I’ve had this post on my mind for a while… I never gave it much thought before we moved to our new neighborhood, but seriously, I WISH our new digs had better sidewalks for strollers! Here’s the deal, we moved to Hampton Roads, VA, a historical area of sorts…and we are surrounded by history and homes that have been there since the 1800’s. Yes, just take that in for a second…civil war era! Well, while we are in a building that can’t be more than 10 years old and have a parking garage, central air, electronic entry, etc… you know, all the modern conveniences — when we take our bad boy out for a neighborhood stroll it can be a challenge.
The thing is, since the neighborhood is “dated” many of the sidewalks don’t have the convenient dips/indents/ramps for easy access up and down when you cross the street. In fact the curbs go up pretty high at some points. So when I encounter these not so friendly sidewalks while crossing the street, I have to manually lift the front, then the back of our tandem stroller to get it back up on the sidewalk. Maybe if it wasn’t a double (and any double will have its challenges), it wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but trust me…it can be an issue! I can only imagine how unfriendly our neighborhood streets are for people who use wheelchairs or other wheeled devices.
I truly long for ramps like the one pictured above! This really isn’t something I considered when picking the neighborhood we would move to…or even when we got a stroller, but you know what…in hindsight, this is something parents should consider when first picking out a stroller, and then if you are moving to a new place! Like, I knew if we moved to a building and we lived on any floor but the first, there had to be an elevator..otherwise how would we be able to “roll out??” I’m not trying to lug a double stroller up and down the stairs…nor 2 toddlers and an armful of groceries.
I honestly would prefer not to have to stop at every intersection and have to bend down and lift the stroller off… and onto the sidewalks… And — since I get asked a lot about how to select a stroller, this post had to be written! Now, depending on how active you are and what kind of sidewalks are in your neighborhood, wheels, tires and handling should all be factored in to other criteria like stroller seat style, sun shade, basket size, handle height, folding/storage ease, etc…. Think about what would be most important to you. I shared my “sidewalk” struggle with another parent in my current neighborhood, who then told me they had to invest in a different stroller since the broken, bumpy & dated sidewalks where we live, basically put their first stroller out of service.
In my case, our Orbit Baby Helix stroller is very durable and the frame, tires and wheels have all held up with the not so smooth, not stroller-friendly sidewalks. We also have a 2-seater wagon the boys got as a gift from their Auntie Alison, so we take that out for spins on the sidewalks too. It’s a bit more bumpy ride, but not as massive to lift up and down when the sidewalks inconveniently don’t have “ramps” for easy up and down access. At the end of the day, you make the best of what you’ve got. It is more of a hassle for Mom or Dad to have to stop take breaks and lift, instead of steady cruising…but good thing the kids are just happy to be outside!