Strider Adventure Zone to Teach Toddlers How to Balance and Ride on Two Wheels
Rapid City, SD (September 28, 2016) — Strider Sports Int’l., Inc, the world’s premier no-pedal balance bike manufacturer, will host a Toddler Ride and Play Area at the Rushmore Mall (2200 North Maple Ave.) in Rapid City, South Dakota on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the month of October.
Strider Sports is partnering with the Noon Optimist Club of the Black Hills to transform the Center Court (by the Buckle) into an interactive and experiential Strider Bike ride and play area for kids age 18 months- 5 years old.
“At Strider, we like supporting our local area. We're excited to bring our Strider Adventure Zone to the Rushmore Mall and we can't wait to see all the little riders climbing out of strollers and hopping on bikes,”says Ryan McFarland, Strider Founder and CEO.
The 16 foot by 70 foot full color floor graphic Strider Adventure Zone Ride and Play area will feature demo rides on 12” pedal-less balance bikes and opportunities for young children to play, learn, and socialize with peers while riding Strider Bikes. This safe and friendly environment encourages kids to explore mobility on two wheels and experience the challenge and thrill of riding a Strider Bike on unique terrains and obstacles. Designed to be steady, stable, and safe, Strider Balance Bikes are perfect for children ages 18 months to five years. Bikes and helmets will be provided onsite.
The Strider Adventure Zone, brought to you by West River Ear, Nose & Throat and the Noon Optimist Club of the Black Hills will be open during mall hours, Saturday 10am-8pm, and Sundays 11am-6pm. No previous riding experience is necessary. The Noon Optimist Club will be staffing the toddler riding area and will be accepting donations.
A special guest post by Amy Heuston Special Education Teacher at Central High School in Rapid City, SD
I watched in awe and exhilaration as I cheered on two of our school’s Special Olympics athletes recently in the Special Needs Races at the Strider World Championship. Sweet, yet quite competitive, 13-year-old Ali led most of the race, agilely keeping just ahead of 19-year-old Grady. His longer legs and strong stature gave him a powerful push, and he edged past her at the finish.
As we congratulated each other with hugs, I smiled with pride and pure joy. I could hardly believe that just two years prior, neither of them had ridden a two-wheeled bike. And here they were, speeding along on STRIDER Balance Bikes, nimbly navigating cones and ramps, then celebrating with friends and family as they enjoyed the freedom and accomplishment of riding a bicycle—a milestone that many of us take for granted.
As a Special Education Teacher at Central High School in Rapid City, SD, I use 13 STRIDER Bikes with my students. They aren’t just an “extra” developmental tool, they’re a huge part of our program. We keep them in our classroom and use the bikes often. We incorporate the STRIDERs with our science curriculum to demonstrate their ability while riding to “observe or experience speed,” which is one of the areas they need to understand on the standardized tests. I also integrate examples and exercises using STRIDERs into their Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).
We knew the STRIDERs would have physical benefits, which were confirmed by a recent study of kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). But I have seen their impact in five areas; PT, OT, Speech, Behavioral and Social. What we’ve seen with our students aligns with studies such as Motor Profile of Children With Developmental Speech and Language Disorder, which found that, “developmental speech and language disorders are frequently associated with motor problems … The findings support the need to give early and more attention to the motor skills of children with developmental speech and language disorders in the educational and home setting, with special attention to children whose speech is affected.”
This research article, The Motor-Cognitive Connection: Early Fine Motor Skills as an Indicator of Future Success, states, “There is a clear connection in the circuitry of the brain between areas controlling fine motor skills and areas controlling cognition … These areas are developing simultaneously, with exceptional speed during early brain development.”
1. Physical Therapy (PT): Grady is just one of my students who has made great strides with his gross motor skills, balance and coordination from riding, and even transitioned to a pedal bike after nine months of riding the STRIDER Bike two to three times a week. The progression of walking and then striding on the bikes also helps improve core stability and strength. Some of the kids even show off their “BMX-style” tricks by standing up on the foot rests and sticking out one leg.
2. Occupational Therapy (OT): Many kids with autism also have Sensory Processing Disorder. This interrupts learning, as they want to crash and move, so it is hard to sit still and focus. Sensory seekers thrive from sensory input, and the “rushing” that goes by their ears as they ride a STRIDER provides this sensation.
Riding stimulates the vestibular system which we use to negotiate balance. It also helps the proprioceptive system, which refers to sensory input and feedback telling us about movement and body position. This physical movement and sensory input has a calming effect. One of my students has severe autism and riding a STRIDER helps calm him down.
Experts in SPD know riding bikes helps in several areas. The article Sensory Processing Disorder: Vestibular Dysfunction reinforces that, “Riding a bike is good for helping almost all of the senses, especially vestibular and proprioceptive. Balance can really be a struggle for lots of kids. Giving opportunities to have fun and practice using the vestibular system is important.”
Some teachers overlook the need for physical movement with kids with special needs. Every teacher has to figure out the reason. Is it just unusual behavior? Is he simply being “a boy?” Or is it SPD? One boy I have is a “bouncer” who bounces on a ball. He also bounces when he’s on his STRIDER.
3. Speech Therapy: I am positive that riding a STRIDER balance bike has increased the vocabulary of my students. When they experience something new, they talk about it with peers and family. One student rarely communicated last year. He loves being on a STRIDER so much that when we did karaoke, he insisted he do it while sitting on the bike, and he even made it “dance.”
He loves cops and robbers, so we put a picture of the siren on the handlebars. He would ride around the room making siren noises and talking to people. This year, his behaviors are better and his vocabulary has improved. I’m sure there are many contributing factors, but I believe the STRIDER is one of them.
4. Behavioral Interventions: In regard to student behaviors, I use the bikes both as a reward and also preventative measure. As a reward, they sometimes have to earn the opportunity to ride by showing good behavior. This works particularly well with some students, as the incentive to ride helps encourage them to focus on work.
As a preventative measure, I know riding helps calm them down. So if I see one of them getting agitated, I suggest we take a spin on the bike. I schedule time in our weekly plans to ride at least two or three times a week, but sometimes we ride all five days. When it’s nice, we ride outside. If it isn’t, we just take them around the halls. The administration understands how important time on the bikes is for our students.
5. Social Skills: Riding helps them to be socially accepted and do something their peers are doing—those with special needs and typical kids. We even play games together on STRIDERs at school.
The Adaptive PE teacher is also stoked about STRIDERs and has the kids compete against each other in a game kicking a large, lightweight Omnikin sport ball while riding the bikes. This helps develop their spatial awareness of self in relation to people and objects around them. While they’re competitively playing, they are looking up, paying attention and following the rules.
At least two of our Special Olympics athletes have even transitioned to pedal bikes, which makes me think of a sixth benefit of learning to ride: mobility. Riding gives them the opportunity to even ride to work someday, which would provide a more positive and independent future!
Some people who are outside the field of disabilities may say, “Oh, that’s cute,” when they see an individual with a disability riding a bike. They have no idea how challenging it can be to get that to the point of riding on two wheels, nor do they understand the impact riding has in several areas of their lives. The five areas above build upon each other; improved spatial awareness helps them feel more comfortable riding and spend more time doing it, which increases agility, balance and strength. With better behavior, their social skills with peers and family members improve.
Someday I want to pursue an MA and would love to do a research project on STRIDER’s impact in each of these areas. I know the results would be significant, as I see it every day in my school!
Over 270 STRIDER Riders came out for the 2015 STRIDER World Championship at Main Street Square in Rapid City, SD! The 5th annual race had participants from Canada, China, Ecuador, Japan, Slovakia, and all over the US. It's always fun to see international friendships rekindled as previous champions return to reclaim their title in the next age bracket. We also had a number of racers who had participated in one of the four 2015 STRIDER Championship Series races held in Florida, California, Pennsylvania, and Utah.
The weekend was full of family focused events and everyone had a great time despite high temperatures.
Friday night was a chance to get to know the lay out of the track and for last chance qualifiers. We capped Friday night off with the STRIDER Corporate Challenge! Eight local businesses had a blast racing the track in a relay. The best part? We raised $1,000 for Youth & Family Services and $1,000 for Black Hills Works.
Saturday was RACE DAY! Some riders were fast, some were slow, but smiles were out in abundance! It was another hot one and many of the racers took advantage of the water hazard for a quick (sometimes mid-race) cool-down! Abbey Road (a Beatles cover band) played in Main Street Square at 7pm. Many of the STRIDER Riders stayed to get rid of even more energy through some pretty amazing dancing skills.
Check out the social media links at the bottom of the page to make sure you don't miss the2016 STRIDER Championship Series dates and locations when they're announced! You should also head over to our Flickr Page to see some amazing photos of all the little racers:
Finally, a huge shout out to all the families and STRIDER Riders that came out!
We also had a ton of support from some amazing sponsors: FedEx, Rapid City CVB, Scull Construction, Courtesy Subaru, Honey Stinger, Black Hills & Badlands, KIND Snacks, SCheels, Western Dakota Insurors, Ketel Thorstenson, Black Hills Power, Black Hills Urgent Care, Security First Bank, and Vast Broadband.
See you next year!
2 and under - TOTAL RIDERS = 65
- 1#240 - Ryan Hauf - Rapid City, SD
- 2#274 - Vance Singer - Rapid City, SD
- 3#217 - Lucah Behnke - Rapid City, SD
- 4#238 - Cashton Allen - Sioux Falls, SD
- 5#215 - Saaya Hino - Tokyo, Japan
- 6#213 - "Madd" Maddox McKie - Rapid City, SD
- 7#251 - Hudson Williamson - Black Hawk, SD
- 8#228 - Ethan Simonton - Rapid City, SD
3 year olds - TOTAL RIDERS = 84
- 1#302 - Waku Kunitate - Nisshin-Shi, Japan
- 2#301 - Mason Murphy - Rapid City, SD
- 3#380 - Gage Ritter - Rapid City, SD
- 4#376 - Sam "Froggy" Hauk - Lead, SD
- 5#374 - Vladimir "The Impaler" Lewis - Rapid City, SD
- 6#324 - Shane "Green Ghost" Scott - Fontana, CA
- 7#332 - Gunner Clinedinst - Apple Valley, CA
- 8#322 - Jose Diaz - Riobamba, Ecuador
#315 - Maddox "Max" Van Dyk - Sioux Falls, SD
#386 - Damian "Dae Dae" Cury - Rapid City, SD
4 YEAR OLDS - TOTAL RIDERS = 54
- 1#413 - Raisei Miyashita - Nagano, Japan
- 2#402 - Liam Dixon - Rapid City, SD
- 3#437 - Brayden Stephen - Rapid City, SD
- 4#445 - Talon Saiz - Box Elder, SD
- 5#419 - Ayeden Koplin - West Bountiful, UT
- 6#415 - Marvin Cuny - Hermosa, SD
- 7#409 - Landon Green - Rapid City, SD
- 8#441 - Titan Ross - Summerset, SD
5 YEAR OLDS - TOTAL RIDERS = 38
- 1#502 - Ryoichi Nakayama - Osaka, Japan
- 2#512 - Rui "Louis" Takahashi - Tokyo, Japan
- 3#503 - Danny "Pastrana" Villacis Barriovuevo - Puyo, Ecuador
- 4#514 - Koki Hara - Kanagawa, Japan
- 5#504 - Patrik Dinka - Trencin, Slovakia
- 6#518 - Ryder Clinedinst - Apple Valley, CA
- 7#534 - Sousuke Hino - Tokyo, Japan
- 8#515 - Kaisei Shimizu - Aichi, Japan
special needs - TOTAL RIDERS = 33 Total Races = 5
- 1#904 - Timothy Hathaway - Rapid City, SD
- 2#907 - Sara Mellegard - Rapid City, SD
- 3#901 - Daniel Cousins - Box Elder, SD
- 4#910 - Courtney Schreiber - Quinn, SD
- 5#906 - Colette Long Wolfe - Rapid City, SD
- 6#911 - Kjersten Slusser - Rapid City, SD
- 7#908 - Renae Moller - Rapid City, SD
- 1#903 - Jeffrey Fuller - Rapid City, SD
- 2#915 - Chardinai Duvall - Rapid City, SD
- 3#913 - Cindy Rooney - Rapid City, SD
- 4#916 - Aimee Johns - Ft. Pierre, SD
- 5#914 - Ruth Reed - Rapid City, SD
- 6#912 - Bob Tomahawk - Rapid City, SD
- 7#909 - Twilia Otterstetter - Rapid City, SD
- 1#920 - Blaze Johnson - Rapid City, SD
- 2#923 - Dale Landorf - Hot Springs, SD
- 3#917 - Shannon Hammer - Rapid City, SD
- 4#922 - Navaeh Smith - Peidmont, SD
- 5#924 - Dakota Teel - Hot Springs, SD
- 6#925 - Jessica Anderson - Rapid City, SD
- 7#919 - Amy Fugate - Kadoka, SD
- 1#931 - Grady Leonard - Rapid City, SD
- 2#929 - Ali Miles
- 3#926 - Robert Nichols - Rapid City, SD
- 4#927 - Bryce Olafson - Rapid City, SD
- 5#930 - Rachel Lefberene
- 6#928 - Austin Nichols
- 1#701 - David Drolc - Rapid City, SD
- 2#703 - Jimmy Landorf - Hot Springs, SD
- 3#601 - John Landorf - Hot Springs, SD
- 4#801 - Kama Coyle - Walnut Creek, CA
- 5#702 - Nathaniel Durrett - Hot Springs, SD
- 6#921 - Harvey Gammill - Rapid City, SD
The Strider staff got out some weed whippers, rakes, shovels, and even a pick axe to build a cool STRIDER Nature Trail on a piece of unused park space! This 1000 foot long trail goes over tree stumps, through small valleys, and by a small creek.
Check out some additional photos from the Strider Nature Trail on our Flickr Page! Want to figure out how to know how you can build one in your area? We summarized the process in a short 1 page PDF that you can DOWNLOAD Here.
SBA Honors Nation’s Top Small Businesses
Ryan McFarland, Strider Sports International, Inc. Wins South
Dakota Small Business Person of the Year
SIOUX FALLS – From architecture to bakeries, to manufacturing and woodworking - these are just a few of the businesses that will be recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration this year in Washington, D.C., May 15-16. Ryan McFarland, Strider Sports International, Inc., Rapid City, will represent South Dakota as this year’s Small Business Person of the Year.
“It’s our privilege to honor these outstanding small businesses,” said Matt Varilek, SBA Region VIII Administrator. “We hope this well-deserved recognition from the Small Business Administration will call attention to their success and inspire more people in South Dakota to pursue their own entrepreneurial dreams.”
Winners from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam will gather in Washington during National Small Business Week where one of them will be selected as the 2014 National Small Business Person of the Year. While in Washington the winners will have opportunities to meet with top SBA officials and national business leaders.
"Ryan McFarland and Strider Sports International, Inc. is a phenomenal success story, almost creating an entire industry in the process of building the business. We are very proud to have him represent South Dakota as our 2014 Small Business Person of the Year," said John L. Brown II, South Dakota Small Business Administration District Director.
Each year since 1963, the President has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week. SBA recognizes outstanding small business owners for their personal successes and contributions to our nation.
Please contact Michele Arends, SBA Public Information Officer, to arrange an interview with Strider Sports International, Inc.
For more information about all of the SBA’s programs for small businesses, visit the SBA’s extensive website at www.sba.gov.
People are constantly surprised to learn that the world-wide headquarters for Strider Sports International, Inc., is located in Rapid City, SD. Even people in Rapid City are surprised!! So where is Rapid City? It’s nestled in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota, in the southwestern corner of the state, 30 minutes from Mount Rushmore.
We’re putting Rapid City on the map as we’re hosting our 2014 STRIDER World Championship Race here in September 2014 (Watch for more details. If you’ve never visited, what are you waiting for?? This place is awesome—no smog, no crazy traffic, low crime—just clean air, beautiful mountains, great biking trails,and friendly people! We have a strong presence in this region of the U.S. with lots of children riding STRIDERS! But our presence extends far beyond the central US! In fact, STRIDER™ Bikes are available all over the US, as well as in 70+ countries, through our awesome global network of STRIDER distributors, and countless sub-distributors and dealers!
In the next weeks and months, we’ll begin introducing each of our distributors to you (pictured above with Strider staff at the 2013 STRIDER World Championship in Sarasota, FL), and sharing more of our global Strider culture. Stay Tuned.
This is another shout out to all of you STRIDERville residents to sign up for the first race of 2014! We're coming back to the Extreme Indoor Enduro on January 4th.
The Enduro is a favorite race for the local kids because of the unique obstacles; rocks, logs, and even tight turns between saplings!
Check out the video below and make sure to go get registered if you're anywhere near Rapid City, SD.
Now get outside and have some fun!
Rapid City, SD aka STRIDERville is quickly becoming known for the amazing biking right in the city and all over the Black Hills. This fun video from the Black Hills, Badlands and Lakes Association features our very own Kent Jacobs and his daughter Alexa!
If you're ever in the area make sure to bring your bike along.
For now, get outside and enjoy your local trails with your STRIDER rider!
Strider No-Pedal Balance Bikes Will Be All Over Town During The Biggest Motorcycle Week
Rapid City, SD (July 22, 2013) — Strider Sports International, the world’s premier manufacturer and marketer of children’s no-pedal balance bikes, will have their top-selling bikes at various locations during the 73rd Annual Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally August 1-11, 2013.
Come see why STRIDER® No-Pedal balance bikes are the fastest, safest, and easiest way to teach toddlers as young as 18 months to discover the world on two wheels.
Find STRIDER bikes at the following locations throughout the week:
- Black Hills Harley Davidson ®: August 3rd through 10th from 10am – 8pm daily
- CrossRoads at the Buffalo Chip: August 1st through 11th from 9am – 9pm daily
- Sturgis Motorcycle Museum: August 1st through 10th, 10am – 8pm daily
STRIDER bikes will also be donated for the benefit auctions following the Legends Ride on Monday, August 5, and the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame inductions held Wednesday, August 7, at 9:00am at The Lodge in Deadwood.
By using a STRIDER bike, young riders from 18 months to 5 years get to experience the fun and freedom of riding a bike without relying on restrictive training wheels or tricycles.
Sturgis, South Dakota is the center of the motorcycle universe for one week every summer and STRIDER will be right in the middle of the Main Street madness. The Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally is the experience of a lifetime in a place where local people can still show you a thing or two about hospitality and visiting exhibitors can show you anything and everything needed for a true motorcycle lover.
“The 2013 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally literally hits close to home for us at Strider headquarters,” says Ryan McFarland, Founder of Strider. “Our main offices are located only a quick 25 mile ride down I-90 from Sturgis. We are well aware of the history behind the rally and are honored to be a part of the event this year. Our popular no-pedal bikes are the perfect way to keep the passion for riding alive for the next generation.”
What an awesome Saturday of STRIDER US Championship racing in Main Street Square! A huge thank you to all the STRIDER riders, their parents, and vendors. Below are the resullts from the A Main in each age category.
Some photos can be viewed below or go directly to our Flickr page. More photos will be added as we continue to compile images from various photographers. Share your photos and stories with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
2 and Under STRIDER
1. Parker Case
2. Stylz Grall
3. Liam Dixon
4. Talon Mason
5. Dax Crowley
6. Alexia Henderson
7. Mason Hagen
8. Wayne Sander
3 Year Old STRIDER
1. Breken Walker
2. Bryant Zimmerman
3. Caleb Studer
4. Lily Karn
5. Ava Doll
6. Talyn Shuffield
7. Hunter James Larson
8. Carson Gulk
9. Marleigh Kleinsasser
10. Dane Rumpf
11. Fritz Rangitsch
4 Year Old STRIDER
1. Rider Knight
2. Sophia Lewis
3. Ziah Torpey
4. Amelia Sander
5. Colter Johnson
6. Bridger Massa
7. Hamilton Pszanka
8. David Sheldon
9. Dylan Ulmer
10. David Lewis
5 Year Old STRIDER
1. Taylor Bertolotto
2. Jaxson Pszanka
3. Wyatt Brumbaugh
4. Kannon Falken
5. Ryland Sedevie
6. Reed Meyer
7. Stephan Kroeten
8. Ava Wendt
9. Lorelai Dubbelde