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Unstoppable toddler logs more miles on a bike than most adults

Unstoppable toddler logs more miles on a bike than most adults

250 miles. That’s how far two-year-old Owen Tudor rode his Strider Bike over the course of nine months in 2021.

Owen and his family live in the small community of Sioux Center, Iowa. Owen’s dad, Eric, and his wife have been happily married for eight years, and it was then that they decided to sell their second car and committed to living a car-independent lifestyle. Being avid bikers, commuting around town on their bicycles was something they loved doing.  

During the first year of Owen’s life, he traveled to daycare, the grocery store, church, and parks inside the bike trailer pulled by his parents. It was his primary vehicle. When Owen turned one, his family decided it was time to buy a Strider 2-in-1 Rocking Bike and within days he was “riding”. Over the winter months, Owen’s family detached the bike from the base, and Owen practiced “riding skinnies” on wooden planks in the basement. Once the weather began to warm up, he began riding outdoors.  

By spring, Owen was a Striding pro and the family decided to celebrate by having him ride his little 12” Strider Sport to daycare just a week before he turned two. The .75-mile ride took nearly 20 minutes, but Eric was impressed that Owen was able to navigate the route himself and stopped for traffic at the lone intersection.

Owen Tudor sits on a dirt pile on a farm with his yellow Strider bike in the foreground.
From March 1st to December 1st, Owen commuted to and from daycare with his dad on either his Strider Bike or the Mac Ride, a child bike seat that fits on almost any adult bike. Over this same time period, he logged over 1,000 miles on a bike, which is more than most adults. The coldest wind chill they rode in was 16 degrees and the warmest heat index they faced was 114 degrees. The duo missed a total of 3.5 days of commuting because of thunderstorms or rain. There wasn’t a single day that Owen was resistant.

By commuting to daycare on his bike, Owen’s parents have taught him that it’s not necessarily about reaching the destination – but more so about enjoying the journey. Some days, they’ll attach a bike bag and go rock collecting, splash in a puddle, or search for bugs in the prairie. As they ride, they’ll cut through a college campus on the way to daycare, and Owen will wish the students a good day. Learning to appreciate the small things can turn something mundane (like commuting) into something purposeful and memorable.  

The Tudor family chose Strider because they appreciated the good work being done in the small town of Rapid City, South Dakota. They also love Strider’s commitment to hosting community events and have purchased Strider Bikes before for family members and friends.  Eric and his wife determined that owning a Strider Bike would help their children become more active, experience a greater amount of freedom, and expose them to adverse weather conditions.  

Today, at two years old, Owen has no issue traveling the .75 miles to daycare in ten minutes – which is most likely less than what most people spend on their daily drive to work. Eric says, “Sure, we could do it quicker and more comfortably in a vehicle, but I think the trade-off is worth it.” Owen’s coordination is outstanding. He’s grown in confidence, independence, strength, awareness, and navigation by riding his Strider.  

Not only has this adventure renewed a sense of youth for Owen’s parents, but it’s also taught the Tudor family that joy can be found even in the dullest moments. Plus, if anyone ever says, “Toddlers can’t commute to preschool on a bike every day,” this tiny two-year-old can prove them wrong.

Owen Tudor riding through a field of wildflowers

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Strider Holiday InterACTIVITIES

Strider Holiday InterACTIVITIES

The holidays are the best time of year, and at Strider we’re all about encouraging kiddos to be active and having them spread that “Strider Cheer”. Between holiday vacations from school and enjoying a few days off work, there’s more time to ride your bike. There is also more time for family AND more time for crafting! There are thousands of craft ideas on the internet, but we’ve narrowed down a list of fun activities that can be incorporated with your child’s Strider. Remember that you’re making special memories throughout this holiday crafting and it’s ok if your crafts don’t turn out perfectly!

Holiday countdown chains with a Christmas tree and a reindeer on top

Holiday Countdown Chain

Materials Needed:

  • Colored construction paper
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Pom-poms
  • Sequins
  • Googly eyes
  • Tape
  • A pen
  • Scissors

Making a countdown chain is a fun way to keep track of how many days there are until Christmas! To begin making your chain, you’ll need to count how many days there are until the big holiday and then cutout the same number of paper strips. Each strip should be about 1.5 inches wide. Then, write an activity on each strip that your child can do that day. A few ideas might be “Go bike riding with a friend today” or “Head to the park with your family on your Strider”. Once you’ve written your activities, grab a strip, place the ends together to make a circle and add a piece of tape. Slip another strip inside the circle and make another circle. Continue doing this until your chain is finished. Each day that goes by, your mighty-mini will have a blast getting to rip one link from the chain and seeing what they get to do for an adventure that day! We suggest making a fun Christmas tree or reindeer for the top of your chain to mark when it’s finally Christmas!

  • Scissors next to strips of brown paper
  • Scissors and a marker next to strips of colored paper
  • Finished holiday countdown chains
Glue pompoms to festive binoculars

Santa Searchers

Materials Needed:

  • Colored construction paper
  • 2 toilet paper rolls 
  • Pompoms
  • Buttons 
  • Yarn
  • Glue 
  • Scissors 

This craft is perfect for those curious kiddos whose eyes are always wandering. Make these Santa Searchers with your little elves and have them look around to notice all the holiday magic! As Christmas draws near, they can explore on their Strider while searching for Santa in the sky! To begin, cut your construction paper to match the length of the toilet paper roll. Wrap the paper around the roll until it is completely covered and then glue into place. Do this for both rolls, and then glue the rolls together to make binoculars. Next, add dots of glue across your Santa Searchers and add decorative pom poms, sequins, or buttons! Lastly, add a string to each end so that your child can wear the binoculars around their neck!  

  • Craft supplies includes construction paper, scissors, yarn, glue, and toilet paper rolls
  • Gluing construction paper to toilet paper rolls
  • Christmas binoculars with pompoms
Sticks made into a tree covered in yarn and decorations

Yarn Tree

Materials Needed:

  • Sticks 
  • A hot glue gun 
  • Green yarn
  • Buttons 
  • Sequins 
  • Mini lights 
  • Gold stars 
  • Scissors 

This holiday activity gives you the perfect excuse to get outside and enjoy some fresh air! Grab your kids, their Striders, and head to your local park (or backyard)! While you’re riding around, stop and look for some quality sticks. Pick the best ones and throw them in your backpack. Once you get home, you’re ready to begin making your tree. Hot glue the ends of your sticks together to make a tree. Once the glue has dried, begin wrapping green yarn around your tree. Lastly, glue fun decorations down to personalize your new yarn tree. Don’t forget to add a star on top!   

  • Gathering sticks while on a bike ride
  • Sticks and hot glue gun
  • Yarn, scissors, hot glue gun, and sticks
  • Adding decorations to stick Christmas tree
Handmade reindeer Christmas card

Reindeer Card

Materials Needed:

  • Brown construction paper 
  • A red pom pom 
  • Brown pipe cleaners
  • Googly eyes 
  • Sparkles 
  • Sequins 
  • A pen 
  • Scissors 
  • Glue

This reindeer card is a fun and unique way to invite your best buddy to go on a bike ride with you! Start by tracing your toddler’s hand on a piece of brown construction paper and then cut it out. Turn the handprint upside down and begin decorating your reindeer! We suggest a red pom pom for the nose and brown pipe cleaners for the antlers. You may also want to add sparkles, googly eyes, and buttons!  

  • Tracing hand on brown construction paper
  • Sticks and hot glue gun
A clear ornament with a tree and a baby on a Strider balance bike

Strider Ornament

Materials Needed:

  • A glass ball ornament 
  • A mini tree 
  • Cotton balls 
  • Long tweezers 
  • Scissors (or an Exacto knife)
  • A picture of your little shredder 
  • Glue can be helpful to secure things but be careful – it’s messy! 

Why not add a little Strider bling to your Christmas tree this year? To make your very own Strider decoration begin by placing cotton balls at the bottom of your glass ball ornament. Using a pair of long tweezers will help to place the cotton into the perfect position. Next, grab your mini tree and slowly push that through the top of your ornament. It’s ok if the branches get a little bent, you can use the tweezers to fluff them out again. Now, find a photo of your child riding their Strider, add it to a Word document, and then shrink it down to about 1.5×1.5 in. Print it out in color and then use scissors or an Exacto knife to cut your little ripper out! Use the tweezers to insert the cutout into the ornament and place in front of the tree. Lastly, use paint or Wite-Out and sharpies to decorate the outside of your ornament. And voila! Hang your new, fancy ornament with pride on that beautifully decorated Christmas tree!  

  • Supplies to make a Christmas ornament
  • Filling a glass ornament with cotton balls
  • Mini Christmas tree and cotton balls inside a glass ornament
  • Cutting out a photo of a baby on a Rocking bike
  • Decorating a glass ornament with Sharpies and Wite-Out
Kids coloring on coloring sheets

Strider Coloring Sheets

Materials Needed:

  • Crayons
  • Colored pencils 
  • Markers 
  • A printer to print out the coloring sheets

Print out one of our Strider coloring sheets, grab some colored pencils or crayons, and watch your kiddos go to town! Once they’re all done coloring their masterpieces that even Picasso himself would be proud of, you can hang the colored sheets on the fridge or give them to neighbors or family members to enjoy. They’ll love receiving some homemade holiday art! 

Click the images below to open a printable PDF of each coloring sheet.

  • bike ornament coloring sheet preview

  • bike maze coloring sheet preview

  • Santa sleigh coloring sheet preview

  • Team strider coloring sheet preview

And that’s a wrap! Don’t forget to share your photos and tag @striderbikes to show us your masterpieces, we can’t wait to see how they turned out! 

* Activities should be performed with adult supervision. 

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2020 Tiny Strider Customs

2020 Tiny Strider Customs

Strider Custom Bikes

Tiny Custom Strider Bikes will be hitting the auction block at Mecum Auction Las Vegas on April 29th.

The Strider Custom Bike Program was developed in partnership with The Flying Piston Benefit, which invites notable motorcycle builders to customize a genuine Strider Bike. Each Strider Custom Bike will be auctioned off to support All Kids Bike, a campaign to get Learn-To-Ride Programs into every public elementary school kindergarten PE class to teach children how to ride a bike for free. During the Mecum Auction in Las Vegas, each bike will be auctioned to the highest bidder, and all proceeds will support teaching more kids in America how to ride a bike and give them that first taste of freedom and adventure on two wheels.

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WomenRidersNow


No question about it, this Tiny Strider Custom, spearheaded by racer Erin Sills and enabled by other women at WomenRidersNow (WRN), has a pointed message: women have been providing inspiration in motorsports for decades, encouraging by example and leading by action.

The WRN Progressions Strider is adorned with daisy petals carrying the names of over 200 influential, historical, and contemporary women who serve the American motorcycle community. 

But this little gem’s impact goes beyond surface treatment. The WomenRidersNow Strider Build team customized their Strider with the requisite leather banana seat, supporting frame, and ape hanger-style handlebars … then added motorcycle-inspired gearing and chain. A Clearwater Lights headlamp lights this little one’s ride as she cruises down the road to her next adventure, displaying a license plate that reads “GO WRN.” 

Read more about the WomenRidersNow Tiny Strider Custom HERE.

 

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Lena Fairless


Fairless. A legendary name in motorcycles, to say the least.

Lena Fairless is the daughter of Rick Fairless, who is best known for his psychedelic tie-dyed custom choppers from his shop in Dallas, Strokers Dallas. But Lena is making a name for herself in the motorcycle world as well, co-hosting a live show with her father and even building bikes herself.

In developing the design for her tiny Strider custom, a bike she dubbed the Fairless Flyer, she reached back to her childhood. As a kid, Lena’s favorite bike was the Pat Kennedy “Easy Rider” chopper and she wanted her Strider to have a similar stance. Lena stuck with bright pink, adding a killer custom front end, with tiny triple trees. She also added chrome handlebars from Clyde James Cycle in Haltom City, Texas, along with spoke wheels to bring home the chopper look. They cut, chopped, and fabricated the rest of the bike in-house at Strokers Dallas.

Read more about the Fairless Flyer Tiny Strider Custom HERE.

 

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Savannah Rose


Savannah Rose goes retro with her Tiny Strider Custom build.

Having grown up in Long Beach, CA, I had always been close to the lowrider scene, but I never managed to actually own or build a lowrider of any sort, be it a car or a bicycle. The first thing I did was take a grinder with a cut-off wheel to the frame. I removed the single chunky frame tube, keeping only the neck and the rear of the frame behind the seat post. In its place, I put my Lincoln Electric TIG 200 to work and welded two swoopy tubes, reminiscent of the “girl’s” FairLady bikes of the 60’s.

I added quite a few parts too, including a handmade sissy bar that holds up the classic white banana seat. As for the paint, I decided to go with solid warm bubblegum pink. 

As an All Kids Bike Ambassador, I wanted to be part of this project to influence more kids to ride, especially more little girls. I also hope to inspire them and show them that they too can build cool customs. One day, I hope to see a ton of little girls learning to ride Striders, and hopefully learn to ride and build incredible custom motorcycles, too.

Read more about the Savannah Rose Tiny Strider Custom HERE.

 

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JoAnn Bortles


JoAnn Bortles built a mini-me Chopper with a grown-up paint job.

“I wanted my tiny Strider custom to celebrate a moment in women’s motorcycle history. What moment? Well, when I was in Sturgis in 2004, the new issue of Easyrider came out, the September 2004 issue. And there on the cover, was my bike. It was the first time a woman’s bike was ever featured on the cover of Easyrider. That was 16 years ago.”

JoAnn is the first woman to own her own custom paint shop and has breaking barriers ever since.

Her paintwork has won some of the top awards in the US including Easyriders Best Paint of the Year and PPG’s Top 5 Most Outstanding Paint. While known primarily as a custom painter, JoAnn is a respected welder fabricator and worked for companies like Moroso Products and Total Performance.

Read more about the JoAnn Bortles Tiny Strider Custom HERE.

 

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Ron Finch


“I used the frame – but it’s upside down, Why? It worked better that way. I built the fenders from rod and put metal mesh in them.” That’s classic Finch treatment, right there, along with the rod and mesh guard and the modified fork tubes. It has an engine from a weed-whacker. It doesn’t run, of course, but it looks right. The engine is black powdercoated and the jugs are silver. I built the exhaust pipes, oil tank, and handlebars, and foot-shaped kickstand.”

Is anything stock? Well, the seat is the same as the one that was on the bike but naturally Ron re-worked it, altering the angle to better fit the new profile. The grips may be the only component left untouched.

It’s painted a vibrant orange, with red and yellow hand pinstriping. A hand-made braided leather bib covers the tank top and looks amazing.

Read more about the Ron Finch Tiny Strider Custom HERE.

 

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Ashmore Ellis


Ashmore Ellis is the co-founder of the largest women’s motorcycle event, Babes Ride Out. She knows that things like riding a bicycle build a kid’s self-confidence, which is crucial for little ones. That’s one reason she was excited to be a part of the Flying Piston Benefit and put her skills to the test by customizing a Strider balance bike.

Her main focus for the build was function. She wanted to make sure that a child could still ride this balance bike. Since the Strider is set up ergonomically for a child, she didn’t want to alter the frame or change how the handlebars sit. Being an avid rider both on and off-road, she knows that handlebar position is of the utmost importance in comfort!

“I wanted a little girl to see this bike and know she can go just as fast as anyone else on it. I put the race plate on using Babes in the Dirt cause we always say learning in dirt is best.”

Read more about the Ashmore Ellis Tiny Strider Custom HERE.

 

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Cris Sommer Simmons


Cris Sommer-Simmons is a female powerhouse in the motorcycle world, from her beginnings as a moto-journalist and her own publication, Harley Women Magazine, to her time spent riding vintage motorcycles cross country in the Cannonball runs. Now, Cris Simmons Customized Strider called “Effie”, centered around her 1915 Harley-Davidson, a bike she named “Effie” in honor of female riding pioneer Effie Hotchkiss.

Cris has always been as pioneer for women riders. Harley Women, which she co-published and edited, was the first motorcycle publication geared towards women.

“I love the flat tanks and the paint that looks so much like my little 1915 HD Effie. I found some ’50s tricycle parts on eBay and that’s where I got the handlebars, the seat and the front fender. It took some tweaking to make everything fit. I actually found the rear fender that looks really close to the front on eBay as well. The tiny saddlebags were repurposed from an old leather tool bag I used on my 1979 Lowrider back in the day.”

Read more about the Cris Simmons Tiny Strider Custom HERE.

 

Watch the auction LIVE on the Mecum Auction Website – April 29th.

About Flying Piston Benefit: The Flying Piston Benefit is produced by Marilyn Stemp of Iron Trader News and Jeff Najar from Horsepower Marketing, a marketing and promotions company, to raise awareness and funds for non-profits and individuals in the biker community. The Flying Piston Benefit is an organization that produces charitable events to assist in raising awareness and funds for nonprofits. The Flying Piston Benefit works with sponsors to increase their brand awareness and integrate their participation with cause marketing. The Strider Custom Bike Program is one such example. 

Contact: Marilyn Stemp, 828-205-8482, marilynstemp@gmail.com or www.flyingpistonbenefit.com for details.

About All Kids Bike: All Kids Bike is a national movement led by the Strider Education Foundation to place Kindergarten PE Learn-To-Ride Programs into public schools for free, using donations from individuals, businesses, and organizations. 100% of the proceeds will support All Kids Bike and its mission to get Kindergarten Learn-To-Ride PE Programs into schools across the United States.

For more information visit www.allkidsbike.org.

Written by Marilyn Stemp of Iron Trader News

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Mazie Inspires Donation

Mazie Inspires Donation

Strider Donates Bikes

Heart Hero Survives Post Op with Strider Bike

This summer we received a heartfelt message from Elizabeth, the mother of a courageous little girl named Mazie who also enjoys riding her Strider Bike.

“I want to sincerely thank you for your product….thank you for having a product which allowed my daughter to fight for life again.”

Though you would not know it by the warmth of her smile Mazie was born with half a heart and will require many surgeries throughout her life. Just this summer she underwent her third open-heart surgery which unfortunately resulted in a few complications. Following her surgery, Mazie was so weak that she could not even walk down the hall. During her recovery, Elizabeth could see the ‘spirit and sparkle’ that Mazie once exuded slowly fading away and she feared that Mazie was starting to give up on life. That is when her therapist at Children’s Hospital Colorado, suggested that Mazie’s parents bring her Strider Bike into the hospital. Before surgery, Mazie’s favorite thing to do was ride her Strider Bike and they thought this would brighten her days in the hospital and hopefully help motivate her recovery. After seeing her little red 12” Strider Bike Mazie perked up and decided that she was going to ride it all day and night – up and down the halls – and all over the Children’s Hospital. After a few weeks, Mazie was so well known for her love of biking in and around the hospital that her team of doctors and nurses – who themselves are part of a biking team named the ‘Cardiac Climbers’ for the hospital’s annual Courage Classic bike event –  named Mazie an honorary ‘Cardiac Climber’.

Following a month-long recovery, we are so glad to report that Mazie is back at home recovering very well. She continues to ride her bike around the house and throughout their neighborhood. Of course, after hearing her courageous story, we wanted to make sure she had everything she needs to continue her bike riding journey. We sent her a new 14x Sport that will eventually convert to a pedal bike when she is ready.

Inspired by Mazie’s touching story and hearing how riding her Strider Bike helped inspire her recovery following surgery, we reached out to the Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation. Ryan McFarland, Strider Bike’s CEO and chief enthusiast, made a personal visit to the Children’s Hospital Colorado to learn more about all the amazing work they do for so many kiddos. Because of Mazie we donated 12 Strider Bikes to the Children’s Hospital to make sure more kids have every opportunity to be active while recovering in the hospital, and most importantly – get to just be a kid.

Were you inspired and want to know more? Check out the links below!

Check out Mazie’s story and follow her journey on her Youtube page HERE and/or Facebook page HERE.

To learn more about the amazing work that the Children’s Hospital Colorado is doing or to donate to the Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation, we highly encourage you to visit their websites: www.childrenscolorado.org & www.childrenscoloradofoundation.org

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At Strider, we wanted to give you a little extra incentive to go through the incredible hassle that is preparing kids to go out in the cold by pointing out ways it will make your life as a parent a bit easier.

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Strider Cup Virtual Event

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Get Your Strider Indoor Ready

Get Your Strider Indoor Ready

Strider Maintenance tips

Get Your Strider Indoor Ready

Spending more time inside, with wild kiddos, is the reality for most of us these days. Usually, during this time of year, when the days are getting longer and warmer, we start excitedly pulling pogo sticks, baseball bats, and bikes out of the shed to prepare for picnics and barbeques. This year things are definitely different. Luckily, Strider Bikes are fun to ride both outdoors and in. So, go ahead and get that bike out anyway. We’ve got a few maintenance tips to get your Strider Bike ready for a new season of riding (with extra cleaning tips to prep for the great indoors).

1.  Grease the Bushings

When a bike sits unused through the winter, dust particles can accumulate and cause parts to get “sticky.” You might notice that the handlebars catch or do not turn smoothly. If that happens, quickly greasing the bushings will save a lot of wear and tear. The bushings sit inside the stem where the handlebars and fork attach. Remove the handlebar clamp, take out the handlebars, and remove the fork. Put a small amount of grease or Vaseline on the end of a Q-tip and rub inside the top and bottom bushings, located in the stem. Put the handlebars, fork, and clamp back together. A little grease goes a long way to smooth out steering and keep your Strider in tip-top condition.

2.  Bike Wash

A good, thorough bike bath is perfect for an afternoon activity with your toddler. Whether you’re cleaning the bike for hours of indoor fun or getting it ready for rides outside, every bike can benefit from cleaning off dust and mud. Fill a bucket with warm water and a drop or two of mild dish soap. Find an area outside that won’t create mud when wet, like a thick grassy area or a patch of cement. In a pinch, a bathtub will work. Use a sponge or washrag in the soapy water and wash all parts of the bike. Make sure to spin the wheels to make sure they are cleaned adequately. Rinse the bike, then let it dry.

3. Replace Parts

Give your Strider Bike a careful inspection. Check the condition of the seat, handlebars, grips, and wheels. Perhaps some little critter nibbled on them all winter, or they’re showing signs that they have been well used (and loved). No need for a new bike, we have replacement parts (CHECK THEM OUT!); some are even available in multiple different colors for a chance to add some personal style.

4. Readjust

Kids grow like weeds; we don’t have to tell you that. As they grow, check seat and handlebar height often. To check seat height, have your kiddo sit on the bike with shoes on. Adjust the height of the seat until there is a slight bend in their knees. The best starting point for handlebar height is to set it with respect to the seat. If the seat is at its lowest setting, set the handlebar to also be at its lowest setting, etc. Try multiple adjustments to find out what makes your child feel the most comfortable and confident.

To check seat height, have your kiddo sit on the bike with shoes on. Adjust the height of the seat until there is a slight bend in their knees.

5.  General Check

Now is the time for you and your kiddo to give the bike one last thorough look-over together. Go over it part by part. Check the frame to make sure nothing has been cracked or bent. Spin the front and back wheels to make sure they move freely. Move the handlebars back and forth to check that they turn smoothly. Yes! Now your bike is all ready for another awesome riding season – even if it starts indoors.

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From One Strider Parent to Another

From One Strider Parent to Another

From One Strider Parent to Another

Strider Parents Share Tips to Keep Kids Active on a Strider Bike During Quarantine

Schools and daycares have been closed all across the country for weeks (wait, months? Years? Who can keep track?). Parents and children are getting A LOT of bonding time, and it’s not always rainbows and butterflies. Kids have abundant energy, and parents…not so much. Luckily, Strider parents are among the most creative and inventive. Here are some tips and tricks, passed from parent to parent, to keep your kids active and occupied with a Strider Bike.

  • 1. Create a loop they can ride on repeat.

    “We just ride up and down the hallway and loop back thru the kitchen…we made up a stop sign and taped it to the wall for a collision prone area (because safety and the kids thought it was fun!).” – Jessica Largen

  • 2. Set Up A Strider Photo Shoot.

    “We did a photoshoot with my son and his Strider.” – Victor Clementi

3. Teach Kids How to Build A Bike.

“Stay Home Activity – Strip down and learn the part various parts of a Strider. Rebuild it with Daddy.”  – Martin Sng

  • 4. Utilize the Unfinished Basement

    “Our unfinished basement has been a lifesaver! We set up little orange cones.” – Lindsay Solie

  • 5. The Strider 2-in-2 Rocking Bike

    “The rocking base!” – Sara Hagerman

A fun, creative idea is a terrible thing to waste. We could all use some inspiration these days! Share your Strider parenting tips and tag @striderbikes.

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Becoming KIND

Becoming KIND

Becoming Kind

Competitive Biking Teaches Life Lessons Far Beyond Metals & Trophies

By Susie Marcks, Marketing Manager at Strider World Headquarters

When my son Adam was just three years old, he was the size of an average six-year-old. At almost 6” tall myself and a husband who is 6’2’’, our offspring tend to seem like giants. As a mom, I worry about my kids being accepted and becoming capable, respectful, confident, and kind.

Given his size, when it comes to Adam and sports, I feel like I need to choose wisely. When I looked into football, the top of the sign-up sheet read, “We group kids by size not age, so no one gets hurt.” That means Adam would likely be getting tackled by ten-year-olds. Not going to happen. Wrestling goes by weight, so he would probably be, again, grappling with ten-year-olds. No, thank-you.

We tried soccer, and he hated it. He is what you would call a “lover, not a fighter,” so when someone wanted the ball, he would kick it to them… no matter what team they were on.

The one thing Adam really loves is riding his bike. Who can argue with that? Riding a bike IS fun. My little (big) guy can go on long rides with Gramps to find geocaches, get dirty at the dirt jump park, or circle endlessly around the car in the driveway. Whatever it is, it’s always fun.

After I started working at Strider, I discovered USA BMX. Talk about an intimidating sport – full-face helmets, giant jumps, a loud gate that crashes down and sends your child zipping onto a dirt track – but it seemed like the best option for Adam. On his first day, some moments of watching him at the track were painful for my mama heart. He walked up almost every hill, and many times didn’t have enough pushing momentum and just fell right over. But, he stuck with it.

Before a race begins, all of the ages and abilities ride together—the young kids in the Strider class right alongside teens and adults. On this particular night, I sat and watched my son go around the track, slow, crashing more than riding when the gate dropped for the second practice heat. Adam was only halfway to the finish line. Ten and twelve-year-old boys were going fast, jumping, and highly skilled. Adam was in their way. I was terrified he was going to get run over, or that the older kids would be annoyed that Adam was in the middle of the track with his bike tipped over…again. My nerves were building up as they got closer and closer to him. And then, it happened…the older kids STOPPED. They picked up his bike, dusted him off, and told him to keep trying. And so did he. I took a deep breath of relief and choked up as I watched the riders that day becoming kind. I hoped those kids’ parents were watching because seeing kids becoming kind is better than seeing a first-class race finish any day.

We’re nearing the end of his first BMX Season. We are starting to understand the lingo and how it all works. Adam still isn’t the most competitive dude. In BMX races, to win trophies, ribbons, or get points, you have to qualify for the “main” race at the end of the night. Only the top four riders in each class can go on to ride in the “main.” The kids that don’t qualify get to participate in the “sportsman’s race” with other non-qualifying racers: all ages, even the Strider class. Last week, Adam didn’t qualify for the main, and the sportsman’s race was made up of a twelve year old, a couple of eight-year-olds, Adam, who is six, and one Strider rider. As you can probably could have guessed, they finished in that order as well. But, the best part of the entire race was what happened next. The twelve-year-old went to Adam, gave him a great big high-five, and a piece of candy. Then, Adam went to the Strider rider, gave him a big high-five, and reminded him that everyone in that race wins candy, so don’t forget to get his piece too.

I’m so pleased to see that biking is my son’s sport! But mostly, I am proud his bike is not how he wins medal or recognition, but how he is becoming kind. One day, all of those little Strider riders will be twelve-year-olds, and I know they will be the ones to give the high-fives and encouragement. AND REALLY, WHAT MORE COULD A MOTHER WISH FOR?

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Becoming KIND One Small Stride at a Time

Becoming KIND One Small Stride at a Time

Who are they becoming?

Becoming KIND One Small Stride at a Time

None of us ever imagined the start of the summer would look quite like this. Most kids have been out of school or daycare for weeks already. Pools are closed. Travel plans have halted. And the cancellation of fairs and festivals leaves a void that the smell of kettle corn, sunscreen, and hot grease once filled. This situation is less than ideal. But, the worst of times brings out the best in people! Our little Strider riders are no exception.

We know that learning to ride isn’t JUST about the end goal of pedaling, but about everything children gain in the process. From the moment your baby sits on a Strider seat, they are gaining strength and confidence. They experience failure and success. They are becoming determined. They get discouraged by fear and learn to overcome it. They are becoming brave. They learn the thrill of taking risks and the wisdom in slowing down. They are becoming balanced. Riding a bike allows them to make a connection with others, nature, and themselves. They are becoming kind. These skills and character traits spill into the rest of their life as they continue to grow and have new experiences.

Whether it is singing from balconies, making signs for loved ones in assisted living, delivering meals to people in need, or sending letters to those in isolation, we have seen so many examples of how the world is becoming KIND. If we pay close attention, children are often the instigators of small, random acts of kindness. We see Strider riders all the time giving high fives, helping each other up hills, and taking breaks to sit together and share snacks. At Strider, we want to keep that kindness momentum going, both on and off the bike. We have put together suggestions for ways to show kindness and empathy to those around us. The world, right now, is depending on us all becoming the best we can be.

Let’s continue becoming kind together! For the month of July, join us for a game of KINDNESS BINGO.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS:

  1. Download and print the KINDNESS BINGO card.
  2. Place numbers 1 -24 randomly in each empty square of the KINDNESS BINGO card.
  3. Each number has a correlating act of kindness.
  4. Check Strider’s FB and Instagram stories every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, beginning July 1st. We will “call out” one bingo number.
  5. Find the correlating act of kindness, and do it together as a family. Then, put an X over that number on your KINDNESS BINGO card.
  6. Keep playing until your family gets a BINGO!!
  7. Share your family’s stories and progress with #becomingkind or on our social media platforms @striderbikes.

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Strider Homeschool

Strider Homeschool

Strider Homeschool

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More kids on bikes, thanks to you!

One percent of your purchase gives another kiddo the opportunity to learn to ride a bike through the Strider Rider Fund.

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