*Make sure you put your sound on – my daughter is narrating!*
How we chose to attach the StrollRunner to the stroller is just as important as having a product that works. Your little is on the other end – safety is a non-negotiable priority.
To attach the tubes to the stroller handle we needed to come up with a clamping system. This would not only attach the prototype, but needed to hold safely and allow some movement. The runner’s gait moved with the attachment, up and down, and that freedom was integral. In my mind, I run steady and evenly, not bouncing up and down at all; like a giselle (my sister and I joke about being giselles when we are floating along in our runs and “hop” gracefully over puddles and up curbs). Video proves otherwise. We ended up with a thumb screw clamp that had a pivot point allowing for the movement we needed.
Now for the moment of truth
I was so freaking excited. In front of me I could see, and was wearing, the product of my thoughts IRL. Here it was! Holy crap.
I told myself from the very start, and still do often today, that no matter what, not only did I try, but I can go to my grave knowing that I didn’t push down this idea and cause myself to forever wonder, “what if?”. I can know that I worked my tail off to realize my concept proven and that I am proud of. But, resting on that isn’t going to do the rest of the world any good, and I’m here to make change.
I borrowed both a single and a double stroller from mom friends that didn’t need them anymore. I wasn’t yet ready to invest in my own and they were quite intrigued by my request – I was vague about my intentions, still deep in the “keep your invention a secret” conspiracy theory that everyone is out to steal your idea (or think you’re a lunatic).
Get Ready and Go
We began with the single stroller which by chance happened to be one of the most popular jogging strollers at that time, a Bob Revolution – very convenient. We made sure the tire pressure was good (things only Scott would think would be a factor in our testing – me, not so much), and upon inspection of the front wheel, learned that it could be either locked into position or released to allow for swivel. This would prove to be very important to the functionality of the StrollRunner down the road (ahh, the puns again – seriously, so many), but at the time we didn’t realize just how much.
We took the stroller and StrollRunner out into the parking lot of Scott’s shop and attached me to both. Scott took out his phone to get some video and off I went. Down and back, down and back, oh-my-freaking-God it WORKS!
Part of me wishes that I could say that was it. No further engineering or modifications needed; just sourcing some parts to create a market-ready version.
The part of me who spent the next three+ years going through countless more prototypes (best guess is 15 or so) and testing wouldn’t change a thing.
It’s what made StrollRunner what it is today. It’s the basis of our brand – it built the product, it built me as the leader of a mission – to make stroller running suck just a little bit less.