Written by Emily Brown on August 5, 2020. Posted in All, Stuff and Whatnot
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Written by Emily Brown on August 3, 2020. Posted in All, Parents are Talking
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.
“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
“We did a photoshoot with my son and his Strider.” – Victor Clementi
“Stay Home Activity – Strip down and learn the part various parts of a Strider. Rebuild it with Daddy.” – Martin Sng
“Our unfinished basement has been a lifesaver! We set up little orange cones.” – Lindsay Solie
“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.
Written by Emily Brown on August 3, 2020. Posted in All, Featured, Parents are Talking
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?
Written by Emily Brown on July 29, 2020. Posted in All, Featured, Parents are Talking
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:
Written by Emily Brown on July 29, 2020. Posted in All, Stuff and Whatnot
Written by Emily Ashley on July 23, 2020. Posted in All, Parents are Talking
By Charlie Brumbaugh, Quality Control & Fabrication at Strider World Headquarters
If you had told me that my kids would be in the top two in their class at the State BMX Championships and that it would stem from the beginning confidence and balance derived from riding a Strider Bike, I would have giggled. From this simple little bike with no pedals? C’mon!
My wife and I watched our boys get back up…again, and again. They bravely tried bigger and better things on two wheels. We watched, cringed, and dressed wounds beginning with our oldest son’s first face plant into the gravel in our cul-de-sac after bombing down from our yard above. We looked at each other knowingly. We invested in full-faced helmets right away to prevent massive dental bills.
Strider Cup races were loved, but only after they got over all of the other hurdles. Just showing up on any given day could be the hurdle. Going up to the start gate could be the hurdle. Going down the ramp from the gate start with the other racers could be the hurdle.
All of these hurdles were battled. Sometimes they lost, and nervousness and uncertainty won the day. Eventually, they became more DETERMINED and took off like a rocket, placing in the top three for a trophy. Pedal bikes quickly followed for the fun of going faster, farther, and breaking earth’s gravity if only for a little distance.
Since that time, we have cruised across neighboring states racing BMX first as novices, then as intermediates, and finally as experts. I don’t think any of us could have guessed how fun it could be to race at all of the different tracks and visit all of the various cities. After watching my sons at a national race a couple of years back, a realization came to me. What other sport do kids as young as three-years-old compete on the same day, on the same track as the paid professionals and Olympic medalists? How cool is that?!
But why stop there? We live in a mountain bike mecca! We, of course, needed more bikes. We got more mountain bikes to add to our collection of two wheels that already filled the garage. Mountain biking provided more opportunities to race but also provided adventures in the beautiful outdoors where we live and in other states where mountain biking and mecca are synonymous. Since my wife and I were already mountain bikers, we could now ride as a family, although she and I are much less likely to huck it off of something big like the boys are. Gravity is less kind to us.
Not all, but most of this lifestyle could be blamed on falling in love with riding on two wheels, and my boys becoming ever more DETERMINED to grow, overcome hurdles, and test their limits. I’m quite certain of that.
Strider Bikes helps children proudly become who they are.
Written by Emily Brown on March 9, 2020. Posted in All, Featured, Parents are Talking
My daughter never once corrected her 1st-grade teacher, who pronounced her name wrong the entire school year. She was so quiet, her teacher admitted to sometimes forgetting about her. While my daughter liked school and stayed engaged with the work, she preferred to go unnoticed, a little wallflower sitting cross-legged on the alphabet rug in the back of the room.
This worried me at the time. My daughter’s pint-sized demeanor seemed a far cry from the emboldened toddler who, with hair knotted and wild in diapers and bare toes, fearlessly grabbed our pet chickens with both hands and corralled them into her radio flyer wagon. She had zero reservations. More than once, we chased her down the block, shorts and T-shirt in hand, as she barreled through the neighborhood on her pink Strider Bike in Dora undies (with a helmet, because, safety). That pink, pedal-less Strider Bike was straddled between her chubby baby legs when she could barely walk. Maybe it was the speed with which she could travel or the stability it allowed her to tap in to, but that bike ignited her inner heroine. She and my son would ride their Strider Bikes, side by side, wearing superhero capes. Complete strangers would snap photos of them as they cruised through the park. Because she spent so much time on her little Strider, she transitioned to a pedal bike before she could correctly use a toilet. As an avid mountain biker, when I posted the video of her pedaling for the first time on Facebook, the caption read, “My daughter learned to ride a bike before she could poop in the toilet. Priorities. I couldn’t be more proud.” To which, one friend commented, “Nothing like a woman in charge of her life.” Her spirit was unabashed, and watching her brought me so much joy.
I, like many girls growing up, struggled to find my voice and find a way to exist unapologetically outside strict standards of beauty and value placed on women.
I battled disordered eating and intense body shame. I married quite young and spent years grappling with what it really meant to be a strong, independent woman. As I continued to age, I made it a point to be brave and to voice my opinions. I read books on women’s issues. I went to therapy. I said yes to group mountain bike rides with people I assumed were much stronger than me. I entered races. My bike, too, was a place I could resurrect my inner balance, strength, and courage. I decided I wanted to do my best to demonstrate, for both my son and daughter, that worth does not have to be measured by outside standards and expectations. Each of us must own our inherent value and foster and embrace the qualities that make us ourselves.
I thought I had made a great deal of progress. Until, my daughter, now in 3rd grade, emphatically declared that she wanted to shave her head. Over the last year, she had started to return to herself. No longer the docile girl in the back of the room. She had gone from afraid to talk out loud in class to throwing her hand up at every opportunity to let her voice fill the room, bounce off walls, seep through door jams and window seals, and make its way out to the edges of the playground and into the world. I was proud to witness how my once bold toddler, racing and howling through the neighborhood on her Strider Bike, now, was becoming a bold elementary school girl running for student council every chance she gets, speech in hand, even though she has yet to win. And still, my automatic response to her daring hairstyle request was no.
For months she persisted. I asked her why she wanted to shave her head. Where did the idea come from? To me, she never gave a satisfactory answer. She asked me why I wouldn’t let her. What’s the big deal? To her, I never gave a satisfactory answer either. Even if I had told her all the reasons swirling in my head – she would look like a boy, people might assume she was sick, she wouldn’t look cute, essentially, she wouldn’t be complying to the expectations of what it means to look like a girl – she would still be right. My reasoning was flawed. Even though I was more steeped in stereotypes than I would like to admit, she was free, wild, unapologetic, and becoming ever more bold, despite me.
I relented, caught in my own hypocrisy. My hesitation turned to admiration. My renegade daughter is everything I have ever wanted to be! Let’s do this, I thought eagerly to myself. I went to her, careful to veil the emotional rabbit hole I had been down to come to this conclusion. I was met with a shrug of the shoulders and an apathetic suggestion to wait until it’s warmer, and a “maybe I’ll just shave the sides.”
When my daughter was 5 years old, I took her on a bikepacking trip. We loaded sleeping bags, a tent, and food on our bikes (me pulling a trailer to lighten her load) and headed into the forest to spend the night. Just the two of us. The ride was fairly tough for a little one, but she didn’t complain much. She Just asked for a lot of breaks to dip her toes in the water and consider how far we’d come. We really have come so far.
My renegade daughter is everything I have ever wanted to be!
My daughter’s bike no longer just takes her around the block, but to the coffee shop where she likes to buy homemade Nutella pop tarts and to the fish hatchery to use her saved quarters for fish food. When she babysits her little cousin, she puts him on his Strider Bike and shows him how it is done. As she goes from elementary school, to middle school (lord help her!), and beyond, I hope we will continue to grab our bikes, go out, and restore our courage to be bold with this life; because those two wheels are what helped us find it in the first place.
We have yet to go get my daughter’s head shaved. It’s no matter. I love her the way she is, hair or no hair. It wasn’t really about the hair, or her for that matter. It wasn’t really her who was BECOMING BOLD this whole time, it was me.
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.
Written by Emily Brown on February 4, 2020. Posted in All, Featured, Stuff and Whatnot
Every parent wants their child to have the freedom to be truly themself. As your child grows, you probably start to notice all of the ways it is increasingly difficult for them to do so. In a world with glossy magazine pages, social media perfection, and contrived advertising suggesting that worth is measured in “likes” and pre-set standards, becoming oneself takes courage, confidence, grit, and resilience. That’s where Strider comes in.
We know that learning to ride isn’t JUST about the end goal of pedaling, but about everything children gain in the process.
Think back to the day you became a parent and scooped that tiny, squishy baby into your arms for the first time. You looked down and felt like you could stare at that miraculous face forever. Do you remember the thoughts that were swirling through your head? Besides the basic, “what the heck do I do now?” panic, you probably thought about what kinds of things your child would laugh at, or what their favorite color would be. Maybe you wondered what they would love to do, and felt excited about everything you would one day teach them. What would they be afraid of? What would they be passionate about? You looked down into those brand new eyes and wondered who this astonishing, bitsy baby would one day become. Your life has never been the same since.
That adorable baby started to grow…fast! Parenting is hard and exhausting, and not every day feels as magical as that first. In the beginning, you are constantly busy making sure they don’t eat a marble or crawl off a ledge. Then, you start teaching them colors and how to count. You want to help them hit all of their developmental milestones. You want them to be healthy and happy. You want them to be able to become whatever they want to be. Whatever new stage your child is in, a new parenting stage is initiated. You are both on an unmapped journey together.
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. As children are becoming middle schoolers that turn into teens and eventually leaders in our world, we know that the confidence, determination, and courage that learning to ride instilled is a part of who they are becoming.
Watching your child go from a tiny bundle cozied in the crease of your elbow to a rambunctious toddler racing their Strider Bike down the driveway to whatever else lies ahead, is a wild ride! We hope that you can embrace the imperfect journey that is parenthood. Strider Bikes helps children develop the fortitude it takes to be who they are proudly. As you witness every day what your child is becoming, we hope that you can allow yourself the grace to also continue to grow with them.
Written by Emily Brown on January 22, 2020. Posted in All, Parents are Talking, Product Releases
It’s hard to say who gets hit with winter cabin fever worse, parents or kids. Our guess is parents.
The bouncing off of walls, tearing up the house, and bugging siblings probably bothers kids a lot less than parents. A weekend stuck inside with small children can feel like a nasty practical joke. Yet, on the other hand, suiting them up for outdoor winter play can seem like a lofty task. By the time the socks, mittens, snow pants, hats, boots, and coats are on, parents end up with a sore back and a kid that needs to go to the bathroom. We know you are a good parent and want the best for your children. You already know that outdoor play is good for your kids. 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.
Playing outside in the winter is one of the best ways to avoid germs. People tend to congregate inside when the weather gets nippy. Turns out, winter germs prefer the indoors as well. This is a formula for sniffly (or worse) kids and extra work for parents who care for them. Not only will your kiddos be escaping germs when they play outside, but they will get a little extra Vitamin D which is important for healthy bones, a stronger immune system, and an increased amount of serotonin in the brain which helps boost their mood. Even a little bit of sunshine goes a long way. A healthy kid in a good mood?! That’s the stuff parenting dreams are made of.
When kids go outside to play, they usually don’t just sit around. They run, skip, jump, build, crawl, throw, and hang. It may not seem like it to them, but they are getting great exercise. From decreased anxiety to gross-motor development, kids get zillions of benefits from moving their bodies. But, let’s focus on one that directly benefits parents as well – sleep. In his article, “Your Kid’s Brain on Exercise,” R. Morgan Griffin says, “Kids who exercise regularly fall asleep faster than other kids. They also stay asleep longer. The more vigorous the activity, the bigger the sleep benefit. Getting enough sleep lifts moods, improves judgment, and boosts memory.” A parent with a soundly sleeping baby is a happy parent!
The struggle for parents to monitor and limit screentime is an ever-increasing uphill battle. The conflict leaves many parents feeling exhausted and even a bit guilty. When kids play outside, it’s an opportunity to unplug from screens and connect to nature. When playing outside in the winter, kids can make discoveries and observations that cannot be made at other times of the year. This sparks curiosity and excitement. It is harder to convince kids to go outside and play when they have spent four months inside on a screen. Getting outside regularly keeps their enthusiasm alive. The more kids enjoy being outside, the more they want to be outside, the more the whole family reaps the benefits.
Now that you are ready to bundle your kids up and take them out, let us recommend the best winter activity since S’mores around a bonfire – Strider Snow Skis. Your children’s bikes do not have to collect dust and frost in the shed all winter. Strider Snow Skis turn everyone’s favorite summer activity into their favorite winter one too! The Snow Skis strap on to the wheels of all Strider 12” Bikes, and now, the Strider 14x as well!
Part bike, part sled, part winter powder pony, these Snow Skis are a winter play must-have. They are easy to put on the bike and require no tools because we know you’ve already spent enough time and energy getting your kids ready to go out. Take your new snowmobile to glide through parks, over hard-packed trails, or to the local sledding hill. If you want to make a full day of it, some ski lodges allow Strider Bikes with skis on the bunny/beginner slopes. There are so many adventures to be had with Strider Snow Skis. While your little one is out shredding, they will also be continuing to build balance, core stability, and coordination so their riding skills don’t go into winter hibernation. The truth is, when you take time to play outside with your family, no matter the weather, you (almost) never regret it.
Written by Emily Brown on January 9, 2020. Posted in All, Featured, Parents are Talking, Product Releases
At some point, every new parent has hobbled down a shopping aisle, delirious from sleep deprivation, shirt stained with spit-up and mushed peas, half-heartedly trying to comfort their screaming baby while simultaneously checking their shopping list, when a complete stranger stops them and says something like, “enjoy them while they’re young, time flies.”
In that particular moment, you probably had a hard time believing that one day your crying baby was going to learn to ride a balance bike, then a pedal bike, and eventually get behind the wheel of a car and drive off into the big, wide world.
There are so many “firsts” to witness as a parent, from first words to the first day of kindergarten. One of childhood’s most momentous firsts is the FIRST BIKE. A bike marks the beginning of countless lasting childhood memories made. There will be first scrapes and bumps, first strides, first failures and successes, and their first taste of freedom as they start to sail through park paths and neighborhoods. There will be first attempts at balancing with no feet and riding off jumps. There will be rides with siblings and parents, new places explored, and pit stops to collect rocks, flowers, and bugs. There will be lots of laughs and giggles, as well as break downs and temper tantrums. The memories collected on those two wheels are too many to count, and time WILL fly, and their adoring toddler eyes and wide smiles will soon turn to teenage eye rolls and slammed doors.
At Strider, we know riding a bike is a paramount part of childhood and is instrumental in building confidence, determination, and courage.
Children bond with their first bike in a way that is unique to them. Each scratch, ding, and scrape has a story to tell. The Memory Mount was created as a way to help keep those stories alive. Instead of passing your child’s first bike down, you can proudly have it “retired” and let it display all the milestones reached. What kid wouldn’t love retelling the legendary tales of the nicks, dents, thumps, and feats their bike has had? The Memory Mount not only displays their first Strider Bike but organizes mementos and keepsakes. From medals earned to souvenirs from adventures had, you have it all together to help keep those memories fresh in your mind for years to come. Whether your little one is ACTUALLY little and just learning to stride or has grown out of their first Strider Bike, it’s never too early or too late to appreciate, savor, and preserve the moments from these darling early years. Hang their well-loved bike in the playroom, garage, or bedroom and let it be a reminder of how far your kiddo and you have come.
SHOP MEMORY MOUNT
2221 N. Plaza Dr., Rapid City, SD 57702. Merchant outlet is US based.