Hundreds of enthusiastic toddlers from around the globe – some still in diapers, will ride in family-friendly bike races and play experiences at the Strider Cup World Championship, July 20-21, at Central Park & Civic Area in Boulder, Colorado. For parents and spectators alike, the event will provide one-of-a-kind opportunities to take captivating photos and videos.
Each year Strider holds one worldwide racing spectacular, the Strider Cup World Championship. This event draws families from across the world, including Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, Thailand, China, Ecuador and more.
photo credit: Logan Fair
The Strider Cup World Championship runs from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. July 21 and will include race classes for registered riders 6 years old and younger, as well as a free learn-to-pedal area with demo bikes and helmets for all children.
For racers, registration is $27 per class and includes a jersey, number plate, and other goodies valued at more than $50. More information, registration, and the full schedule are available at www.StriderBikes.com/Boulder.Tweet Print
By Jeffrey Stern
The Strider 14x Sport for kids ages 3-7 is the ultimate two bikes in one that has tons of features making it a great option for those with kids learning to balance and ride. It creates a level of confidence and riding skills that are second to none, setting a foundation for years of success. The best part of the 14x setup is that it easily converts from a balance bike to pedal bike and back again for the next young child in your family. After a few months of testing, we found a bunch of pros and a few cons to go along with it – let’s be honest, no bike is perfect! All in all, the Strider 14x is a fantastic choice for the budding riders in your family.
What we liked:
- The bike concept and their execution of the convertible bike is really good. You can go from coaster bike to pedal bike in just a few minutes. You add chain, gears, guard cranks, pedals in one easy bolt on unit.
- The tires are a good medium width to give a good ride, but not go so slow like many other tires.
- Our test pupil, Hayden has run the wheels straight over many sharp corners, where we expected a pinch flat, but it never happens.
- Geometry is right on if you want your kid to have a good fit and good position. Hayden puts a lot of other kids to shame on the bike, in large part because most kids have poorly fit bikes.
- Color/design is nice and the tires grip well. Some models have foam air-less tires that don’t seem to have the same traction as ones like the 14x with real rubber tires.
- Nice geometry saddle. Whoever designed the saddle is a real biker! Many other kids bike seats are not so good.
What could be improved:
- Grips come loose pretty quick. We added duct tape to increase the diameter of the bars and the grips work perfectly now.
- Pedals are super narrow. It seems that they did this so the kid could still ride with his feet on the ground with the pedals on and not have the pedals get to in the way. While this is great for that purpose, your kid will move past the transition stage quickly and then the pedal bike has super narrow pedals from then on out, which is not the best. We bought new full width pedals and replaced the narrow ones, because we could see Hayden’s feet pop off them all the time. It would be better if Strider supplied pedals the telescoped out or a full width set, if they want this bike to really be a full on coaster bike as well as a pedal bike
- The bike is not hyper-rust resistant. Goes with the territory for kids bike, as they are typically less expensive.
Ryan McFarland, the founder of Strider over a decade ago, took the time to answer a few questions about what inspired him to start the business, where he sees the company going in the future and more.
What’s the story behind creating and founding the original Strider bike?
The Strider bike was a result of my eagerness to teach my 2-year-old son, Bode, how to ride. After buying all the typical products such as ride-on toys, tricycles, and training-wheel bikes, I realized that none of these vehicles truly fit my boy or focused his attention on the fundamental skill needed to ride a bike — balance. Being an avid motorcyclist and mountain bike rider myself, I knew that proper fit was the very foundation to riding success, so ultimately I had two choices… wait a couple of years until Bode could better fit the products currently on the market or create a bike perfectly fit for my son right now. I didn’t have the patience to wait, Bode on a bike at age 2 meant that we could soon be riding together, father and son. Motivated from a personal standpoint, I headed to the garage to create the perfect toddler bike. That garage project turned into the Strider Balance Bike, and now there are nearly 2 million Strider bikes in the marketplace. How cool is that! I also love that each purchase has a purpose with Strider, that’s really cool and unique.
From kids to the elderly, Strider truly touches many people in such a meaningful, yet simple way. What’s the inspiration and story behind this component of the business?
I am always looking for and believe there is a greater purpose in life. My faith leads me to care more about improving lives than focusing on profitability. I try to put faith into action when I can, for example, the Strider Rider Fund is a commitment to dedicate a percentage of top-line revenue to charitable purposes every month… that money goes to charity whether the company makes a bottom line profit that month or not. I believe that as a company we have a responsibility to give to God first, without fail. Through faith and dedication everything else will fall into place. I also believe riding provides an important early experience of freedom that instills a lifelong appreciation of freedom and desire for more freedom. This appreciation and desire are life changing and are the foundation of a strong nation and a fulfilling faith.
Where can we see Strider going in the future?
Strider will continue to expand its promotion of the riding lifestyle that celebrates freedom and adventure. As a company, Strider continually wants to introduce kids to the joy of riding at ever younger ages (Baby Bundle!). We will continue to push for active, health-focused events and activities that get kids on bikes enjoying the community of riders instead of sucked into the isolation of their mobile devices. We are an ambitious company, and one of our ambitions is to see every kindergartener in America fully proficient and pedaling a two-wheeler. And while we’re talking ambition, Strider wants to see the extinction of tricycle and training wheels… extinction meaning gone forever.
The 4-step pedal process and emphasis on safety in the guide is really extensive and well thought out. Safety is a huge issue with the proliferation of bikes across all age groups in this day and age. As the next generation of kids slowly graduates from a Strider upbringing, how does Strider expect to see it’s influence translate in the years to come?
When children learn a skill at a very young age, their brains physically develop specific pathways to perform that skill— making them better at that skill than someone whose brain doesn’t have that direct pathway development. This means it will be more natural to them, as easy as walking or even breathing. When kids are so skilled at riding that they don’t have to “think” about it, they will not only be safer riders for life, but they will be better riders. We envision Strider graduates setting new records and performing new feats that have never been done before. We have no doubt that future Olympians and World Champions will state that they started their racing career at age two on a Strider bike.
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
Photos courtesy of Strider Sports
Strider Sports is well known for its line of kid-sized balance bikes that help children learn the key element of cycling—balance—before worrying about pedals or brakes. But not as well known is it has taken that same philosophy and expanded it to help kids and adults with special needs expand their freedom and enjoy life on two wheels.
While the most popular Strider model has 12-inch wheels, there are also models with 16 and 20-inch wheels and hand brakes that can fit riders from age six to adulthood. They were developed specifically for individuals with special needs, such as Down syndrome, autism or cerebral palsy.
Strider doesn’t just make products for the special needs community, it contributes to their well-being with the Rider Fund, program to support individuals in need. Created in 2014, the Rider Fund donates bikes and accessories to non-profit organizations and has earmarked half of its funds for 2015 for special needs groups. One percent of Strider Sports gross revenue is collected into the fun, and a dollar is added for each Strider bike registered online. To date, the Rider Fund has donated more than $300,000 in bikes an accessories. Strider also works with Special Olympics Young Athletes Program and sponsors the 2015 National Down Syndrome Society Buddy Walks.
Strider also hosts its hugely popular Strider Championship Series for kids to race, and this year it is expanding the series to include race classes for athletes with special needs. ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Most will not have previous experience on a two-wheeled bike, so Strider has a special, weekly training plan for the individuals to be ready—and excited—for the starting line. Riders will practice starting gates, riding side- by-side, ramps, passing, and other obstacles typical in a racing environment. They’ll also practice podium fist-pumps, since all athletes are treated to an Olympic-style podium award ceremony after their race. Four national races will be held in Bradenton, Florida (April 25), Ventura, California (May 9), Pittsburgh (June 6) and Salt Lake City (August 8).
Strider encourages others to consider adding to the Rider Fund so even more individuals with special needs can improve their physical—and emotional—health:
- Donate to the Rider Fund on Strider’s website.
- Purchase a Strider bike: Strider donates one percent of Strider Sports’ gross revenue from all sales worldwide each month toward the Rider Fund.
- Those who already own a Strider bike, can register it: Strider donates $1 for every bike registered.
There are few things in all of cycling as cute and fun as Strider racing. Kids aged two to five show off their skills on the brands’ line of no-pedal bikes in a friendly and fun atmosphere.
Today Strider Sports has announced the dates and locations for its 2015 Strider Championship Series, a national racing series for children. These family-friendly races for the tiniest competitors will give small children a chance to put their Strider balance bike skills to the test at four stops across the country this spring and summer, as well as the final worldwide event this fall, the Strider World Championship.
Children of all sizes and skill levels are welcome to participate. Strider No-Pedal Balance Bikes are developed for both learning the ropes of riding and honing advanced skills in racing.
You’ll find Strider Championship Series races in the following cities this year:
- Saturday, April 25: Bradenton, FL on Main Street at Lakewood Ranch
- Saturday, May 9: Ventura, CA at the Pier
- Saturday, June 6: Pittsburgh, PA at Station Square
- Saturday, August 8: Salt Lake City, UT at the Gateway Mall
There will be races for 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-year olds at each event. Registration fee is $25 online or $35 on site. Racers will receive a Strider goodie bag valued at more than $50 with their registration. Pre-registration is open now.
New this year, Strider will host races and demo opportunities for athletes with special needs at each of the events. These athletes will race the 12-inch models, as well as Strider’s new, larger 16-inch and 20-inch balance bikes, which the company launched in 2014 specifically for the Special Needs Community. Strider bikes have transformed the lives of many individuals with special needs, such as those with Down syndrome, autism and cerebral palsy, by improving both physical and emotional health. The physical benefits mentioned by family members and physical therapists include improvements with motor skills, strength and balance. Some of the emotional benefits include freedom, confidence and increased social interactions with peers. Strider believes every person should have a chance to ride and last year gave more than $100,000 worth of bikes to the Special Needs Community.
A typical Strider race scene has young parents and grandparents holding their breath as bright yellow cowbells are rung and the starting gate drops. Toddlers, some still in diapers, lean forward, grasp their mini grips, kick their short legs, and embark upon their 600-foot plus journey over obstacles from dirt mounds to wooden ramps. All young racers are treated to an Olympic-style podium award ceremony immediately following their race, where trophies taller than some of the riders are given to top finishers. All participants receive medals and pose for the crowd of proud parents and spectators.
Participating in any of these events will automatically qualify the rider for the Strider World Championship. This series-ending race will be held August 28-29 in Rapid City, South Dakota, the world headquarters for Strider Sports International, Inc. Visit the Strider World Championship website for more information.
Image courtesy of Strider Sports
The joy of life on two wheels doesn’t come easily for everyone. For kids with special needs the freedom and excitement of wind in their hair can be far more challenging. This year Strider Sports is donating seven bikes every day to kids with special needs, and you can nominate a family member.
Strider’s balance bikes aren’t just for toddlers either. They build three models that can fit anyone from ages 18 months to adulthood. While Strider balance bikes weren’t originally designed for users with special needs, they are easily adopted because the users’ feet can stay on the ground for balance.
If you have a family member who you think would love to receive a Strider bike, just take a photo, submit their story and include the name of the special needs organization to which they belong. You can send your nomination through the Strider Sports website.Tweet Print
Courtesy of Strider Sports
Rapid City, South Dakota, will host the fourth annual Strider World Championships from September 19-21. The event, presented by FedEx, is the culmination of a series of qualifying races held in North America, Asia, Europe, and South America. Nearly 200 riders from age two to five are registered to compete. Twelve countries will be represented in the world’s premier balance bike racing competition.
Hosted by Strider Sports International, the event kicks-off on Friday, September 19 with opening ceremonies, a Special Olympics South Dakota exhibition race, and a final qualifier for the World Championship Races. The Final Races will be held on Saturday, September 20 at Main Street Square, followed by an awards ceremony and trophy presentation to the top eight winners in each age category: 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5- year olds. In addition to the competition there will be a free Strider Adventure Zone for kids to ride demo Strider bikes. Admission for spectators is free.
On Sunday, September 21, there will be tours of the brand new Strider Sports World Headquarters, the Black Hills, and Mt. Rushmore for the international distributors and their families.Tweet Print