Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Ferrari of Tricycles

This past Saturday we woke up with a great idea to buy Jude a simple tricycle for his 2nd birthday. Novel, says I; nothing says easy lovin’ than getting a simple ready-to-ride trike from Toys R Us. This from the family who researches so long into what kind of baby carrier to buy that by the time we get it he’s too big for it. But oh, life for the Mardocks isn’t as easy as simply going to Toys R Us and getting a $20 Radio Flyer.

At Toys R Us we discover that tricycles have actually “devolved” over the past 20 years into cheap, breakable plastic garbage heaps and cost $60 and up. (Of course when I was a kid, they were American-made solid steal and rubber). Rachel and I reconsidered the simple notion of buying a trike. We decided to search around the Tacoma area for other options to no avail. All garbage. Then we discovered there was this uber-fancy German trike company called Kettler. Hand forged by real Teutonic engineers, with all the bells and whistles. The particular one we were interested, I called the “Ferrari of Tricycles.” The Air Navigator. This bad boy has real air-filled tires, plus a push handle for the parents. But then it gets better: the Air Navigator's petite frame belies the fact that it’s approved for up to a 400 pound human. Its rear wheels swivel like a shopping cart so that the parents can push the trike seamlessly without lifting and repositioning the trike (lest it veer off the sidewalk and maim the poor child). And lastly, its front wheel locks so that the wheel is always pointed straight ahead. Another must as parents push the lazy child up and down the block.

I must tell you, I had stars in my eyes. Clearly I wanted this trike so much more than Jude could ever care. At $250 though, it was just a hard justification to make. Didn’t we wake up that morning just wanting a simple $20 trike? How did we get from Junker to Ferrari? After much introspection and consideration about whether the trike should be a family heirloom or just a toy, we decided to keep the money and get the trike from Toys R Us. At $60, it’s still more than we want to pay, but I feel like we avoided an epic frivolous purchase. Certainly Jude would appreciate that money towards his college savings plan. Although with a weight limit of 400 pounds he could still easily ride the trike to college.

So ends our trike story, and onto another story: whether or not Rob and Rachel will invest $700 on the swankiest duallie stroller on the market, or whether we’ll ever get it through out heads that humans have been raising babies for millennia without the aircraft aluminum frames, Baby Bjorn carriers, and video baby monitors…


Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs said...

OH MY GOSH! DON'T get a double stroller. You will despise it. They are the worst invention known to man. If you MUST push two children around, get one of those strollers with a seat attached to the back, or better yet, buy the running board attachment so Jude can stand while you push your regular stroller.

Me: I wore Cole and pushed Grant. But then, Grant was older than Jude will be. But still, wearing a baby is MUCH easier than navigating a double stroller through shopping isles. (Plus, I just HATED double-stroller-pushers. They take up SO much stinkin' room!)

ATW said...

My twins club frequently has discussion about tricycles and I think you'll be glad you didn't get that Kettler. From what I heard they can be too heavy for the kid to ride and some kids don't take to tricycles for that long now that they make little two wheeled bikes in short sizes. The previous comment is right on about the double stoller! She's referring to a sit and stand but since you live in Seattle and the sit and Stand isn't sold at REI you'll probably succumb to the BOB! =) I'm no sure why people think they need a stroller, unless your a serious runner, that cost as much as your first car. Out of necessity we had a Chicco side by side which was easy to push and one of the narrowest, I still bumped doorways and GAP salespeople would laugh at me when I'd take out store displays. Good luck and congrats on #2! ~Janet