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
Wednesday, May 6th- The City of Rapid City, hosted by the Parks and Recreation Department, Presented Strider’s own Marty Martinez for the Commuter of the Year Award. In honor of National Bike Month the city holds an annual Bike to School Competition. Despite the rainy conditions, 76 students participated in the event.
The Parks Department notified Kent Jacobs, Strider US Sales Manager in advance of his award, and they must know how we love a great surprise!
Marty said “I get this text from Ryan [Strider founder, chief enthusiast and CEO] saying he needs some help picking out a bike for Kristi [Ryan’s wife] at Black Hills Bikes. He said it would give us a chance to “talk“so I was kinda sweating bullets you know?! Boss needs help picking out a bike and wants to “talk”. So we get in the truck and head on down toward the bike shop, we get in the turn lane to go into Founder Park. Still no clue of about what’s to go down. When we get out I notice the Strider van as we are walking I see Charlie [Strider QC] and start wondering what kind of event does he have planned? Then I see my Wife Julie with my youngest daughter, that’s when Ryan said that I had won the Commuter of the Year Award, I’m still not buying into it, but then more and more people start to show and well, the rest is in the books.”
Based upon his Strava statistics, he is averaging 65 miles per week and has logged nearly 1,000 miles since January 1. He averages about 20 days of biking to work each month, “not counting the fun rides in the forest with friends.” Marty says he isn’t training for anything right now, (although he has been known to kick butt in a race or two) but has the Xterra Aspen Valley and Xterra Buffalo on his radar.
He said one main reason he started commuting is because he made a deal with his daughter that if she got a job he would let her buy his Subaru. Of course she took him up on his offer…
Since his award last week, we received an email from Ryan letting the Strider Headquarters Staff know that Marty will be moving away from Striderville at the end of this month. Marty’s wife Julie had an amazing opportunity to take a new job in Boulder Colorado, and with their family’s love for the outdoors and skiing, Colorado seems like the perfect place for them. Thankfully though, we are excited to say that Marty will continue to represent the Strider Brand as an account executive from his new home in the Rocky Mountains.
Best of luck, Marty, on your new adventures. Stride On!
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!