Yes, I will be giving away a ride-on lawn tractor ($999 MSRP) to one of my lucky readers this week. But first you have to listen to me rant about how hard it was to push a walk-behind mower to school both ways every morning in waist high snow, and then you'll let me explain why the Neighborhood Rider actually makes lawnwork fun again. Mrs. Rainforest Gardener and I had a blast zipping around mowing the apartment complex and taking photos!
Disclosure: As a #Saturday6 blogger I received a mower as part of the reimbursement for my services to Troy-Bilt. I chose to review and give away this mower because it is a product that I am very excited about and feel fits the needs of The Rainforest Garden's readers.
Why I Hate Mowing the Lawn
The last time I mowed the lawn, I was in fifth grade and uttering my first swear words as I pushed through the sandspurs of our lawn in the middle of the Mojave desert, dizzy from the heat, aching all over and blistering all across my palms from the jolting vibrations of the handlebars. I remember daydreaming about jackrabbits and desert tortoises whenever I looked at the icons on the mower's speed settings, and daydreaming about a life without lawnwork whenever I collapsed on my bed, flushed beet red from the heat and sun. I actually think I might have mowed the lawn in high school too, but must have blocked it out from some reason or another.
|This is definitely NOT the mowing experience I remember.|
Why Mowing isn't So Bad Now
We'll soon be buying our first home (yay us!), but I don't have to live in fear of heat stroke and blisters anymore. Whatever lawn we end up with, the Troy-Bilt Neighborhood Rider will make mowing it just as casual as hopping into the car for a spin, which is pretty surprising for a lawn tractor. I mentioned in a previous post that I had a fear of lawn tractors (I know! I have issues.) and considered them too large and unwieldy for a small lawn, but when I tried it out for the first time I was pleasantly surprised with its handling and finesse. It even has the same footprint as a pushmower with the handlebars extended, making it an easy fit for cramped corners of the lawn, garden gates, pathways and the garage.
I'll likely replace much of my grass with gardens, but the Neighborhood Rider is convenient enough to make it worthwhile for even the smallest lawns. If I decide to help a neighbor out with their lawns, I'll have saved enough time to drive the mower down the street, zip around their yard and get back home in time for supper.
I would much rather spend my time gardening than worrying about the lawn, so the Neighborhood Rider's speed really comes in handy. And yes, I do intend to replace much of the lawn with groundcovers, but the Neighborhood Rider will make it easy to maintain the lawn as I slowly whittle it away for vegetables and groundcovers.
I also plan on letting the grass on my new lawn grow a bit taller in the back than usual, which would could make a walk-behind pushmower a pain in the patootie. I did try out some of Troy-Bilt's walk-behind models in Arizona, but I would still prefer to just hop into the cockpit and cut the grass before work without getting my clothes dirty. As silly as that sounds, there's something to be said for mowing the lawn without needing a shower and fresh change of clothes, especially in the sultry heat of Florida. Mrs. Rainforest Garden likes a clean man.
What I like about this lawnmower is that it has all the power and convenience of a lawn tractor, but with the size and maneuverability of a push-mower. The rear-engine configuration and sleek body of the Neighborhood Rider give it the quirky 'Meet George Jetson' appearance of a Smart Car, but it isn't until you take a seat that you really start to appreciate something missing from bulkier models: Blind spots. You can actually see what you're doing, so well in fact, that MTD has given it the ability to drive in reverse. This is a big draw for those with cramped yards.
I could go on about the substantial (but not too big) 30 inch deck or wax poetic about the pivoting frame and the responsiveness of the telescopic steering wheel, but my takeaway from trialing this lawnmower could be summed up in one word: Fun. It was just a blast to ride! Don't take my word for it; here are some links to Matt Mattus' review and Amy Andrychowicz' review as well. Oh, and Amy is giving away a mower too!
So here's what you need to do to win. Leave a comment telling me how this mower would make your life easier. That's it! You may enter one time each day for the next week until I select a winner on Saturday, August 3rd. The winner will receive a brand new Neighborhood Rider from Troy-Bilt!