Meet Lorelai. A very creative and extremely funny little girl who loves the outdoors and playing with friends. She's grown up around lots of bicycles and motorcycles, but has been pretty shy about doing things on her own.
We tried multiple hand-me-downs ranging from bikes with training wheels to tricycles. Living in an area with lots of hills, she took pretty good spills on all of them resulting in a lack of confidence and an unwillingness to try again. Fast forward two years of trial and error, I stumble upon a company that needed some help in building a new website. That company's name is Strider. Even with growing up around lots of things with two wheels, the balance bike / push bike / running bike concept is something that I knew little about. After working here for a few months I finally realized the benefit of starting things out by building confidence in children and the rest will fall into place. No more three wheeled machines, no more training wheels, no more worrying if I was doing things right.
I brought a pink STRIDER home and she immediately took to riding it. I didn't have to show her how or teach her in any way. Other than installing the extra long seat post, she was pretty tall for a 4 year old, I made no modifications to the bike. I've raced motorcycles most of my life and value good components. I was skeptical at first on some of the STRIDER's components like the EVA tires and plastic steering bushings. There were more expensive bikes that I initially thought were better but what I didn't realize at first is this bike wasn't designed for me. It was designed for a 2 - 5 year old. What I soon came to understand is it plain and simply works. Kids don't need all the extra bells and whistles as they just add weight, complexity and expense. She has been riding the bike for a year now and I'm glad to report that I've had to replace nothing!
Fast forward to the present and Lorelai is 5 now. She weighs 40 pounds and is getting too tall for even the extended seat post. It's time to get her a pedal bike. Working at Strider people often ask me how to teach their child to ride a bike. I never felt 100% confident telling them the approach Strider has taught me... well until now. Last night I drove all over town to find the lightest 16" girl's pedal bike I could find. I didn't say the cheapest, but I did say lightest, because that is the key, the unwritten rule to a child's confidence and ability to ride and balance.
I'm proud to introduce the latest STRIDER graduate! No training wheels, no hanging on to the back, no showing her how to lean and turn. Lorelai is riding a pedal bike and ready to hit the trails.