Hey Moms and Dads! While summer is not officially over, it is for most of the school ages kids out there. If you're like many stay at home moms (or dads) with toddlers you have one or two older siblings heading off to school and lots of new quality time to spend with your Striding toddlers. Sometimes it's tough to make the same ol' bike ride new and fun. Here are some ideas that might help you jump start your riding routine if you have fallen off the biking wagon, or if you're stuck in a rut with a boring route, this might help mix it up a bit!
1. Try taking the path less traveled.
One of the best parts, or maybe THE best part about the STRIDER is that you can go on any terrain, that means stepping out of your comfort zone and getting off the paved paths you're accustomed to. If you really want to go over to that abandoned construction site and plow over some gravel piles, go for it! Slap on some bug spray and hit the woods, there are so many adventures to be had on hiking paths and nature trails. Especially when you're only 3 feet tall!
2. Make it a picnic.
Bring a snack or pick a destination for lunch. Kids tend to feel more in control, and get a sense of accomplishment when they know that they have reached their goal of a specific destination. A rewarding healthy lunch with mom or dad is a great way to celebrate!
3. Go on a scavenger hunt.
Put on a backpack and make a list of things you want to find or do on your bike ride and let your child check the things off the list. Some examples might be:
Find one big and one little pine cone
Pick up a piece of trash you find on the ground to show you love our planet
Take a picture of a bird with mom or dads phone
Find a stick in the shape of the letter Y
See if you can balance long enough to sing your ABC's without putting your feet down
4. Hit the slopes
Whether we like it or not, Christmas and winter will be here before we know it, and if you're lucky enough to live somewhere where it snows the STRIDER Snow Ski is an AWESOME accessory to beat the winter blues and get outside.
Even though these are just a few ideas of ways to liven up your bike rides, the possibilities are endless. Have fun with your little ones and enjoy your adventures together!
1. I love old cars, specifically 33-39 Chevys.
2. I bought my first motorcycle at 17, and I didn’t know how to ride it. My mom took me to the dealership. My boyfriend had to ride it home.
3. My husband and I own a 40 ft, 1963 school bus that we did a full conversion on. Willie G Davidson even signed the ceiling during the Sturgis Rally last year!!!
4. I grew up on a farm and walked beans and picked rock for spending money every Summer.
5. My husband and I have remodeled 3 houses so far.
6. I love to travel anywhere, anytime, any method.
7. My dream vacation is riding motorcycles through Norway and Sweden.
8. My grandmother and grandfather on my mom’s side were 1st generation American Swedes. That makes me ½ Swede, don’t cha know.
9. I learned kidney stones can be deadly; I got E. Coli blood poisoning last year from one and spent 6 days in the hospital.
10. I have a foster sister with Down Syndrome. Her name is Amy Jo, she is 43 and has been part of my family since she was 5.
To view Ann's full staff bio click HERE!
4 Year Old STRIDER
1 Willow Francis - McDonald, PA
2 Gavin Saez - Bel Air, MD
3 Tyler Meyers - Ft Edward, NY
4 Addisyn Moore - Team Generation II - Crownsville, MD
3 Year Old STRIDER
1 Dean "Deango" Stewart - Team Stylin - Clifton Park, NY
2 Jackson "The Tank" Corbett - Eldersburg, MD
3 Carson Hooks - Oak Ridge, NC
4 Jerrick "Super" Decker - Team Grippen Park BMX - Windsor, NY
5 Ryder Allen
6 Scarlett Borror - Callaway, MD
7 Erica Greene - Severn, MD
2 & UNDER STRIDER
1 Richard Dymond - Team Generation II - New Freedom, PA
2 Timothy Scott - Hagerstown, MD
3 Kash Krickler - Eldersburg, MD
4 Joshua Austin - Forestdale, MA
5 Giuliana "Gigi" Powell - Team GTV Racers Edge - Catonsville, MD
6 Rylyn Tinsman - Sykesville, MD
7 "STRIDER" Ryder West
- Mountain biking makes me hoot/holler and smile really big.
- I love people who hoard (inside joke).
- I may be over 50, but I will never act like it.
- I once had a job in the mountains and flew to work in a helicopter every day.
- I’ve been married to my sweetheart for 27 years.
- I’m kind of a “closet” gear head.
- I want to rent some Harleys and do a “Wild Hogs” kind of trip with my two boys.
- I was the wheelie king of Pinedale Elementary School, on my 20” Schwinn Stingray.
- When I was a kid I went to the stock car races, and a car left the track and flew over me, hitting me in the head (that explains a lot of things).
- While walking to school one day, I had to get stitches below my eye, as a result of knocking big icicles of the neighbors roof.
To view Todd's full profile on our staff Bio page click HERE.
STRIDER Bikes had the opportunity this weekend to show our support for South Dakota Special Olympics and gave a few kids the opportunity to ride on two wheels for the first time! We had athletes and siblings alike checking out the Adventure Zone and trying out the STRIDER Super 16 and ST-4. We couldn’t be more excited to spread the word about the benefits the STRIDER No Pedal Balance Bike has on children of all abilities, including early childhood development, kids just learning to ride, and children with Low Muscle Tone and Special Needs to name a few.
Be sure to join the all new Strider Bikes – Special Needs Community Page on Facebook!
A guest post from our very own Paul Elder. Inventory & Logistics Manager at Strider Sports International. Paul is the proud daddy of two rippin' STRIDER Riders, a hunter, he recently finished his first Marathon in Fort Collins, CO. Colorado Marathon, and has been an avid Mountain Biker since he starting working here at Strider. (Turns out we have that effect on people!) To see Paul's full bio on our Strider Staff Page click HERE.
They call me "Crash".
I'm a guy who rides a mountain bike. Definitely not to be confused with an actual mountain biker.
The cuts, bruises, and localized swelling that cover my legs and arms after a ride seem to confirm I'm not exactly talented on two wheels. My Strider family certainly enjoys hearing about my latest escapades after a lunch ride, and my home family (wife, 4 year old, and 2 year old) suggest fairly regularly that I may be better suited to ride a STRIDER full time.
The good news is, I really am getting better at it! To clarify: getting better at crashing. You might think it's as simple as falling off your bike, but there is sooo much more to wrecking than just falling over. Believe me - I'm a guy who literally crashed in the middle of the bike path, going less than one mile an hour (first day in clipless pedals). I'm managed to avoid "the big one" [hold on one second while I knock on every piece of wood in the room...ok, done] but every unplanned dismount from the bike has the potential to hurt.
From what I can tell, there are three main categories of crashes:
1) "I couldn't get un-clipped". These are really a bummer, and tend to have a recurring point of impact on the inside of your shins where where your bike consistently smashes you, because you are, you know, 'stuck'. Most people learn pretty quickly how to un-clip...not this guy. I'm good for this type of wreck about every other ride, even if it's just stopping for a rest. Nothing worse than confidently rolling up to the guys you are riding with, and then tipping over onto the ground.
2) "I Knew that Technical Portion was Beyond Me". The machismo based argument is, you have to keep trying tough sections of trail in order to improve, and some day, you'll make them. In the mean time, they're probably gonna hurt. But at least you are moving fairly slow and the damage is generally short term.
3) "Didn't See That Coming". These are generally high speed, maybe going over the bars or having the bike wash out under you. I've mostly avoided these (knocking on wood again) because I'm not very fast. But I've definitely had a couple close calls. I think these are "karma crashes"; about the time you get a little confident and start messing around, Bang!, you go down like a rock.
Here's the good news - every crash is an opportunity to GET BACK UP. It's the best life lesson to learn: being successful at something, whether riding or in other parts of life, is as simple as getting up one more time than you were knocked down. It's a lesson we get to see young STRIDER riders learning all the time. Our goal is to make learning to ride as safe and as fun as possible, and we believe the STRIDER does exactly that. But are kids going to wreck? Yup, they sure are; the same way they crashed when learning to crawl, the same way they crashed when learning to walk, and the same way they'll crash some day in the future in some other way. It's part of life.
So, when your little STRIDER rider tumbles of the bike, hold your breath, bite your tongue, and wait a second to see how they react. They might just surprise you by picking themselves up, dusting off, and getting back on the bike. And they'll have gained new confidence in themselves that can't be taught, it can only be learned.
And me? I'll be the guy tangled up in his bike off the side of the trail. But don't worry - I'll be along shortly. And maybe one time after I get up, I'll be able to say I'm a mountain biker.
- The craziest thing I’ve ever seen is watching a black lab jump 6 stories off the top of a building . . . long story!
- My first motorcycle was a Honda 350F street bike – 4 cyclinder – purred like a kitty!
- I cook Thanksgiving dinner every year – everything from scratch!
- My favorite professional cyclists are Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner.
- I finished 36th out of over 550 entries at the 2011 Run Crazy Horse Half Marathon!
- I rode bulls in the Roughrider Rodeo Association in North Dakota!
- My high school graduating class had only 11 kids!
- I am a member of the Boy Scouts of America, Cubmaster for Pack 54!
- I survived an F4 tornado on July 4, 1978 , which destroyed a large part of the town of Elgin, ND. The path of the tornado was roughly one block away from where I was!
- I am biking my first century this year – a Bike MS (Multiple Sclerosis) event in Sundance, WY – come join me and raise money for a worthy cause!
To see more about Todd, visit his full Bio on our Staff Page HERE.
We're starting off the 2014 STRIDER Calendar with some fun photos for January, February, and March! We had a lot of amazing entries and the Strider staff had a tough time narrowing it down to their top 3 favorites. Thank you everyone for entering and if your photo isn't in the top 3 this month make sure to keep taking pictures.
Without further ado Here are the winners:
Have a Great Weekend!
Bikes are made of many different materials such as bamboo, wood, carbon fiber, plastic and aluminum to name a few. The most popular is probably aluminum, carbon fiber, and of course steel because we know steel is real. You now know this because I just told you.
Most bikes you find in both big-box stores and your local bike shop will be made with steel or aluminum. You’ll probably find a few of the high-end bikes in carbon fiber or titanium. What you may not know are the pros and cons of the materials. Often times you’ll go in to buy a bike and not think about the frame material, you’ll look at the price and that will determine your bike. Don’t let that happen because each material has a different ride, weight, feel and purpose.
Steel is real because it’s been around the block a time or two and it’s fun to say. Try it, “Steel is real.” It’s known as being the workhorse of bicycles. It’s relatively light and will last through years of use and abuse. It offers a nice ride that’s not too stiff, not too heavy and depending on your ability, can be fast. Another benefit is steel can be fixed by a professional if the frame were to bend or crack. Salsa, Surly and STRIDER are a couple of brands that carry steel.
Aluminum has come a long way since its first inception into frame building. The tubes are now much smaller than they used to be and is probably the most popular material for most of today’s bikes. Aluminum bikes are usually lighter than steel but they offer a stiffer ride. Steel tends to have a little flex and gives a really nice ride whereas aluminum is the opposite. I’m not saying it doesn’t offer a nice ride, but it might be a bit less forgiving. Kona, Masi and Niner to name a few.
Carbon Fiber frames are super light and usually expensive. These frames are made with layers and layers of carbon fiber (think plywood). The problem is that although carbon fiber frames are becoming more reliable they are still susceptible to failure. Meaning, if you crash and the frame cracks, it is very difficult and often not recommended to be fixed. So, your frame is toast. On a good note, carbon fiber frames are light and usually fast because the frame is stiff. A stiff frame allows all of the power your legs apply to the pedal to get transferred directly to the wheels with no flex. Pinarello, Felt, Ibis and Santa Cruz are a few brands that carry carbon fiber frames although most brands have at least one.
Titanium is lighter than a steel frame but heavier than aluminum. The real bonus comes in its strength and ride quality. Titanium is extremely strong and usually more expensive which is why you’ll find high-end cross country and road bikes done up in titanium and it’s moving into other styles. If you are willing to spend money on a titanium frame you’ll love the ride quality, it rides much softer than any of the other frame materials, yet is still considerably stronger. This is by far my favorite bike material because they look like a wonderful work of art. They’re so pretty! There are many bicycle manufactures that offer titanium frames but Moots is probably the most well known for specializing in this material.
The most important thing to remember when picking out a bicycle is to find one that fits you. If it doesn’t fit and isn’t comfortable to ride, you won’t. If the shop you’re buying a bike from doesn’t let you take it for a spin, go somewhere else. The ride quality, bits and pieces, fit and style will all be different on each type of frame material so take your time and choose wisely.
You’ll ride your bike more if you think it looks cool. Don’t let anyone persuade your decision on looks because we all have our own unique style. If you child’s STRIDER needs some flair, check out our custom accessories.
See Tip #4
U.S. Sales Manager, Kent Jacobs had an amazing opportunity to attend the annual Telluride Ski Resort event “The White Room” for some networking and media contacts, oh and fun. This is Kent Skiing… oops! I meant to say working:
Here is Kent eating stellar food and drinking spirits in a Yurt…. Oh shoot, I meant to say working:
(Photo by Ben Eng Photography Portfolio)
On a serious note, Kent said he made some great contacts like Megan Mulligan, from AIM Outdoor Trade Network and Jeff Evans with Mountain-Vision and had a really good time. He spread the STRIDER word and is making us one step closer to balance bike world domination and the downfall of training wheels. (aka restraining-wheels) And we aren’t jealous of his trip at all. Okay, maybe just a little jealous.