Monday, August 29, 2011

On Strollers

Part I.
Recently I've come across a few sites (which I will not link to- not sending traffic their way) where moms pushing strollers are griped about. I can understand griping if there's a pack of moms jamming up the sidewalk. Here in NYC the sidewalk is our highway and when you block it up, it's going to be annoying. No, what I am taking issue with is the many derisive comments about the size of the strollers.

Look. My stroller is my car. So a cheensy umbrella stroller isn't going to cut it. Trust me- I tried and that thing ended up broken within a week. My stroller is likely the smallest of the big strollers out there. But add to that my "saddle bag" handing off the side, and yeah, I have a footprint.  Deal with it people. I try to be conscientious. That's more than I can say about the yahoos stinking up the air with their cigarettes (in NYC the only place you can legally smoke is outside- and that doesn't include public parks).

As I've mentioned, our sidewalks are our main means of getting around and yes, slow traffic is annoying. You know what's also annoying? Having someone step right in front of the wheels (which by the way can be difficult to see what with the hood and diaper bag and baby feet blocking the view). If you cut me off and manage to get clipped by my wheels, my apology isn't going to be too sincere.

I get that strollers can be slow moving. Heck, what with my foot being still on the mend, I am slow without the stroller. You know who else is slow? Old people. People tweeting on their phone while they walk (er..ok..sometimes that's me- sorry. I do try to remember to pull over to text). Packs of teenagers. Tourists (Oh, THAT is a whole other post. but seriously folks, if you're visiting, don't stop in the middle of the sidewalk. Move over a little out of the way).

To be fair, there are some stroller mamas and dads out there who, just like bad drivers you see anywhere else, seem unaware of their impact on the space around them. You're going to find that any where. I TRY to give people like that the benefit of doubt. Maybe they're sleep deprived, or not feeling well, or stressed, or euphorically in love.

Part II.
I currently "drive" a Bugaboo Bee stroller. 

I have had it a little under two years.

I would love to recommend it- after all, I really wanted it when we put it on our wishlist. I was super excited to get it as a gift. It has great handling-practically turns on a dime.

First, it does not fold and unfold nearly as well as it did when new. In fact, I'd say about six months in I started struggling to get the sucker open. Closing it isn't too bad. I bet a touch of WD-40 would solve some of the struggles I have folding it up.

A while a go I started hearing "squee squee squeek" noises from the rear wheels. I cleaned them up thinking that some debris got in the mechanical whatchamadigger. Alas, the squeek noise continued.

Then, I saw this:

 And this.
Yeah. Not cool.

 Thankfully this doesn't interfere with the basic functionality of my stroller. And the SQUEE! noise lets people know I'm coming (it's generally not acceptable to put a bike bell on the stroller, so this is a nice alternative).

Do you see the ribbons? THOSE hold the under the carriage basket on. At some point some little piece of plastic thing-a-ma-doodle under the foot rest broke (kicking baby puts a lot of pressure on the foot rest). When the piece broke, the loop to the basket could no longer latch on. Even though only one side is missing the piece, the other side is forced by gravity or torque or some scientific force to turn the same cockamamie way, thus the collection of ribbons holding the bag on and up.  The whole thing still drags on the slightest bump in the sidewalk. And also, the foot rest is always catching the bag as you pull it out, so if little feet doing their thing don't break something, chances are your pulling the bag in and out will. 

So, I will not be buying or recommending the Bugaboo brand. I know a lot of people are super happy with theirs. But me, I learned a lesson.

Next time I will take my mother in law with me. I tend to fall in love with the first thing I see, do just enough research to justify liking it, and am lucky if everything works out (usually it does, but still). She, on the other hand, is a Queen at comparison shopping, and had mentioned once or twice that we should look more and do more research. So when it comes time to move up to a double (no- it's not time, don't want y'all to get excited about something that doesn't exist yet), I'll be dragging Ranger's grandma to Buy-Buy-Baby for some serious test and research time.

1 comment:

  1. I have a Chicco, and it's the best stroller EVER! No, seriously. It has been used constantly for four years, and even run-over by the truck by a forgetful father who didn't remember he'd put it there. Because of that, one wheel wobbles ever so slightly, but you wouldn't know it unless I pointed it out, and it doesn't hurt the functioning of it at all. But lots of storage space and actually folds down quite small for a double stroller (Let's face it, folks, doubles are bigger. Nothing you can do about that). It's a little on the heavy side, but not so much as I can't handle it, and that's just because it's extra sturdy. Strong frame. (see over by truck...) But other than a few stains and dirt (messy boys---what can I say?) and that one wheel that no one notices (totally OUR fault) good as new, really! I would so definately buy another one, if the need so arose, as they also make a single stroller exactly like it. :) Highly HIGHLY reccommend.


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