Too often people with cognitive or developmental disabilities have been unable to ride a bike or have been told by doctors and other health care providers that they will never be able to ride a bike. With the proper bike and a proven method to learn, this is changing!
For several years, parents of children with special needs all over the world have been approaching Strider and letting us know how life changing our bikes have been for their children. Strider Bikes are providing a means for inclusive social interaction and play. Suddenly, a child that had previously been sitting on the porch while the other children in the neighborhood rode their bikes is now riding right alongside their peers, grinning ear to ear.
So, why is a Strider Balance Bike the best option for a person with special needs? Our bikes break down the overwhelming task of learning how to ride into a safe and natural progression; it's as easy as walking. With feet safely on the ground, a rider is easily able to maneuver and ride our lightweight bikes.
Strider Balance Bikes have turned individuals with Down syndrome, autism, low muscle tone, poor balance, arthrogryposis, and cerebral palsy into bike riding enthusiasts! We have received countless success stories from parents around the world.
"It was wonderful to watch the kids demonstrate the coordination and balance skills that we’ve been working on through the APE program and achieve a new level of independence when riding the bikes…And because Strider Bikes is donating the bicycles to the students, they can further their progress at home with their families."
Dr. Amanda Young, Physical Education Teacher, KinderFrogs School and Starpoint School
"Stability scores in all body planes were significantly improved during the five-week duration,” said Shim, who conducted the research at the Pier Center for Autism in Sioux City, Iowa. “Starting on a STRIDER Bike can assist children with special needs in transitioning to a regular, two-wheeled bicycle without the anxiety of falling or using training wheels."
Dr. Andrew Shim, Chair of Briar Cliff University's Kinesiology and Human Performance Department
"This is all about the process of learning to ride in the right steps and never contradicting what you’re learning. So, they learn the proper balance and steer techniques that are identical to when you move onto pedal bikes. And what happens is with that success, all that stuff was kind of…that was out of reach or filed away, you say, OK, we just broke through what they told us was going to be the barrier, so now we don’t know how far we can take this."
Ryan McFarland, Founder, President, CEO, and Chief Enthusiast, Strider Sports International
"I currently have 8 bikes for my classroom and a wide variety of students use them. Students with physical impairments, BLIND students, kids with Down Syndrome, kids with autism; basically, anyone who can walk on their own (and even several who are a little shaky). We use them for recreation, social skills, community skills, physical therapy, adaptive PE, language development, and behavior interventions. They’re incredible."
Amy Speidel, Special Education Teacher/Special Olympics Coach
"The training program is a wonderful opportunity for children and adults to overcome anxieties about riding bikes in a fun setting with peers. It was so exciting to see such joy and enthusiasm from the youth who participated in our first week of training. We look forward to seeing the youth develop confidence in their abilities in the weeks to come."
Kerry Zingg, Easterday Center Director
"We would often stride to Super America on Lake Street and his goal was to get there in less than 25 minutes and if he did so then he could get a cherry icee! It definitely was a motivator."
Kathryn Jensen, parent of a 9th grade student
"I have 2 students that are twins, 8 years old, and in the Autism Program in Minneapolis. In recent years, the 2 have made significant gains in their motor abilities. I had the opportunity to work with the two using a strider and it was extremely beneficial to their balance and coordination. They were so excited there was a bike their size that was not overwhelming because of the pedals."
Troy Kirby, D/APE teacher
We have done our research and we know that a Strider Balance Bike is without a doubt, the best way to teach a person how to ride and balance on two wheels. Genuine Strider Balance Bikes are designed specifically to help individuals learn balance and coordination before pedaling. The no-pedal design and low frame height allow riders to have both feet on the ground and simply walk with the bike. These features allow people of all abilities to learn to balance and propel the bike in a natural way, instilling confidence and bike handling skills in the process.
"Starting on a STRIDER Bike can assist children with special needs in transitioning to a regular, two-wheeled bicycle without the anxiety of falling or using training wheels."
-Dr. Andrew Shim, Briar Cliff University
The Strider Education Foundation was formed when Strider Sports International, Inc. (SSI) came to understand that learning to ride a bike was out of reach for certain populations of children and adults. Through the development of a proven Learn-To-Ride curriculum and donations of the world’s most popular balance bikes, SSI worked with organizations ranging from Special Olympics to public school districts to make riding safe, easy, fun, and available to everyone. The magnitude of this need, coupled with requests from numerous other organizations provided a clear indication something needed to be done. With the generous backing of SSI, the 501(c)(3) Strider Education Foundation was formed to meet this important need.