A couple months ago, I was in San Rafael for the Sunset Criterium and got to witness the kid’s race, which was one of the most adorable things I’ve ever seen, despite not having, wanting or even really liking children. The little kids on balance bikes were the cutest of all.
It turns out that there is actually a national balance bike racing series for toddlers and children presented by Strider Bikes called the Strider Cup, which will be held in three different cities throughout the country as well as a final “World Championship” race in Boulder, Colorado.
The races aim to be family-friendly and provide a chance for small children to put their balance bike skills to the test and compete in a friendly and encouraging atmosphere. The races are open to children between two and five years old.
The Strider Cup races will be found in the following cities this next year:
- Saturday, May 5: Fort Worth, Texas, in Sundance Square
- Saturday, May 26: Cleveland, Ohio at the Public Square
- Saturday, June 16: Seattle, Washington, at the Seattle Center
- World Championships: July 19-20 at Civic Park, Boulder, Colorado
This past year’s World Cup hosted over 382 toddlers from 10 different countries and organizers are expecting over 500 toddler-aged racers from around the world to compete in 2018. Participation in any of the racers automatically qualifies the rider for the World Championship. Pre-registration will open in January.
A typical Strider race scene features excited and proud young parents and grandparents eagerly encouraging their young racers as bright yellow cowbells are rung and the starting gate drops. Toddlers, some still in diapers, wearing colorful helmets lean forward at the 24-foot wide start gate, kick their short little legs, and embark upon their 650-foot-plus journey over obstacles such as tires, water features, and wooden ramps. Parents cheer, run alongside the course as though it were a cross-country race, and coach their little ones to the finish line. All racers are treated to a celebratory podium award ceremony immediately following their main race, where they will receive either a trophy or a medal and pose for the crowd of proud parents and spectators.
As one parent put it, “best part was seeing the joy on my child’s face as he got to go down ramps and through tunnels. In every picture he has a huge smile on his face. He is still talking about it and was showing off his trophy to everyone. The whole event was amazing and adorable.”
Visit the Strider Bikes website for more information.Tweet Print