The down and back in the AutoShoppe parking lot was enough to build our excitement and prove the concept. I still needed to run further and test longer to see what was going to work well, and what needed more attention.
Even if I had a child of stroller-needing age, it wouldn’t have been safe to put them in the stroller for my test runs. On the other hand, running around with an empty stroller was going to get me the grand title of Town Nut-Nut fairly quickly.
Embracing the suck of certain embarrassment and some sideways looks, I took my daughter’s biggest teddy bear, donned him in a NY Giants jersey, and strapped him in the stroller.
My daughter videotaped as I ran around the parking lot of our local bike path, trying out the steer-ability of StrollRunner with the stroller. This would later become our iconic “first run” video complete with her adorable commentary – “Wait, whaaattt?! How does she do that?”. Avery also wanted a shot at trying it out – she did quite well!
Avery Trying StrollRunner
I love that she has been with me for this entire story. We may not benefit in the connectedness of this product by my being able to run with her in the stroller, but we have been fortunate to connect in so many other ways together throughout the making of it.
So running in public… Did I get some strange looks? Heck yeah. Did I care? Not really. Who else was going to do this? The best was the people who wouldn’t even make eye contact. It made them more uncomfortable than me! Getting the information about how it was performing was of utmost importance, and as it turned out, it wasn’t good.
At this point it’s February in Vermont. There’s just a little issue of snow and ice on the ground. The bike path was mostly clear but there were still patches of ice, some uneven terrain, and no doubt the stroller tire pressure was affected by the cold. There’s some obvious reasons you don’t see many people running with strollers in the winter, and I had found them.
I had a hard time steering. If I even so much as thought about one side or another of the path my stroller would veer in that direction. I had to consciously think about every step I took and what reaction the stroller would have. I slogged through a good 20 minutes of fighting my run while Avery continued to make videos.
I packed up and called it a day. What I learned from this was that I had something. We had already proven the concept, I had proven that it was steerable in large spaces, and I needed to consider the outside factors of weather and terrain. It was super convenient that I had a trip planned a couple weeks away to visit my dad in Florida. No snow there.