Mona Drolc is the Vice President of Ups of Downs Family Support Group, Black Hills Buddy Walk Director, Head Coach for Rapid City Special Olympics Young Athletes Program, instructs STRIDER Camp classes for kids of all abilities, and is a proud supporter of Strider Bikes! Mona is our guest blogger today, the photo below is Mona with her son David.
As I sit watching David at swimming lessons, I think back to the day in December of 2006 when we received the phone call, I remember, like most, thinking our world had just completely ended. After talking to the doctors and seeing all the reports, we thought - wow can we do this? A couple weeks passed and as we were coming home from church one Sunday morning, I took Dennis' hand, gave a squeeze, smiled, and said to him "Everything is going to be okay", his response was "How do you know that?" I smiled again and said "God just told me" -- I took a big deep breath and said to myself "let the journey begin"
Now here we are 7 yrs later with David doing awesome. We have had our bumps along the way, our struggles but have seemed to keep moving along. David has finished 1st grade, did wrestling again this year, completed gymnastics, just finished his first year of t-ball(batter batter as he calls it)and now is doing Young Athletes and swimming. YA has taught him so many valuable wonderful skills including learning how to ride a bike. Strider bikes were introduced to the class and at each class he just got better and better. The skills learned at YA and from Strider bikes has given him confidence, he is not afraid to participate with others, wants to be the coach to help his friends learn how to ride, and changed his attitude towards riding a regular bike as he has transitioned to riding a pedal bike without training wheels.
He has a strong healthy attitude for life and instead of saying "I can't" - it is "no give up, I can do". On Saturdays when it is time for YA, he says "it's Strider time" and away we go. We were told David will never out grow Down syndrome but what we do will make his life either fulfilling or not; so what we need to do is give him every opportunity to succeed. Watching him swim, ride bike, or play with his friends are just some of the things we are doing to make that happen.
We know it is our responsibility to make a difference in his life and giving him every opportunity to succeed is what counts. God told me everything was going to be okay and right now, I have to agree as David's successes are pretty amazing which include winning the first ever Unified Strider US Championship race in June!
If you haven’t noticed already Strider Bikes is partnering with Young Athletes Programs and Special Olympics Events all across the nation to spread the word and joy about our bikes. Some individuals with special needs are riding a bike for the very first time, and the results might surprise some, but truthfully don’t surprise us one bit! What we’re seeing is success, increased mobility, smiling faces, shining confidence, and most importantly we’re all having FUN!
If you will be attending the 2014 Special Olympics Games please stop and say hello! Try out a bike while you’re there. Also, we’ll have some BIG news to share… Stay tuned!
Special Olympics Events
Young Athletes Event April 11
Special Olympics Arizona State Games May 3
Chicago Young Athletes Event May 16
Special Olympics Tennessee State Games May 17
Special Olympics USA Games June 14-21
Special Olympics Colorado State Games August 22
Thanks to all of your support, Strider Bikes is getting too big for it’s britches! And that’s a GOOD THING! We've moved into a new building that our very own Joe McFarland designed just to fit all of our Strider goals... you know, the ones about two wheeled world domination and getting rid of training wheels and tricycles FOREVER. *Boo!! Hiss!!!*
Well it's been about 2 months and I think we’re pretty much all settled into our new building! (It’s right down the street from the old headquarters but it is still very exciting!) Our New Address is 2221 N. Plaza Dr. Rapid City, South Dakota 57702
Stop in and say hello! In fact, many Striderville folks aren't even aware that we sell bikes here... well we do! And if you bring your little Strider Riders with you when you come I promise to let them ride up and down the halls as much as they want and interrupt any meeting to show off their skills, and I also promise I will try as hard as I can not to pinch their cute little cheekies because every single Strider Rider who comes through our front door is ADORABLE!!!! (I'll be the crazy lady behind the front desk when you come in, and the one playing on the floor with your kid when you're trying to leave ...ok and possibly pinching their cute little cheeks!)
What do all of the following have in common?
1. An 80 year old granddad riding his cruiser in green skinny jeans.
2. Two elderly couples holding hands.
3. Five fly fisherman wearing muddy camouflage waders.
4. A mother holding her 9 month pregnant belly in one hand, and her cell phone in the other… Just in case.
5. A high-fiving co-worker.
6. The tiniest little Chihuahua I’ve ever seen keeping up just fine.
7. A beautiful women covered in tattoos and sporting red lipstick pushing her twins in a stroller.
8. Three STRIDER Balance Bikes.
9. Zero training wheels. Progress.
The Answer: All of these were on the bike path at last Friday in STRIDERville. Spring is just around the corner and there are so many people out enjoying this BEAUTIFUL weather! I hope you get a chance to do the same!
P.S. It's going to snow tonight...we need the moisture...
Strider Bikes is proud to announce their partnership with The Friendship Circle of Michigan, a non-profit organization that provides programs and support to families and individuals with special needs.
For the third consecutive year Friendship Circle is holding the Great Bike Giveaway, a national contest giving away adaptive bikes to children with special needs. Bike companies from around the U.S. are donating bikes to the children and young adults who need them most, and Strider is excited to be able to join in on the fun!
Here’s how it works; Each bike page has a space where users can enter the contest. You can submit a picture of your child with special needs along with a short explanation of why your child needs an adaptive bike. One bike in each contest will be given away to the entry with the most nominations. Nominations are received from friends and family clicking the “nominate button” on your post. So share, share, and share some more!
Meet Eddie! Strider Bikes Director of Sourcing, who literally travels around the world to help make STRIDER Bikes the best that they can be!
- I lived in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness-(Detroit, Oregon) – 5 days/ 4nights a week during the summer for 3 years
- I fought forest fires and became a 20 person crew leader for 4 years.
- I tried to derail a train as a kid with plywood – ‘epic failure’! That would be considered a good failure…
- My Dad gave me my first car when I turned 13 – Coupe Deville Cadillac – ‘No License’, but I was the man!-(boy)
- I screwed up the first song I ever sang in high school and blamed it on my piano teacher. Pretty obvious who actually forgot the words!
- I sang in a Taiwanese Band when I lived in Taipei, Taiwan
- I met my wife singing in a Karaoke Contest on her 21st birthday. I won – because I was damn good –sort of
- I will have been married 20 years, as of March, 2014… Just shoot me and get it over with!!! Haha
- I used to be a runner and I THOUGHT I enjoyed it! Now look at me!!! What the heck happened?!!!
- My Nike Relay Team was ranked in the top 50 of the largest 12 person relay team in the world-(at that time) – 191 miles - Hood to Coast – Oregon. Finished in less than 24 hrs! Proof Pics below.
To view Eddie's full staff bio and to check out the rest of the Strider staff click HERE!
Meet Kyla Wright, Strider Marketing Manager Extraordinaire!
- I graduated from High School in Mannheim Germany, home of the world’s first bicycle.
- I played flute and sang in a classical quartet called Thopereky.
- On my 40th birthday, I ran my first half marathon. I’ve competed in 5 half marathons since then. My favorite was Canyonlands in Moab, Utah.
- I enjoy baking desserts and cooking ethnic foods, especially Indian.
- I love to travel. My husband and I just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in Peru and visited Machu Picchu.
- We have two awesome grown sons. Austin is studying Herpetology at Oklahoma State University (Google that major). Lucas is a Senior at Stevens High School.
- I am a chocoholic.
- Love to play board games – especially word games. Yes, I am that family member.
- I learned to ride a motorcycle last year (thanks to Joe McFarland and the State of SD). No, I didn’t pass the exam. But I had a blast learning.
- I’ve hiked behind and sat on top of Mt. Rushmore.
To view Kyla's full Strider profile, visit our staff page HERE!
Meet Terry, Strider Controller Extraordinaire!
- I met my husband on Match.com.
- Kids in my family share a middle name with my dad, Gary Lee (girls spelled differently): We are Richard Lee, Terry Lea and Shari Lea.
- I am a freelance writer.
- My husband and I pray together every morning.
- I parachuted three times. The first time I landed bottom-down in a puddle, but no one believed me—they thought I peed my pants.
- When I retire, I am going to auctioneer school.
- I’ve run two marathons (and a bunch of half-marathons) including New Orleans, Kauai, Virginia Beach, Las Vegas and Jamaica since turning 50.
- I hiked the entire Centennial Trail in one winter.
- I am a member of the Leadership Rapid City class of 2011.
- I love dogs!
- I worked my way through High School and College as an Alligator Wrestler and Snake Handler Showperson at Reptile Gardens.
- I’m a fanatic about stereo systems both in my car and at home…I’m very picky about sound!
- Case in point….the first two cars I owned and drove both had their back seats removed…and replaced wall to wall with MTX subwoofers.
- I met my wonderful wife when she rolled up in her Mustang 5.0 cruising 8th Street and asked me for a ride on my motorcycle.
- Kent is my middle name! Our family has a tradition, for no particular reason, of going by our middle names.
- Father: Charles Timothy Jacobs
- Me: Timothy Kent Jacobs
- My Son: Kent Austin Jacobs
- I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering from SDSM&T
- When I’m at home and walk outside at night…I sometimes howl at the moon :P
- For my entire childhood I never had to pay to play arcade games or pinball machines (the REAL arcade games that most people would drop a quarter in). My dad was an amusement and vending machine repair man. Free games!!! Mr.Do!
- I own 4 sets of wheels and tires for my Subaru. Not 4 tires…16 tires and 16 wheels... for one car. Each has their purpose. I guess you could say I’m fanatic about tires too :P
- I’ve always wished I was Superman “Clark KENT” and I often have dreams that I’m flying or floating.
Visit Kent's staff Bio HERE to learn more about him and the rest of the Strider staff!
Chasing our kiddos around on the STRIDER Snow Ski is not the only thing keeping Strider Staff outdoors during this brutal South Dakota winter. Some members are taking their love of cycling to a whole new level- the cyclo-cross course! You might be wondering the same thing as I did “What is cyclo-cross anyway?” Cyclo-cross races typically take place in the autumn and winter and consist of several laps on a relatively short course (1 or 2 miles) with mixed terrain like, pavement, wooded trails, grass, gravel, mud, steep hills and obstacles that require the rider to dismount their bike, and carry it over the obstacle as quickly as possible.
There are bicycles that are specifically designed for cyclo-cross racing that are lightweight, with narrow tires and drop handlebars, similar to a road bike but also share some characteristics with mountain bicycles with knobby tread tires for better traction. Although lightweight cyclo-cross bikes are beneficial when lofting it over various obstacles, it isn’t necessary. I rode my mountain bike for my first cyclo-cross race and it worked just fine… it also made me pine for a cyclo-cross bike by the end of the race when I saw how flawlessly others were whipping those bikes onto their shoulders and clearing the obstacles.
At Strider we are very familiar with the importance of a lightweight all terrain bike, not only for ourselves, but for our children, and your children too! Whether you are looking for a bike for your one year old who is just learning to walk, or for your four year old who is not progressing on his heavy bike with training wheels, lightweight bikes are key to success. At only 4.9 pounds the STRIDER PRO is the perfect bike for your little one, there are tricycles on the market right now that weigh upwards of 20 pounds! Toddlers simply cannot handle that kind of weight. As parents, bicycle enthusiasts, and hopefully an inspiration to families everywhere, we are creating riders. This means getting kids off the straight, seamlessly paved sidewalks, and out conquering obstacles while providing them with the tools to do so.