LINCOLN SPECIAL OLYMPIC ATHLETES TRAIN FOR STRIDER CUP
Special Olympic athletes in Lincoln are now training for the City’s first Strider Cup Race from
9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, June 11 in the Railyard. Most of the 23 athletes who are learning
to ride Strider Bikes are on the Lincoln Shooting Stars, a Special Olympics Nebraska team
sponsored by the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department’s Easterday Recreation Center.
Strider Sports International donated 30 of the no-pedal balance bikes to Special Olympics
Nebraska, with 22 designated for Easterday. In addition to the 12-inch model for younger riders,
the company has in recent years developed 16-inch and 20-inch models for older children and
adults with balance and coordination challenges. A 2015 research study confirmed that riding a
Strider Bike improved stability scores of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Three Strider Cup training sessions have already been held in Lincoln, and two more are
planned. Media are invited to cover the training from 11 to 11:45 a.m. Saturday, May 14 at
Easterday, 6130 Adams Street.
“The training program is a wonderful opportunity for children and adults to overcome anxieties
about riding bikes in a fun setting with peers,” said Kerry Zingg, Easterday Center Director. “It
was so exciting to see such joy and enthusiasm from the youth who participated in our first week
of training. We look forward to seeing the youth develop confidence in their abilities in the
weeks to come.” Zingg said the athletes range in age from three to 16 years old.
The bikes were assembled by Scott Anderson, a Special Olympics athlete and part-time
employee at Special Olympics Nebraska; parents of those in the Young Athletes Program; and
Lincoln Parks and Recreation volunteers. Parks and Recreation Carpentry Maintenance staff
built two rumble bars and a bike ramp for the Strider Bike Program.
Special Olympics Nebraska CEO Carolyn Chamberlin said the agency is excited about the new
partnership with Strider Bikes. “Many of our athletes who previously could not ride a bicycle
are excelling on the Strider Bike, and it means so much to see them experience the thrill of riding
like their typically-abled peers,” she said.
“My son Matt struggled to learn how to ride a traditional bicycle, but excelled on his Strider
Bike,” said Alisa Hoffman, mother of Special Olympics Nebraska athlete Matt, 15. “He finally
learned how to balance while riding and has since become more independent in his play.”
The Special Olympic athletes will compete in the Special Needs Races during the Strider Cup,
presented by Raising Canes Chicken Fingers® franchise in Lincoln. Strider Cup attendees will
receive free admission to the Strider Adventure Zone, where riders can test ride all three sizes of
Strider Bikes. Helmets will be provided. The event is the first of three national Strider Cup
Races. Participants in the Lincoln event as well as those competing in Salt Lake City, Utah and
Spokane, Washington can qualify for the Strider World Championship presented by FedEx in
July in San Francisco.
This is the second year the series has included Special Needs Races for athletes of all ages and
abilities. Strider has waived the registration fee for athletes in these races. Strider works with
Special Olympics teams in each race city, but the races are open to any Strider Rider with special
ABOUT SPECIAL OLYMPICS NEBRASKA
Special Olympics Nebraska is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization founded in 1972. Its mission
is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type
sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The athletes have continuing
opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate
in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendships with their families, other Special Olympics athletes
and the community. For more information, visit sone.org.
ABOUT STRIDER SPORTS INTERNATIONAL, INC.
Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Rapid City, South Dakota, Strider Sports designs
efficient, no-pedal balance bikes for children as young as 18 months, as well as for older riders
with special needs. Strider’s mission is to simplify a bike to its essence, so proper size, weight
and simplicity combine to eliminate any fear of riding, to instill confidence in the rider and to
help people learn to ride effectively on two wheels. Strider also manufactures balance bikes for
individuals with special needs and for seniors wanting to stay active later in life. The patented
Strider Balance Bikes focus on the fundamentals of balancing, leaning and steering without the
distractions and complications of pedals or training wheels. Strider Bikes are now distributed in
more than 75 countries. In 2015, Strider sold its one-millionth bike. For more information, visit
Strider Brings Fun for Kids to Major League Triathlon Series
Strider Adventure Zones to Teach Riding Skills to Kids 2 to 5 Years Old
Rapid City, SD (April 12, 2016) — The country may not be quite ready for Toddler Triathlons, but kids as young as 18 months can learn to ride a bike and have fun at this month’s Major League Triathlon (MLT) event kicking off in Temple, Texas. Thanks to Strider, the leader in no-pedal balance bikes and its famous Strider® Adventure Zone, parents and spectators visiting the Major League Triathlon weekend of events can introduce the youngest members of the family to the fun of riding a bike. Ideal for toddlers and kids up to age five, the Strider Adventure Zone is a safe, free, fun, and friendly environment where all young riders can take a spin around the specially designed course of ramps and obstacles. Strider Bikes help children develop vital balance and coordination skills needed to ride on two wheels, while the Adventure Zone course allows riders of all abilities to take their time getting comfortable on a bike as they socialize, play, and show off to their parents.
“A big thing for us is making everyone feel comfortable to get involved at our events,” said MLT CEO Daniel Cassidy. “That includes children, and we know that having Strider on site with their Adventure Zone will make our weekends even more conducive to families.”
Ryan McFarland, Strider Founder and CEO agrees, “At Strider, we go where the action is. The Major League Triathlon events are full of families and athletes who love the outdoors, so they are a perfect venue for our Adventure Zones.”
A fun event for the entire family, the 2016 Major League Triathlon - Temple takes place April 15-17. The Strider Adventure Zone will be open Saturday, April 16 from 12:00 noon – 3:30 p.m. at the Mayborn Convention Center in Temple, TX. The MLT festival will include food vendors, craft beer vendors, game zones featuring SpikeBall, interactive expos, MLT Pro interaction, a headliner concert featuring Russell Dickerson, and more! Three other MLT events (and Strider Adventure Zones) will take place throughout the summer and fall in Sarasota, Florida; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Greater Portland, ME.
Rapid City, SD (March 28, 2016) — The Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers® franchise in Lincoln, Nebraska, is teaming up with Strider Bikes, the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of children’s no-pedal balance bikes, to give away 120 Strider Bikes to local youth. Raising Cane’s is hosting a Giveaway Party to hand out the bikes on April 17 from 1 p.m. – 3 pm. at their restaurant located at 58th & Old Cheney (5810 S. 58th Street). SCHEELS will also be onsite with a FREE Adventure Zone where children can come test ride a Strider Bike. The Giveaway Party and Adventure Zone is open to the public.
Raising Cane’s will be donating over 50 of the bikes to the children and families at the Montessori School for Young Children in Lincoln. In addition, 35 bikes will be given away at the April 17 Giveaway Party, where 5 bikes will be given away every 15 minutes to those in attendance. An additional 20 bikes will be given away to customers who register in-restaurant between March 28 and April 10, and the remainder will be given to children of their crewmembers.
“The partnership with Strider was a no-brainer for us. Not only does it embody one of our core values of supporting active lifestyles, but our (Justin and I) two children used them as well and we are true believers in the bike,” said Jennifer Jones, owner of the Lincoln and Grand Island Raising Cane’s restaurants. “So when we had the opportunity to give other children a chance to have a Strider Bike of their own and to host an event that would put 120 of these bikes under children in the community, we were very excited and didn’t hesitate to become apart of it.”
After the April 17 Giveaway Party, local toddlers can practice their skills to race in the Lincoln Strider Cup race on June 11. The Lincoln race is the first of three events in the 2016 Strider Cup, a national Strider Bike racing series for toddlers and children. It is also the first time Strider has held a national race in Lincoln. These family-friendly races for the tiniest competitors will give small children a chance to put their Strider Balance Bike skills to the test.
Derek Bombeck of Lincoln got Strider Bikes for his two-year-old twin sons Collin and Graham when they turned one. "It has been amazing watching their progression and confidence over the past 9 months. When we go outside the first thing they ask for is their Strider bikes. We ride them around the neighborhood and at the park. With the balance and coordination they are learning on their Strider Bikes, transitioning to pedal bikes should be easy."
The June 11 event will have races for 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds, and Special Needs riders of all ages. Registration fee is $25 online or $35 on-site for the toddler races. Strider has waived the registration fee for riders with special needs. Racers will receive a Strider goodie bag valued at more than $50 with their registration, and all racers will receive either a medal or a trophy. Pre-registration is open now at http://www.striderbikes.com/lincoln.
Upcoming Strider Cup races are slated for June 25 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and July 9 in Spokane, WA. Participating in any of these events automatically qualifies the rider for the Strider Cup World Championship, July 29-30 at Pier 35 in San Francisco, California. The Strider event page, http://www.striderbikes.com/events has more information on all of the races.
Strider Adventure Zones Teach Toddlers How To Ride On Two Wheels
Rapid City, South Dakota (March 21, 2016) — Strider Sports International, Inc., the world’s premier manufacturer and marketer of children’s no-pedal balance bikes, invites you and your family out to motorcycle tracks around the country for exciting racing and toddler-friendly activities at the 2016 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship. Starting April 15 and continuing through the fall, Strider Bikes will be on-site in the Strider Adventure Zone at the tracks at Road Atlanta, New Jersey Motorsports Park, Virginia International Raceway, Road America, Barber Motorsports Park, and at Utah Motorsports Campus. Visit the Strider Events Calendar for more information.
Bring the family to the track on Saturday (8 a.m.-5 p.m.) or Sunday (8 a.m.-5 p.m.) and look for the Strider Adventure Zone, where children as young as 18 months to kids five years old can test ride a Strider Bike for free to discover that feeling of pure joy and freedom that happens when you ride off on two wheels. Children ages 16 and under are free.
Strider Adventure Zones are safe and friendly environments that encourage kids of all abilities from 18 months to 5 years old to test ride Strider Bikes and play with other kids, all while improving and developing fundamental bike handling skills in a custom-designed area complete with ramps and pennants. This safe and friendly environment encourages kids to explore mobility on two wheels, boost their confidence as they learn new abilities, and experience the challenge and thrill of riding Strider Bikes on unique terrains and obstacles.
MotoAmerica is a professional motorcycle road racing series sanctioned by the AMA and FIM and supported by Dorna. The primary goal of MotoAmerica is to reinvigorate motorcycle racing in North America, reintroducing the most exhilarating motorsport in history to fans while grooming a new generation of American and international racers for the world stage. MotoAmerica works with tracks, teams, sponsors, OEMs, and promoters to tell the stories of the racers, the engineers, and the dreamers who strive to go further and faster. Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of the fastest, safest, and easiest way to introduce children to the world of riding on two wheels.
We love hearing from Strider parents so when we got this letter and photo from Ryan's parents we knew we had to share it:
Ryan is a beautiful, active, funny, smart, amazing child. He is a six year old boy with diagnosed speech and motor Apraxia and ADHD. Life, this far, has been difficult for Ryan – he has a hard time with speech, fine and gross motor activities – plus he cannot sit still! He can understand everything you say but cannot always communicate with you understandably or effectively. An easy-to-understand definition of apraxia is difficulty planning and producing. Ryan knows what he wants to say and what movements he wants to make but cannot plan and produce the sounds/movement.
Ryan has had all styles of bicycles - from tricycles, “hot wheels,” scooters to training wheels on a “Big Kid” bike. Ryan always ended up frustrated and mad at the bike. When he was given his blue strider his Dad and I were skeptical. Ryan got his Strider for his 6th birthday, which, unfortunately is in November. Not optimal bike riding weather in South Dakota. Ryan rode his Strider throughout the house all winter. Dad and I decided that patching and painting walls was worth it. It took him a little while to get the hang of using his legs for movement while sitting on the seat but he finally mastered it.
What has his Strider done for Ryan? This bike has given our child so much and we are so thankful. Not only can Ryan ride his bike, he wants to. His bike has given him imaginative freedom. The strider has been a riding lawn mower, a garbage truck and a fire truck. The gross motor development has been huge – not only can he ride his Strider but his running, walking, jumping and all gross motor movements have gotten better and stronger.
If Ryan is playing outside he is usually on his Strider. The other day he was riding in a few inches of snow. Ryan wants to go on bike rides on the bike path and he is proud that he can ride his bike. The confidence that his Strider has given Ryan is priceless!
Keith and Erin (Ryan's parents)
Kids Learn Street Safety on Strider Bikes at Louisiana Children’s Discovery Center
Last year, the City of Hammond, Louisiana bought eight Strider Bikes to use with its Safety City exhibit, which it operates in partnership with the Louisiana Children's Discovery Center. The exhibit teaches kids about street safety and how to travel and walk safely from their house to school or around the city. The center hosts field trips almost every day with between 40 and 100 kids ages 3 to 11. In just four months, more than 2,000 kids have ridden their 12” and 16” STRIDER models. Check out the photos of STRIDER Bikes in the Safety City photo gallery on their website.
Below is a Q&A with City of Hammond Grants Manager Charles Borchers IV, who discovered and purchased the Strider Bikes for the City, and Leon Philpot, Interim Executive Director of the Louisiana Children's Discovery Center.
How did you first learn about Strider Bikes?
Charles: The City received a Louisiana Safe Routes to School grant to educate our school-age children about pedestrian, bicycle, and traffic safety. We bought the Safety City exhibit as a teaching tool, but quickly discovered that the included plastic tricycles just weren't sturdy enough to accommodate the number and wide age range of kids that the exhibit was seeing. So I started searching for something to replace the original bikes and stumbled across Strider Bikes.
I’d never heard of balance bikes before, but realized that, with no pedals, the bikes would take up less space in the Safety City's already crowded trailer. I also appreciated that the bikes were made of metal, but still fairly lightweight, and easily to assemble. We initially ordered five of the 12” Sport model and we were impressed enough with the build quality that we bought another three of the 16” Sport model. All eight bikes fit in the trailer.
Why did you choose Strider?
Charles: As local government agency, we're practiced in soliciting competitive quotes and researching companies before making purchases. I spent a lot of time looking at other balance bikes, but kept coming back to Strider Bikes. I was impressed by all of the positive reviews, options available, and the overall reputation and philosophy of the company.
What do you like about the bikes?
Charles: We’ve been very happy with the quality of the bikes. They're easy to assemble and adjust, and I particularly like that smaller models have solid wheels so we don’t have to worry about inflating tires. We actually had a lot of fun putting them together. We figured if we could do it, anyone could. It probably took longer to get each bike out of its box than to assemble it.
The bikes' low maintenance is also a huge plus. The City is responsible for the Safety City's upkeep and we want everything to work all of the time. With the Strider Bikes, we are less concerned about things breaking. The bikes are just solid. With the original bikes, we spent a lot of time chasing down pieces, like popped-off pedals and seats.
How do you use the bikes in your Safety City exhibit?
Leon: The Safety City Exhibit is set up to simulate signs and visuals they see in downtown Hammond, so as the kids ride them around, they learn the meaning of street signs, traffic signals, pedestrian walks, and to respect the signs. Since the display uses Strider Bikes as vehicles, they also learn to respect bicycle laws, such as stopping at crosswalks, riding on the right side and to stay to the far right if a car is coming behind them.
How do you know using Strider Bikes in the Safety City exhibit is effective?
Leon: When they do their first lap, if they violate any rules, such as running a stop sign, we’ll stop them and make them go back. They have to stop and look both ways. We also have a stop light, which shows them what to do with each light color. Sometimes it is tough with the younger kids to understand the concepts, but they’re having fun. If they keep violating the rules, then next person gets to ride. Usually by the second or third lap, they get it.
What do the kids think of the Strider Bikes?
Charles: From everything that I’ve seen and heard, the kids just think that they’re the coolest thing—they really respond to them. Most haven’t seen a pedal-less bike before and—especially the little kids—are very curious. As soon as they get on one and realize that they can actually ride it, they love it. It’s a phenomenal product. I have to admit though: when I first heard about balance bikes, I thought that the idea sounded like a gimmick. But after you see a three-year-old hop on one and start riding it around, it just makes perfect sense.
Did you have any issues with kids going too fast?
Leon: The track is pretty small, so they don’t go too fast. Since there is a railroad crossing in downtown Hammond, we also have one as part of the exhibit. They have to stop there when the light is flashing and the arm comes down. Then they must wait until arm comes up and look both ways before moving on.
Charles: That was actually one of the problems that we had with the original bikes: kids going too fast and crashing into things—or us. Mostly it was us. Because the Strider Bikes are foot-powered, the kids can’t really get them going too fast. The bikes actually force them to walk through the exhibit and give instructors more time to educate them about safety.
What’s your overall impressive of the bikes?
Charles: I don't think that we could be happier. The Strider Bikes have been an ideal fit and helped to make the Safety City exhibit even better. They really are great. If I had a kid I’d buy him one!
If you love motorcycles and STRIDER Bikes then you should definitely head to one of the ten stops of the 2015/2016 International Motorcycle Shows!
- Portland, OR - Oct 31-Nov 1
- Sacramento, CA - Nov 6-8
- Long Beach, CA - Nov 20-22
- New York City, NY - Dec 11-13
- Miami, FL - Jan 8-10
- Dallas, TX - Jan 22-24
- Cleveland, OH - Jan 29-31
- Minneapolis, MN - Feb 5-7
- Chicago, IL - Feb 12-14
- Phoenix, AZ - Feb 20-21
We had the pleasure of meeting Susie last year at the National Parks and Recreation Conference in North Carolina. She had expressed her interest in learning to ride a bike since she had never had the opportunity growing up. With an open mind and an unchecked item on her bucket list, she was eager to learn! Here is her story...
Growing up in a small town in India during the 1960’s, I didn’t have the opportunity to learn how to ride a bike. Only boys were allowed to ride bikes back then. I have always wanted to learn, but was afraid of falling. In late 2014, I came across Strider bikes at a National Park and Recreation Conference. The concept of learning to balance first and then to pedal made sense to me and I decided to give it a try when the weather turned nice. I bought a Strider bike in spring 2015 right before Easter and I was able to balance on it rather quickly. The bike is light weight and very manageable which made me feel comfortable on it. I was thrilled when I first balanced on the strider bike and I kept riding it for hours that day. My children bought me a regular bike as a gift for Mother’s Day and I was able to learn pretty fast since I already learned to balance on the Strider bike. I now can ride a bike! I would not have been able to do this without the Strider bike! Thanks to Lori at Strider bike for all her help as I was trying to decide on a bike and also afterwards by checking on my progress.
Times have changed in India, even in the small town where I grew up. It is now a common sight to see girls and women on their bikes, scooters and mopeds. I am glad that I had the opportunity to learn even though it is at age 54! And again, it wouldn’t have happened without the Strider bike!
I have decided to keep the Strider bike for its sentimental value. All the children in my family will sure be using Strider bikes in the future to learn to ride a bike instead of training wheels.
-Susie Kuruvilla, CPA, CPRP
The Flame of Hope symbolizes the Special Olympics goal: shining a light on the talents and abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. On May 14, 2015, the Flame of Hope was lit at a special ceremony in Greece. It was then passed to Law Enforcement Torch Runners in their role as Guardians of the Flame to ensure that the Flame of Hope stayed lit as it traveled across the Atlantic Ocean and in the first ever cross-county Unified Relay Across America until it reaches it’s final resting place at the World Games in Los Angeles.
On May 21, 2015, the Flame of Hope was split into three flames – kicking off a 46-day, cross-country relay to Los Angeles on July 25th. The Unified Relay Across America is bringing awareness to the Special Olympics movement, and creating communities where everyone is included and respected. To show our support for Special Olympics, Strider Sports International along with athletes from the Black Hills Ups of Downs Family Support Group donated and participated in what has become the Special Olympics largest grass roots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle.
With 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators, the 2015 Special Olympics World Games will be the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world in 2015, and the single biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games.
Photos from our leg in the Unified Relay, special thanks to Rapid City Police Department for keeping us safe and being our own Guardians of the Flame!
Below is a guest blog entry from Tyler Klassen. He is a STRIDER dad, airline pilot, motorcycle rider, green egg bbq enthusiast, and all around cool guy. On May 16th he held the 2nd annual Riders for Striders charity motorcycle ride and purchased 41 STRIDER Bikes for kids at the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital....We've said it before and we'll say it again, STRIDER Parents are THE coolest!
More great images from the ride are below!
May 16, 2015 - Indianapolis, Indiana
The second annual Riders for Striders charity motorcycle ride took place on May 16th. The local Indianapolis 500 Qualification day was cancelled due to the rain, but Riders for Striders went on! A little rain wouldn't stop this tough group of charity riders! Registration opened at 9am and the rain showers had moved off, we had cloudy skies and temps in the lower 70s. Cycle Outfitters, our ride starting point host, set up a fantastic spread of free donuts and coffee. The threat of rain for the day didn't keep registered riders home. At the start of the ride we had 38 motorcycles. 34 Adventure Motorcyclists, and 4 Street Motorcyclists. I believe the forecast kept the street riders home, but everyone who was there had a great positive attitude and was ready to ride and raise some money to get the kids of Peyton Manning Children's Hospital some Strider Bikes!
We had two routes planned this year for the second annual ride, an Adventure Route (on road/off road) and a Street Route (pavement). We did our ride a little different than most charity rides. Instead of a parade or escorted ride, we had 10 ride leaders with the routes in their GPS. We paired up the riders into groups of 6-8 motorcycles. This way we can have riders paired up with their experience level. This also allows each group to ride at their own pace, stop where they want, and improved the overall safety of the ride.
We rode south out of Indianapolis, and headed towards Bloomington, Indiana. RevSport in Bloomington was our lunch stop destination. The ADV group had some creeks to cross, wonderful gravel roads through Yellowwood State Forest, and more gravel through the Lake Monroe area. One benefit of the less than ideal weather....the rain showers kept the gravel dust free!
I was fortunate enough to have my Dad, who flew in from Tucson, AZ for the ride, and my 5 year old son join me in my Ural sidecar rig! Pretty cool to have three generations riding in one machine through the gravel and creeks!
The group met up at RevSport for a donation lunch. Moody's Butcher Shop in Center Grove, Indiana donated 40lbs of pork for the lunch!
Just after lunch the rain started to pour! All riders kept a positive attitude, zipped up their rain gear and headed back out for the north bound portion on the ride. I was very impressed with all the riders maintaining a positive attitude and just carrying on with the ride like it wasn't raining! Good waterproof gear really helps too!
The adventure group hit a snag on the north bound route inside of the Hoosier Nation Forest. A tree had fallen across the road. Now, most riders might let this obstacle ruin their ride, but not this ADV group! The ADV groups just worked together, and since they were riding off road bikes, went around the tree. Some even said going around the tree made the ride even more fun!
The north bound portion of both routes ended at Taxman Brewing Company in Bargersville, Indiana. Taxman was a fantastic host! They opened up their upstairs area just for the riders. It was nice to get out of the rain and everyone enjoyed chatting about the ride. Our total ride distance was 155 miles round trip.
We raised enough money to purchase 41 additional Striders for the kids of Peyton Manning Children's Hospital. Planning for next year's ride has already begun! We are hoping for better weather next year, but I was very impressed with this year's turn out!
Organizer and Founder of Riders for Striders