Strider Bikes Integral Part of Bike Safety Program

PathwaysCone

 

How can you get a grant for your school to teach kids bike safety skills?

Katherine Dowson, Executive Director, Friends of Pathways (FOP), shares how their organization secured funding for a fleet of Strider Bikes to teach bike safety through their “Kids on the Move!” program in Jackson, WY, and surrounding Teton County areas to children ages 2 to 10 years old. She also talks about the impact the bikes have had in the community to improve the skills and behaviors of younger riders on pathways.

      1.       How did you first hear about Strider Bikes and why did you pursue a grant for them?

We have always done bike safety classes in the PE classes at local schools. Before using the Strider Bikes, kids would have to just walk and do hand signals, or sit on platforms with wheels instead of bikes and skootch around the floor. 

Our Education Director Lauren Dickey said it would be great if kids could actually practice on a bike. But that presents several challenges, such as kids having to bring their own bikes to school, and some kids don’t have bikes. Lauren knew about Strider Bikes and suggested FOP pursue a grant from the Teton County School District No.1 Recreation District to help purchase a fleet of bikes and integrate them into the PE classes. That way all kids have access to a safe and appropriate bike they can ride for the program.

Sometimes there is a big discrepancy of who can ride bikes and who can’t by the second grade. Having them all on the same type of bike evens the playing field. It also saves the parents the hassle of getting bikes to and from school. In addition, the Strider Bikes are better than a pedal bike with training wheels, because training wheels don’t teach balance.

      2.       How did you secure the grant?

Raising money is always a challenge. It’s easier once people understand benefits of what you are providing. We knew from the beginning that we would have to invest some of our own money to show others the impact it would have. So, FOP purchased the first 10 bikes and tried them out in the PE classes.

The bikes were incredibly popular, but there were up to 30 kids in class, so eventually we applied to the Recreation District to help us acquire another 15. Fortunately, the Recreation District has discretionary funds to award to non-profits and schools, mostly for capital equipment.

We now have 25 of the bikes, in both the 12” and 16” sizes. Even the kids who know how to ride a pedal bike can practice and improve balance skills on a Strider Bike. They are also used by the adaptive sports programs for individuals with special needs, making it an inclusive program.

3.       How have you expanded the program and continue to maintain it?

We worked with a local community foundation to purchase a trailer and now have a mobile Bike Lab. It includes an obstacle course of ramps, beams and cones. Besides the two-week PE programs at local schools, we also take it to community events, such as festivals and outdoor concerts that have up to 5,000 people. Thousands of kids have been able to ride a bike and learn bike safety skills through this outreach

Sponsorship money for the Bike Lab comes from local businesses and helps support the ongoing program to cover costs for staff and bike tune-ups. For events, we put the logos of local businesses on the trailer so it is good advertising for them.

4.   What are the results you’ve seen?

It’s definitely working! We have found through the last three years that kids who have taken the class are better equipped with safety skills to use the pathways. They know how to signal, pass on the left, use their bell, and put their feet down at stop signs.

The program is instilling bike safety knowledge and early balancing skills that lead to riding a bike at an earlier age. We get the kids to be confident in the PE class, and find they have an easier transition to pedal bike. This is especially important if they don’t have access to a bike from a young age, when they’re more open to learning.

Koreen Sheridan retired this year, but managed the program when she was the PE teacher, and shared these comments about the program: 

“The Strider Bikes have had a huge impact and helped many kids. Close to 600 kids go through the course each year. Some know the rules better than some of the grownups. The kids practice balance skills, do figure eights, go over ramps, zig zag around cones and learn how to obey stop signs and turn signals. They also practice riding around pedestrians and saying, ‘on your left.’

One 6-year-old girl who had never ridden a bike was scared and didn’t want to get on it. Being able to walk with the Strider helped ease her fears. After the class, her mom was amazed by her confidence and ability.

Overall, the balancing skills learned from riding a Strider help in other sports, so it’s a great thing for young kids to learn. We even do some strengthening exercises, by having them get on and off a bike, pick it up and turn it sideways, kind of like some local racers do in cyclo cross races.

Another great benefit is that the Strider Bikes are so durable and need very little repair or maintenance. One issue we had though, was that the school nurse was concerned about sharing helmets. So, we got a donation for blue surgical caps to put underneath them, for kids who did not bring their own helmets. We told the kids the caps were the same ones that doctors and chefs wore, so they were ok with wearing them.”

 5.    Why is learning to ride a bike and bicycle safety so important for young kids?

We’ve built a beautiful pathway system and want everyone to have access to it. Kids can safely ride several miles to school. The program makes the pathways more attainable for kids and teaches them to be a responsible user of our pathways, for both winter and summer activities.

Biking is an important mode of travel, especially until you are 16 years old and learn to drive a car, so it’s important to know the rules of the road and be safe and confident. 

 6.    What advice would you give to an organization trying to secure a grant for a program like yours?

Make sure your school district is on board and is willing to work with you once you secure the grant. We are blessed to have PE teachers dedicated to developing cycling skills. If you can’t work within your school district, find a venue that is safe with a surface that is flat, perhaps a parking lot that can be secured from cars and traffic.

It’s something that is duplicable in many settings and it’s an important service we offer to the community to ensure safer cycling.

For additional information on the program, check out this recent article in the Jackson Hole News Guide, School district approves funding for youngest bike riders

How can you get a grant for your school to teach kids bike safety skills? Katherine Dowson, Executive Director, Friends of Pathways (FOP), shares how their organization secured funding for a fleet of Strider Bikes to teach bike safety through their “Kids on the Move!” program in Jackson, WY, and surrounding Teton County areas to children ages 2 to 10 years old. She also talks about the impact the bikes have had in the community to improve the skills and behaviors of younger riders on pathways.

 

1.       How did you first hear about Strider Bikes and why did you pursue a grant for them?

 

We have always done bike safety classes in the PE classes at local schools. Before using the Strider Bikes, kids would have to just walk and do hand signals, or sit on platforms with wheels instead of bikes and skootch around the floor.

 

Our Education Director Lauren Dickey said it would be great if kids could actually practice on a bike. But that presents several challenges, such as kids having to bring their own bikes to school, and some kids don’t have bikes. Lauren knew about Strider Bikes and suggested FOP pursue a grant from the Teton County School District No.1 Recreation District to help purchase a fleet of bikes and integrate them into the PE classes. That way all kids have access to a safe and appropriate bike they can ride for the program.

 

Sometimes there is a big discrepancy of who can ride bikes and who can’t by the second grade. Having them all on the same type of bike evens the playing field. It also saves the parents the hassle of getting bikes to and from school. In addition, the Strider Bikes are better than a pedal bike with training wheels, because training wheels don’t teach balance.

 

2.       How did you secure the grant?

 

Raising money is always a challenge. It’s easier once people understand benefits of what you are providing. We knew from the beginning that we would have to invest some of our own money to show others the impact it would have. So, FOP purchased the first 10 bikes and tried them out in the PE classes.

 

The bikes were incredibly popular, but there were up to 30 kids in class, so eventually we applied to the Recreation District to help us acquire another 15. Fortunately, the Recreation District has discretionary funds to award to non-profits and schools, mostly for capital equipment.

 

We now have 25 of the bikes, in both the 12” and 16” sizes. Even the kids who know how to ride a pedal bike can practice and improve balance skills on a Strider Bike. They are also used by the adaptive sports programs for individuals with special needs, making it an inclusive program.

 

3.       How have you expanded the program and continue to maintain it?

 

We worked with a local community foundation to purchase a trailer and now have a mobile Bike Lab. It includes an obstacle course of ramps, beams and cones. Besides the two-week PE programs at local schools, we also take it to community events, such as festivals and outdoor concerts that have up to 5,000 people. Thousands of kids have been able to ride a bike and learn bike safety skills through this outreach.

 

Sponsorship money for the Bike Lab comes from local businesses and helps support the ongoing program to cover costs for staff and bike tune-ups. For events, we put the logos of local businesses on the trailer so it is good advertising for them.

 

4.       What are the results you’ve seen?

 

It’s definitely working! We have found through the last three years that kids who have taken the class are better equipped with safety skills to use the pathways. They know how to signal, pass on the left, use their bell, and put their feet down at stop signs.

 

The program is instilling bike safety knowledge and early balancing skills that lead to riding a bike at an earlier age. We get the kids to be confident in the PE class, and find they have an easier transition to pedal bike. This is especially important if they don’t have access to a bike from a young age, when they’re more open to learning.

 

Koreen Sheridan retired this year, but managed the program when she was the PE teacher, and shared these comments about the program:

 

“The Strider Bikes have had a huge impact and helped many kids. Close to 600 kids go through the course each year. Some know the rules better than some of the grownups. The kids practice balance skills, do figure eights, go over ramps, zig zag around cones and learn how to obey stop signs and turn signals. They also practice riding around pedestrians and saying, ‘on your left.’

 

One 6-year-old girl who had never ridden a bike was scared and didn’t want to get on it. Being able to walk with the Strider helped ease her fears. After the class, her mom was amazed by her confidence and ability.

 

Overall, the balancing skills learned from riding a Strider help in other sports, so it’s a great thing for young kids to learn. We even do some strengthening exercises, by having them get on and off a bike, pick it up and turn it sideways, kind of like some local racers do in cyclo cross races.

 

Another great benefit is that the Strider Bikes are so durable and need very little repair or maintenance. One issue we had though, was that the school nurse was concerned about sharing helmets. So, we got a donation for blue surgical caps to put underneath them, for kids who did not bring their own helmets. We told the kids the caps were the same ones that doctors and chefs wore, so they were ok with wearing them.”

 

5.       Why is learning to ride a bike and bicycle safety so important for young kids?

 

We’ve built a beautiful pathway system and want everyone to have access to it. Kids can safely ride several miles to school. The program makes the pathways more attainable for kids and teaches them to be a responsible user of our pathways, for both winter and summer activities.

 

Biking is an important mode of travel, especially until you are 16 years old and learn to drive a car, so it’s important to know the rules of the road and be safe and confident. 

 

6.       What advice would you give to an organization trying to secure a grant for a program like yours?

 

Make sure your school district is on board and is willing to work with you once you secure the grant. We are blessed to have PE teachers dedicated to developing cycling skills. If you can’t work within your school district, find a venue that is safe with a surface that is flat, perhaps a parking lot that can be secured from cars and traffic.

 

It’s something that is duplicable in many settings and it’s an important service we offer to the community to ensure safer cycling.

 

For additional information on the program, check out this recent article in the Jackson Hole News Guide, School district approves funding for youngest bike riders

The Review That Matters

We get a lot of emails and letters from parents. We read reviews online all the time, but we’ll let this photo review speak for itself!

Have a happy and safe Labor Day weekend!

Share your Strider success stories, photos, video and interact with other Strider enthusiasts at our newest centralized social media outlet www.StriderLife.com! Join the Strider conversation on our Facebook wall!

And Now…Some Cool Reviews!

We love hearing from all of our STRIDER family and with an ever increasing number of ways to do that (Facebook, Twitter, Strider Life, Our Website) we are receiving a lot of testimonials. The two I’m sharing today came through the administrative function on our website and were just too good not to share!

Stride On…keep those STRIDER success stories and photos coming in!

First

“We have a 19month old son. We first saw these bikes at my nephews BMX races in the Black Hills of South Dakota. My wife and I were floored when we watched 4 and 5 year olds fly around the BMX track. It was about a week ago that he started showing interest in wanting a bike so we went to Scheels (a local sports store) and purchased one for $90. That was on Sunday, today is Tuesday. He rode around Scheels and seemed to enjoy it. He went quite slow and wanted me behind him…today was a different story. Tonight he was trying to run with it. Totally amazing! I can’t wait for him to learn how to “glide”. I am confident that by 2yo he will be well on his way! Awesome product. Also, my 6yo niece who has been on training wheels for two years spent a half hour on it playing and learning to balance… half hour later she was riding a bike without training wheels!”       ~Robert B.

Secondly

“Wow! From the moment our son saw the YouTube videos to the moment he sat on his new Strider at Roscoe Village Bikes he was mesmerized. Not only did he get right on with a toss of the leg over the seat, but he just started walking along and trying to coast on the Strider as if both were intuitive. He was thrilled! Each time he tipped or had the bike fall, he was able to easily lift the bike, get himself back on, and keep going. We literally had to lock the bike up so he could go to bed. What an amazing bike! We are more than satisfied, impressed, and loyal to this great product. Our 2 year old is so happy!”          ~Erik M.

Lastly

And finally a one word review from a new YouTube Video.

“WooHoo!”     ~williama3


Share your Strider success stories, photos, video and interact with other Strider enthusiasts at our newest centralized social media outlet www.StriderLife.com! Join the Strider conversation on our Facebook wall!

Eli On His KTM At 14 Months!

Eli is just 14 months old and is already starting to ride a KTM STRIDER through the Elite Motorsports showroom in Loveland, Colorado. Jason, Eli’s Dad, is a loyal KTM rider and was thrilled to document the occasion.  Strider Sports is always excited to hear from parents and of course always thrilled to start a kids love of all thing two wheeled.  Stride On!

Share your Strider success stories, photos, video and interact with other Strider enthusiasts at our newest centralized social media outlet www.StriderLife.com! Join the Strider conversation on our Facebook wall!

Strider: Enhancing Family Time since 2007!

We received a great testimonial this last week that we thought was worth sharing.  Striders were developed to teach balance to young kids to instill a lifelong love of everything two wheeled.  Some times Striders bring balance to life as well!  I’ll let the testimonial do the talking…

“I am a nature loving, adventure seeking mom and my husband is… not so much, but he does have a thrill for adrenaline. I have pushed, pulled and tugged my husband in every direction and just before giving up, I begged “the cosmos” to send me some way for us to share an active and healthy lifestyle. About a month ago I had the fortunate encounter of meeting a serious Strider family at my son’s school. A couple of weeks later, our sons were riding Strider Bikes together.

My husband now takes our boys on walks around our neighborhood or to the parks (with me or without me)! I am thrilled, a step in the right direction! Not only have these incredible little bikes opened the door for off road adventure to my little boys, but they are the missing link between a grease monkey dad and a granola crunching mom! My kids love their Strider Bikes and ride every day. My husband is finally inspired enough that he now has his own mountain bike and we’ve made some really great friends in the process!

I am so grateful for our Strider encounter on so many different levels. This is not only a great toy/tool for our children, but an investment towards a healthier lifestyle for the whole family.”    ~Jen

Join the Strider conversation on our Facebook wall! Head over to our new/centralized social media site (www.StriderLife.com) and let us know your Strider success stories or upload videos, photos and more!

Oskar: All Tuckered Out

Oskar is a 23 month old from Australia…Tasmania to be exact.  As you can tell by his outfit and KTM Strider, his parents are avid motorbikelysts.  In case you were wondering motorbikelyst is defined as somebody who rides pedal bikes and motorbikes.

Apparently sticking out of the tongue is universal toddler behaviour…According to his Mum, Oskar is a bit cheeky (I think cheeky is British for sassy).

Oskar is bright eyed, bushy tailed and a bit "cheeky"!

The photo below was taken after after riding his Strider (named PeeWee) for four and a half hours at an enduro-x motorbike race in Granville, Australia while watching his parents race.

“I just wanted to let you know that the Strider is the best toy that we have bought. Our son rides around the house, to the shops, at the skate park, takes it to the motorbike races, he loves it. It’s hard to get him off it!”  ~Tara (Oskar’s Mum)

Too Exhausted to Eat!

Join the Strider conversation by “liking” us on Facebook.  Send photos, videos, Stories, Comments or anything else to ssblog@stridersports.com

Strider Progression: Part 2

In our second installment of Strider Progression we will take a look at “Extreme Zane”! This is a great example of the next step for most youngsters as they become more confident on their Strider.

Zane is not quite two, but has clearly been riding his Strider a lot.  In the last video we saw Aiden walking with his butt on the seat.  Zane is moving a little faster while occasionally lifting his feet to glide.

Its important to remember that as they get more comfortable and have more time in the saddle the comfort level and commitment to balance will be natural.

Enjoy…

Thanks to Ryan B. for sending us this video on Facebook…Great editing skills, keep that camera rolling!

Progression: Part 1

This week we’ll be posting a series of videos showing a progression of Stridering skills.  Since this is the first entry naturally we will start with a video of a child’s first time on a Strider PREbike!

Cut to Aiden on his cool orange Strider!  He is 20 months old and has a very stylish flame-laden helmet.  He is very smiley and amazingly already trusting his weight to the seat.

Aiden is a little wobbly, but you can tell that he is quickly understanding his early balance skills.  At the :50 second mark he sees a big kid ride by on his bike and thoughts of future bike riding glory are planted!

Keep watching the progression of riders this week and make sure to check us out on facebook to share your Strider stories, photos and video!

Travis: A Man of Few Words

I know that we tell you guys all the time that we love getting reviews, testimonials, photos and videos from our fans.  Facebook is one great way to keep in touch allowing us to combine all of the before-mentioned things we love in one place.

The testimonials that we get are especially great.  They allow us to know what we’re doing right and how we can improve and are usually very informative.  We always like hearing stories about how your children are progressing.

Ryan, our Strider founder and chief enthusiast, just ran across an old testimonial that we thought should be hightlighted.  I’ll let it speak for itself:

 

“You Strider guys are awesome!” – Travis

 

Keep it coming!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

International Strider Shout Out!

Last week we put a call out on our Facebook page to get photos and videos posted on our wall.  The international Strider M.O.B. heard us loud and clear!  We want to highlight a few of that crowd today.

The first is Emily from the United Kingdom. She got her Strider last Summer and started gettingher sense of balance, but mostly walked with her bum (I think that's what they call it in the U.K.) off the seat. This summer she will be outfitted with her new helmet and there'll be no stopping her!
Our next international Strider rider is the ever-cool, Johnny Rock. He hails from Sydney, Australia, sports an awesome Nutcase helmet, and some really cool low-top Chuck Taylors!

Keep the photos and videos coming!  We love seeing local, nation, and international Strider riders.