Are you ready for the 2017 Strider Cup World Championship on July 21-22 in Salt Lake City? Below are some news and tips for last-minute prep! Racers are coming from across the U.S., as well as more than 40 competitors from nine countries; China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Japan, Russia, Tahiti, Taiwan, Thailand and Canada.

 

Dannon Donation to Head Start Utah

The Dannon Company, part of DanoneWave, partnered with Strider to give away 50 Strider Balance Bikes and helmets to Salt Lake City youth through Head Start Utah. Representatives from Head Start picked up the 50 new bikes and helmets at Dannon’s West Jordan, Utah, plant on Monday, July 10.

Head Start Utah will be giving the Strider Bikes, helmets and a free race entry to children for the Strider Cup World Championship July 21-22. July 10 as part of the global Danone Day celebrations where Danone employees give back to their communities. 

Dannon Bike Build.low res

 

 

Packet Pick-up Reminder

Friday packet pick-up is mandatory. It will include a bike inspection, and time to ask staff any last-minute questions. The last chance to register online is Thursday, July 20 by 5:00 PM MST. Parking validations can be obtained at the packet pick-up booths. The Gateway has recommended using the "North" garage located at 400 W between 100 S and S Temple. We’ll also have a free Strider Adventure Zone on Friday for local children age 2-5 and registered racers.

 

Salt Lake Magazine Feature

Did you see the cool article in Salt Lake Magazine: Stride Right: Tots Take Balance Bikes to the Next Level? The Hewett’s have three children who plan to attend; 5-year-old Hawk, 3-year-old Lincoln and 2-year-old Cozette. Hawk raced in 2015 and 2016, and Lincoln raced last year.

In the article, their dad, Justin, shared, “The independence has given my kids a lot of confidence that they can do other things,” he says. “It’s part of who Hawk is, his bike. It’s a big part of his identity.”

 

Youngest Racer and Cousins Ready to Race

The youngest registered racer so far is 19-month-old Xarin Galindo of West Jordan, Utah. Several families from nearby Ogden are participating, include cousins Weston Storey, Porter Dayton and Shyanne Anderson (pictured below). Weston’s mother Shannon Storey found out about the race and signed them all up. She said they, “have had their bikes for a while now and love them. They all have big personalities and are very excited about the event.”

Shannon Storey image.front.lower res

 

 

Special Needs Racers Raring to Go

The racers in the Special Needs class are in their final training sessions, including several athletes from the Jimmy’s Jaguars and the Brighty Bears Special Olympics teams who raced last year. They’ll be showing off their improved skills on the 12” models, as well as Strider’s larger 16” and 20” balance bikes, which the company launched in 2014 specifically for the special needs community.

Many new racers have been training with Monti Poulson, a special education teacher who received bikes last year from a Select 25 Grant from Select Health, the insurance arm of Intermountain Healthcare. Monti started her school’s first bike program and has encouraged over 40 people with disabilities to learn to ride. More than a dozen will participate in the upcoming event. Intermountain LDS Hospital was a Class Sponsor at last year’s Strider Cup Race, and is a Class Sponsor for both the two- and three-year-old riders at this year’s Strider Cup World Championship. More details are in this blog: Strider Sparks Special Education Teacher into Action

Kyrie, pictured below, raced last year and is excited about this year's race!

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Published in Strider Racing

Per its official website, World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), observed on March 21st every year, is a “global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. The date for WDSD being the 21st day of the 3rd month, was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.” 

As I reflect on working with Strider Bikes to share stories of their special needs outreach, four extraordinary individuals come to mind.

Marissa with MoxieStrider Special Needs Race SF 2016

When I met Marissa, the word “moxie” popped into my head. Dictionary.com defines it has having “courage, nerve or vigor.” Marissa has all three – to the max – and arrived pumped up to participate in the 2016 Strider Cup World Championship.

Her mom, Mary, said when Marissa first got her Strider Bike four months before the race, she was afraid of bikes due to previous bad experiences with pedal bikes. It didn’t take long for Marissa to master her balance on the no-pedal Strider balance bike with enough skill and speed to win the world title. Her mom also said riding the Strider helped her lose 25 pounds in the last year and improve her endurance.

See Marissa leading the pack and holding her trophy high on the podium in this 2016 Strider World Championship recap video. (special needs racing starts at 1:25”)

Best Friends Ali and Grady

Ali leading GradyI’ll never forget meeting Ali and Grady at the 2015 Strider Cup World Championship. Their teacher, Amy, told me the two were best buddies and had greatly improved their balance skills riding Strider Bikes in and outside the classroom. The smiles on their faces were contagious, as they teased each other about who would win.

From the starting gate, Ali led the entire race, striding along with her swift, long legs. As I watched her determined grin, I remembered Amy telling me that many folks have no idea about the challenges people with special needs have learning to ride a bike – a milestone many take for granted. 

At the end of the race, Grady managed to push just a bit harder, thundering by Ali in the last few feet to take the top podium spot. They both won, though. The independence and confidence of starting on a Strider Bike has helped each transition to pedal bikes. More on Ali, Grady and Amy in the article, 5 Areas of Impact STRIDER Bikes Have with My Special Education Students.

Ryan McFarland

Ryan is a man I admire greatly. He founded Strider Bikes in 2007. Strider has sold over 1.5 million no-pedal, balance bikes, mostly the 12” models, for kids 5 and under. Ryan decided a few years ago to create larger sizes (16” model and 20” model) for older children and adults with balance and coordination challenges. The bikes have changed the lives of hundreds of individuals with Down syndrome, such as Marissa, Ali and Grady.

Ryan is also one of the most philanthropic CEO’s I know. To date, Strider has donated over $850,000 in cash and bikes to organizations that serve children and adults in need. Strider formalized its benevolence commitment with the creation of The Rider Fund, first introduced June 2014 at the Special Olympics USA Games. Since then, Strider has committed one percent of gross revenue from all sales worldwide to this fund. Last year, the Governor of South Dakota  presented Strider with a Distinguished Service Award for helping individuals with special needs.

SD Gov Award.Strider Team.low res

Strider Education Foundation

For more information visit www.StriderEducationFoundation.org.

Each of the 2017 Strider Cup Races will have Special Needs Races, and the entry fee is waived for those participants. The races are in Fort Worth, Texas (May 6); Pittsburgh, PA (May 27); Lincoln, NE (June 10); and the Strider Cup World Championship in Salt Lake City (July 21-22). Information on signing up a racer with special needs is at 2017 Strider Cup - Special Needs Racing.

 

Published in Special Needs

Rapid City, SD (February 9, 2017) — More than 74 million kids in the U.S. ride bicycles. Unfortunately, some children with special needs never experience the joy and independence of riding a bike. For the fourth year, Strider Bikes, the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of no-pedal balance bikes, is teaming up with the Friendship Circle for its 6th Annual Great Bike Pittsburgh Strider RaceGiveaway.

Participants will have one month to earn an adaptive bike through fundraising efforts using an online crowdfunding platform. Families need to register online by February 14 at https://bikes.friendshipcircle.org/Registration. To earn a Strider Balance Bike, a family will need to raise $180.

The annual program has given away 900 adaptive bikes since its inception in 2012. The program website, https://bikes.friendshipcircle.org/, will start taking donations at 12:00PM CST. It will be possible to search for individuals seeking a Strider Bike. The Great Bike Giveaway ends on March 15 at 12:00PM CST.

“To date we have donated over $850,000 in cash and Strider Bikes to organizations that serve children and adults in need,” said Strider Bikes Founder and CEO Ryan McFarland. “At Strider, we give generously, and we love doing it!”

Strider formalized its benevolence commitment with the creation of The Rider Fund, which was first introduced June 2014 at the Special Olympics USA Games. Since then, Strider has committed one percent of gross revenue from all sales worldwide to this fund. For more information about the Strider Rider Fund, visit http://www.striderbikes.com/about-us/join-the-cause.

About Strider Sports International, Inc.

Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Rapid City, SD, 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 and instill confidence in the rider. Strider No-Pedal Balance Bikes are industry-leading training bikes that help children as young as 18 months 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 worldwide. In 2015, Strider sold its one-millionth bike. Through its charitable Rider Fund, Strider Sports has donated over $250,000 in cash and over $350,000 in Strider products since 2008. To learn more and to find a retailer in your area, visit www.StriderBikes.com, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

About Friendship Circle

Friendship Circle is a non-profit organization that provides programs and support to the families of individuals with special needs. In addition to assisting individuals with special needs, Friendship Circle brings together teenage volunteers and children with special needs for hours of fun and friendship. These shared experiences empower the children, our special friends, while enriching the lives of everyone involved. Learn more and see our available programs at www.friendshipcircle.org

Published in Press Releases
Monday, 21 November 2016 20:59

Asher Nash is Down Right Perfect!

Ashers Down Right Perfect

                                                                                 Photo Credit: Crystal Barbee Photography

If you've been on Facebook in the last 3 months you've probably seen a picture of Asher Nash! His Mom, Meagan, submitted some photos to a casting agency to hopefully land a photoshoot with Carter's. The agency didn't submit them because they hadn't specifically asked for a model with "special needs". Meagan decided to post the story on Facebook and it went viral! 

As a company that values our Strider riders of all abilities we wanted to highlight Asher's story and hopefully add to the larger dialogue on inclusion. We asked his Mom some questions and she shared a great photo of him (below) trying out the new Strider rocking base! We have no doubt that soon he'll be striding around with that perfect little smile!

Strider (S): Tell us a little about your family.
Meagan Nash (MN): We live in Buford , Ga. My husband is 31 and works in glass, and I'm 27 and am a stay at home mom. Our daughter Addison is 8. She's a competition cheerleader, and is also in a STEM and robotics club. Addison is a huge advocate for her brother and the Down Syndrome community. Asher is 15 months and loves to laugh and play with his toys. We love to go camping and our family vacation spot is the beach.

S: Would you tell us a little about Asher's diagnosis?
MN: We found out Asher would have Down Syndrome when we were 12 weeks pregnant. Down syndrome, also known as Trisomy 21, is an extra copy of the 21st chromosome. This extra genetic material manifests itself in a number of ways, most notably intellectual and developmental delays, and recognizable physical characteristics.

AsherRockingBaseQuoteS: How does Asher's diagnosis impact his life?
MN: Asher's diagnosis impacts his life in many ways. It means he might look a little different then other babies --Or that hitting his milestones will be challenging at times. One thing it doesn't do is define who he is as a person. Asher will do whatever it is he wants to do in his life.

S: What led you to act when you heard back from the casting agency?
MN: When they contacted me about the post? The agency emailed me in regards to a casting for Carters. When they told me they did not submit his pictures I was very hurt and confused. I wondered how many other agencies in Georgia or the US thought the same way and so I went online and started researching.

S: Were you surprised by how quickly the story spread on social media?
MN: I was surprised that world took to Asher's photos like they did. It makes me so proud as his Mom that they see what we see in him.

S: Have you had to interact with people who don't understand why inclusion matters? What do you say to them?
MN: Yes! I interact with people who don't understand why inclusion matters all the time and I am so glad I do because it gives me a chance to spread awareness and teach them exactly why it is so important. I typically talk about Asher and how he will want to be accepted around his peers in school, work, and the community he lives in just like any typical person would. We all have to accept people with disabilities because without accepting them, they aren't able to be included.

S: What advice would you give to parents/siblings of children with special needs?
MN: I want parents/siblings that are in the same position as me to know that you can do this! Don't let the negative put you down. There will always be negative in the world, but It's our job as these amazing kid's families to show the world the positive. Show them our kids can do anything they set their minds to.

S: What would you want people to know most about Asher?
MN: Down Syndrome is a part of Asher, but it doesn't define him. We plan to continue to raise awareness and help advocate for individuals with Down Syndrome and their families. I encourage you to learn more about T21 and please feel free to contact me with any questions--- And please, consider what you can do to make a more accepting and inclusive community for individuals of ALL abilities--- I wouldn't change Asher for the world but I am determined to help him change it for the better.

You can follow Asher's journey on his Facebook page, Asher's Down Right Perfect.

 

Published in Special Needs

Sd Governor

Highlights impact of Strider Balance Bikes for individuals with special needs

Rapid City, SD (September 13, 2016) — South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard recognized Strider Sports Int’l., Inc. with the Distinguished Service Award for its contributions to the rehabilitation and employment of South Dakotans with disabilities at the 2016 Governor’s Awards today.

Since its inception in 2007, Strider Sports International Inc. has donated over $600,000 which includes cash and bikes to organizations that benefit children and adults, including individuals with disabilities. The Strider Bike line-up includes the 12” model for younger riders and the 16” and 20” models, developed in the last couple of years for older children and adults with balance and coordination challenges, such as Down syndrome and autism. Research in 2015 showed that riding a Strider Bike helped children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

“Strider Sports Int’l has done amazing things for our program at Rapid City Central High School,” said Amy Heuston, a Special Education teacher who submitted a letter of reference for the award application. “They not only have given us thousands of dollars in bikes and helmets, but have given their time and love to our students with severe/profound disabilities. Strider Bikes have made ENORMOUS impacts with many of our students, and in many skill areas.”

Heuston uses 13 Strider Bikes in her classroom and has seen benefits in PT, OT, Speech, Behavioral and Social, as noted in 5 Areas of Impact Strider Bikes Have with My Special Education Students.

Physical therapists such as Kim Burke, PT, MPT, of Lifescape, use Strider Bikes, “to empower children and adults with disabilities to lead fulfilling lives,” as she wrote in her letter of reference. “Strider Bikes have been a great tool that continues to challenge balance, strength, endurance, motor planning, etc., in a fun and functional way.”

Many people with special needs never learn to ride a two-wheeled bike because of challenges with balance and coordination. Strider has worked with several organizations to change that, such as the Special Olympics Young Athletes Program. Starting in 2015, the Strider Cup Racing Series included Special Needs Races for individuals of all ages and abilities.

The Governor’s Awards ceremony is co-sponsored by the Boards of Vocational Rehabilitation, Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Statewide Independent Living Council and the Department of Human Services.

Published in Our Passionate Staff
Friday, 19 February 2016 03:44

A Boy and His Bike

RyanABoyAndHisBike2

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)

Published in Parents Are Talking

A special guest post by  Amy Heuston Special Education Teacher at Central High School in Rapid City, SD

AmyGrady

 

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!

Published in In The News

Tanis

Tanis on his STRIDER 16 Sport

Guest blog post by Patricia Fox (Tanis and Aiden's Mom!) - My husband Rhys is a mountain unicyclist and avid rider. When we got pregnant with my oldest son Tanis, we had hoped he would be Rhys’ sidekick as I do not ride unicycles. However, that has not happened due to some of the symptoms of Tanis’ autism. Our second son, Aiden, also has autism, so we weren’t sure we would ever be able to ride bikes together as a family. How wrong we were!

Now we ride around the neighborhood and even take the bikes camping with us. Our sons share a unique bond because of the bikes. This wouldn’t be possible if we hadn’t tried a STRIDER Bike when they were young. And we couldn’t continue riding as a family if the company had ignored my request (among others I’m sure!) for a larger sized balance bike.

Tanis AidenTanis was diagnosed with severe autism when he was three years old, and is nine now. He struggles with poor core strength and low stamina, making riding a bike very difficult. My other son, Aiden, is six and also on the spectrum, but much more physical.

Several years ago, we came across a video of an 18-month-old on a STRIDER at a BMX track, so we thought we’d try one. We learned that every kid reacts differently. Some have a slower transition from walking to just getting comfortable enough to put their butts down on the seat. When they finally lift up their feet and really balance for the first time, their faces shine with a “Look what I can do” expression!

Tanis got his STRIDER first, the original 12” model, when he was five. He liked it, but after Aiden got his and started riding it, that really encouraged Tanis. When Tanis outgrew the small bike, we got the 16” model and it opened many riding doors for us as a family, since it was light weight and easy to ride. We were so proud when he rode it and joyfully shouted, “I did it! I did it!

Tanis is tall for his age and so we knew he would soon outgrow that bike. A couple of years ago, I sent the folks at STRIDER a request asking them to continue their excellent work and make another model for even older ages. We were so happy to see the 20” model come out in 2014. We were even more thankful to receive one through the generosity of Black Hills Family Support. Tanis loves riding his bike and says it’s “shiny and cool.”

We donated Tanis’ 16” STRIDER to LifeScape, the school Aiden attends for OT and other programs. I read recently about research that riding a STRIDER helps kids with autism. In the past, Tanis’ therapists used his bike to help with his core strength and gain balance and coordination. Aiden’s therapists work with him on his bike now.

Aiden started riding the STRIDER when he was three and was extremely attached to it. He even wore out the tires, so we had to replace them. After about a year and a half on the STRIDER, we decided to try a pedal bike. We were stunned that the transition to pedaling happened in a matter of minutes!

If it wasn’t for a STRIDER, we don’t think Aiden could have learned to ride a pedal bike. We realized that training wheels don’t really teach kids how to balance. As my husband said, “Why didn’t anyone think of this bike before?”

Tanis also learned to ride a pedal bike. Unfortunately he is distracted easily, so he had several accidents and minor injuries (we made sure he wore pads and a helmet). He sticks with his STRIDER now and feels safer. With the footrests, it’s easier for him to put his feet down quickly.

TanisQuote

Having both of the boys on two wheels has opened up a lot of possibilities to ride as a family. We could walk to the local park a few blocks away, but it’s so much more fun and cooler to ride bikes! We also name things while riding, such as stop signs or other markers.

We take the bikes camping in our renovated old school bus to Custer State Park and other local places. We tried tent camping, but the sound of the rain on the tent freaked out Tanis. Having the bus makes it easy to bring along the bikes.

One of the greatest benefits of riding is the special bond it has created between Tanis and Aiden. It’s something they can share together. On their bikes, they’re typical boys who enjoy racing back and forth on the sidewalk in front of our house or around the campground during trips.

They also ride with other kids in the neighborhood, which is an important social connection for them, especially for Tanis. Since his autism is severe, sometimes his behaviors confuse other kids. When he’s riding his bike, he’s just like them. He feels like a regular kid, and I love seeing him so happy.

Published in Parents Are Talking

 

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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!

Published in Special Needs