycle when I was 15 years old and made a lot of friends through bike riding. Around at 16 years old, I started to learn more things about bikes and I discovered BIKE FRIDAY on the internet. I don’t remember exactly how I found my way to BIKE FRIDAY. After one year of researching their bicycles, at 17 years old, I came here to ehicle and I decided to order it one year later.

Q. Why did you like BIKE FRIDAY?

A. It just so happened that, when I was using the internet, a picture of a BIKE FRIDAY caught my eye. I knew that that was it, I loved BIKE FRIDAY at first sight. Though my friends bought other road bikes, I thought, my bike must be a BIKE FRIDAY!

Q. When buying a BIKE FRIDAY became part of your future cycling plans, what did you imagine yourself doing with it? Where do you want to go with your BIKE FRIDAY?

A. I would like to try something like riding my bike as far as I can and then taking the train home with my bike. I don’t like racing, but I want to try to attend bike events in rural areas.
Anyway, I want to visit many places in Japan. During my life, I want to go to every unfamiliar place in Japan.

Q. What do you think so far, after the bike-fitting?

A. As I’ve never had a custom road bike … I don’t quite know exactly what to expect, but I expect that my order and my frame size are checked in detail. I understand that BIKE FRIDAY will give me exactly what I like … I am still having a hard time selecting a color.

Q. Final word.

A. I’d like to ask BIKE FRIDAY’s staff to continue to make great products for years to come.
I can only speak Japanese, but I want to go abroad. I also take interest in visiting the BIKE FRIDAY factory and want to meet Mr. Alan Scholz.

The first test ride and fitting!

Looking over the design options

New bike day! Naoki’s bike arrives in Tokyo

Going over the folding and unfolding

And, finally, the first ride!

To learn more about the bike that inspired Naoki, check out the Pocket Rocket!

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