Thursday, May 3, 2012

Equipment Post - Jogging Stroller and Bicycle

Second in a series on equipment.  The focus continues on good weather gear.

  • We love this stroller!  It's amazing how quickly we took to it and find reasons to use it on pretty much a daily basis.  We had tried it out at the Abilities Expo last year and loved it but hesitated on buying it because of the money.  A few weeks later we were figuring out what we could bring to transport Emma in Ireland when the jogger went on sale at Adaptivemall and we decided to go for it and haven't looked back since!
  • When we tested it at the Abilities Expo they recommended the Special Tomato soft touch liners for the seat to help give Emma more support but when we finally took the plunge and bought the stroller we found out the liners were backordered and would not arrive in time for our trip.  We decided to try and make a go of it without the liners and it worked fair but Emma really needs the extra support to sit without slumping over.  We were SO fortunate that a local family had the soft touch liners their daughter outgrew and they offered them to us (THANK YOU SUSAN!).
  • Emma still sometimes slouches a bit to her one side so I just cut up a pool noodle to give her a bit more support.  It's just something I'm trying out and not sure if we'll keep it or not.  
  • We'll be able to use this jogger for a long time.  The max. weight capacity is 110 lbs. and Emma is a little less than 34 lbs. at the moment so she has plenty of room to grow into it.  
  • It is super easy to move around on the pavement, grass, and bumpy fields and often Emma has the kids pushing her around in it.  Chris takes Emma running with it and Emma has no problem joining in his extended runs during his marathon training.  She loves when he takes her running and often expresses her extreme displeasure if his runs aren't long enough!
  • It also has a very good warranty.  We had a couple problems with the jogger and the customer service department rectified it immediately.  I couldn't be happier with their customer service!
Freedom Concepts Bicycle

  • Emma first tried out the Freedom Concepts Discovery bicycle at the Ability Expo last year.  There are many different vendors with various types of adapted bicycles and many different price points.  Emma tried nearly all of them and the Freedom Concepts was the only one she was able to move herself and had the best support for her mixed muscle tone.  Emma enjoyed it so much that she didn't want to get off the bicycle when her trial was over!  
  • We left the Expo really excited we could get Emma a bicycle but when we received the price quote for it we knew there was no way we could afford it.  Then the most wonderful thing happened - Variety, The Children's Charity held a fundraiser that we attended and while there we found about a program they have to provide some funding for items including adapted bicycles.  We submitted all the information for the program and were THRILLED that Emma was approved for the bicycle.  Thank you so much to Variety for helping to bring fun into Emma's life with her bicycle!  We feel so blessed!
  • Emma loves pedaling her bicycle which she is able to do mostly independently.  Sometimes her feet get caught where one is not in the air able to push forward and so I help her get that foot to the top to allow her to pedal and since she isn't very good at steering I help steer from behind.  It's a wonderful way to enjoy the good weather and she can join the neighborhood children when everyone is bicycle riding.  It is also a great way to give her a way to practice on reciprocal motion with her legs.
  • As you can see in the photo this bicycle is a bit bulky and wouldn't be transported with a bicycle rack behind the car but that doesn't really matter to us.  We are so happy that Emma has a bicycle she enjoys riding and she uses it close to daily during the warm weather days!
  • Emma has a lot of room for growth in this bicycle.  The model we have is designed for children ages 4-9 and maybe even longer.  Freedom Concepts is great to work with, too.  In the beginning we had a few problems and their customer service was easy to talk with and very quick to respond.  They even told me that they come to our area a couple of times a year and we can go for free adjustments when they are in town.  Fantastic!

2 Comments from readers:

Laura said...

Curious if the brown tomato chair works in the jogger. I've been thinking it would be nice to have a jogger but don't want to buy the liner and Cody would need the support too....

Kristina said...

Yes, the brown tomato chair - Special Tomato Sitter as it's called at Adaptivemall - works fine in the jogger. You would have to take it out to fold the jogger, though. You don't have to take the liners out to fold the jogger. That is the main difference besides the support differences.