walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

of bugaboos and walkers

But first, a digression.

Back in 2005, when we moved to Seattle, I failed to line up transport for either of our vehicles (weather did not permit) and I nixed the idea of towing one of them behind the U-Haul (it was February, and I am a cautious person. I know I don't necessarily _sound_ all that cautious, particularly when regaling people with tales of bungee jumping, but I am. Seriously.). The Camry stayed home. We only really needed one car in Seattle anyway.

While we were in Seattle (18 monthsish), a friend who was keeping an eye on our place here in New Hampshire had a visiting friend in need of a vehicle. The Camry was sold to the friend. It had a lot of miles on it (it has even more, now, like 220K or so) but was generally quite sound. It had an intermittent annoying behavior which is now constant, but E. (the new owner) doesn't mind. Their other car is a 1988 or so CRX HF. They have two of those, one for parts, IIRC. Frugal folk. You would think.

E. is a SAHD, and they have a Bugaboo.

I'll take a little break here for you to recover. I know. Every single time I think about a family that has a 1988 CRX HF and a somewhat ancient Camry (I want to say 1996, but don't hold me to it) as their two(ish) cars, and also has a Bugaboo, I laugh hysterically. It is so profoundly at odds with one's default image of Bugaboo owners. I mean, they cost $800-900 or so, maybe more if you go truly wild with the options and accessories. Nice strollers, don't get me wrong -- I was kinda tempted with A. on the way, but along with my intermittent caution, I am also occasionally a cheapskate.

Today's entry on the New Old Age blog at the NYT is about walkers:

http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/07/28/the-cadillac-of-walkers/

I was moderately amused, because I could really see a lot of parallels between the problem I was/am attempting to solve (getting a tired toddler moved around, along with an infant) and the problem these new(er) walkers are attempting to solve. You _can_ walk unassisted, but you get tired, or your balance is iffy, and sometimes you need to sit down and there might or might not be a chair handy.

But when I saw this paragraph:

"Prices are reasonable: as little as $85 for a Costco Web site special, or as much as $275 for a model that will support a 400-pounder."

My next thought was, oh, this market hasn't even begun to be tapped. Not when someone running 10-20 year old used cars thinks a Bugaboo is worth buying for a single kid, and they aren't necessarily even going to have a second one. Watch this trend. I don't see anything stopping this market from going up to $2K or so. Altho at some point, it's probably competing with a Segway.

ETA: Not in the main entry, but almost immediately within the comments the difficulty of finding the three-wheel version comes up for discussion. Are we _sure_ we're talking about a different product?

ETA2: OMG! RABster Francis Muir posted a comment in favor of sticks over walker! So Francis! Blast from the past.

Not that anyone here cares. But geez! I haven't thought of him in years. Nice to know he's not dead yet (hell, he'll probably outlive me).

ETA3: Discussion of gatechecking. Ha! We _are_ talking about the same product. Mobility devices are treated separately in your contract of carriage -- read it and leap around happily, because you won't be charged and there are no size limits (yet).
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