Monday, July 20, 2009

Sit Back and Relax!

How To Turn Your Jogging Stroller, Part 3

After a near-roll-over on Sunday's run, I started thinking a lot more about how center of gravity affects turning your stroller. I've heard a lot from readers about how so many strollers (particularly double joggers with fixed wheels) are IMPOSSIBLE to turn. How the manufacturer has designed the center of gravity makes all the difference. There is a fine line between being easy to turn and being a flip-over-backwards hazard. Despite the weight difference, our double stroller is actually quite a lot easier to take around corners than our single because the seats are farther back relative to the rear axle.

To really demonstrate this, let your child lean forward (even with a 5-point harness, a kid trying to see past the sun shade can pull up several inches) when you try to make a turn. Then have him/her relax all the way back into the seat. It will be much much easier to turn. This is hard for curious kids to maintain. Even my 11-month old likes to grip the sides and sit up as far as possible within the constraints of a 5-point harness to see what is passing her by. Before trying a turn, however, look down and make sure your child sits all the way back. It will be easier and safer. Especially if you are going fast!

So, if you are still reading, here's the dirt on how I almost rolled the single jogger. There is a really steep, paved hill at the bottom of our cul-de-sac. It is so steep, that when I've got the double, I have to back down it because the stroller is too heavy to control. My son, in the single, wanted to go "fast" so I did, but the 90-degree turn at the bottom with that telephone pole in just the wrong place, made it really essential that I turn no matter what. So we made it, but not without getting up on one wheel, doing a 180 degree spin out and tipping to about 45 degrees. Good thing I buckled the kid in!

Afterwards, I was trying to figure out what made turning so hard when I had successfully made the turn so many times before. Here's what I've got:
1. I am more accustomed to the double stroller with a wider wheel base.
2. The wheels are nearly bald, so rather than a pivot, I got a skid.
3. Spencer was leaning forward in his seat which further accentuated the skid vs pivot problem.

So, make sure your kids sit back...if they know what is good for them...and if you start to tip, teach them to NOT stick out their arms to try and break the fall. Tuck and roll!

1 comment:

RK&RJ said...

i have a question. i am new to a jogging stroller and i am using a double right now. My friend told me that I have to lift the front wheel off the ground to turn. Is this true? It is very hard to turn otherwise, but that seems like a lot of work to lift the kiddos.