This weekend was not your typical weekend at the NASCAR Charlotte Motor Speedway. Where the stands are usually packed full of fans cheering on their favorite drivers speeding around the track there were empty seats. It was on the track itself where the magic and experience was happening.
61 kids ages 3-6 and their family had the opportunity of a lifetime this beautiful Saturday afternoon in November. The track was reserved for Strider Bikes' first U.S. Discovery Ride event. While most Strider fans are very familiar with the Strider Cup racing series, the Discovery Ride is meant to be a unique event that focuses more on a family-friendly, hands-on, non-competitive experiences. And an experience it was...
As the riders were directed on to the track they were split up into 10 groups. Each small group was taken by their personal tour guides to an interactive station. Every 10 minutes the kids would ride their bikes to a new awe-inspiring mini adventure.
Bubba Blackwell, a professional stunt jumper who has broken every single one of Evil Knievel's records and tours as a pro-flagger for the American Motorcycle Association Flat Track Racing demonstrated how the flagging process works before, during, and after a race. Kids got to check out his impressive flag collection and try it out themselves.
The pit stop demo showed the kids up close the ins and outs of how an actual NASCAR Pit Crew works together to get cars in tip-top shape and back on the track in record time.
Families were loaded into official Charlotte Motor Speedway track vans where they drove around the actual race track and banked the turns just like the pros... only not exactly at 200 mph.
Kids were thrilled to be able to climb on and get photos with dragsters, a replica of Lightning McQueen, and the monster truck "Tatanka".
Nothing makes you feel like a star more than being interviewed and featured on the real-life NASCAR Jumbotron!
Finally. A firetruck, ambulance, and a police car where you can actually run the lights and sirens. Dream. Come. True.
Now that the kids were obviously professionals after they watched the pro pit crew, they got to put their new skills to the test.
One of the stations that didn't have a place to park your bike was the Strider Time-Qualifying Course. Riders raced, two-at-a-time to see who could complete the course in the shortest time.
The day ended in typical Strider fashion with a quick one lap race around the pit stop area.
Finally, families gathered up for a trip to the Winner's Circle to celebrate an awesome day of riding and experiencing the thrill of NASCAR... and of course, confetti cannons.
Proceeds from the registrations for the Strider Discovery Ride were donated to Speedway Children's Charities which funds a wide range of charities - because communities have a wide range of charitable interest and needs. SCC's goal is to reach as many children as possible by supporting those agencies that are the unsung heroes in many communities.
Thank you to the riders, families, staff, and volunteers of this life-changing event. We know all of you are making a difference in our future, and the future of riding. Until next year... #StrideOn!
All photos from the Strider Discovery Ride will be available soon on the Strider Facebook page. Please download and share! www.facebook.com/StriderBikes