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Family Bonding: 9 Ways to Bond by Bike

Balance Bike Family Progression

Family Bonding: 9 Ways to Bond by Bike

Life moves fast. You’ve welcomed this new, tiny little bundle of love into your life. You’re tired and red-eyed but managed to get a few loads of laundry done, a couple of dinners cooked, and answered a few emails. Then, suddenly, your kid is turning nine. How does that happen?

The busyness of life can put a strain on your relationship with your kids. Spending quality time together can be challenging. And, let’s be honest, they aren’t always a bundle of joy.

Are you noticing that more of your evenings and weekends are spent shuttling your kids and yelling at them to clean their room or put down their phones than actually hanging out with them? You’re not alone! Maybe it’s time to shake things up a bit. Our suggestion – take a trip out to the shed and dust off your bikes.

At first glance, it may seem like riding bikes together is a simplistic solution to strained family relationships. But, look deeper. Engaging in activities with our loved ones strengthens emotional bonds that are vital for children’s development. Even teenagers! Riding bikes together can offer a marked improvement in family relationships and hits SO MANY birds with one stone. Trip planning, exploring, challenges, laughing, new experiences, exercise, and fresh air are but a few of the emotional, physical, and spiritual benefits of bike riding. It’s so much more than just a bike ride.

One thing is pretty much a given. Your kids will fight you at first. If not, can we have your kids? Push through! It won’t take long before they are trying to hide their smiles and even start looking forward to rolling together. You don’t have to tell them you’re healing relationships and strengthening emotional bonds. Some things are better left unsaid. Here are nine ways to use bikes to bond with your family.

Dad and Kids riding Strider Balance Bikes

Get to Know Your Community 

Traveling by bike offers a unique opportunity to see your local community with a fresh perspective. It is a perfect occasion for children to learn to navigate the town. Make it a point to indicate landmarks, buildings, and crosswalks. This will build confidence when it comes time to commute by themselves, and they’ll be less likely to get lost. On your bike, you’ll end up seeing things you never noticed when driving through your neighborhood. Has this road always had so many potholes?

Practice Setting Goals

Whether it’s aiming for a certain mileage or attempting a challenging obstacle, setting goals can help create focus and encourage your kids to keep going. And, while you’re at it, set a goal for yourself too and let your kids hold you accountable. What an awesome experience to encourage each other to attempt and even achieve your goals, big or small, together. It’s the stuff movies are made of, only it’s your real life!

Choose a DestinationStrider Bikes Riding Along the Canyon

When it comes to getting out for a ride, kids tend to do better when they have a specific goal in mind. Choose a destination and include other non-riding activities. Choose a park, an ice cream shop, a historical site, or even a friend’s house as a destination. To keep kids engaged, include walking around to look at things, hiking to overlooks, or collecting treasures along the way. Even though sometimes it can complicate the process, get your kids involved with the planning. They can help with bike checks, reading maps, keeping track of stats on a bike computer, or packing necessary treats. When that process starts to get tedious and annoying (because – kids), repeat to yourself – family bonding is the goal, family bonding is the goal…

Practice Tricks in the Backyard

Every outing doesn’t need to be a major excursion. Bonding by bike can be as simple as going into the backyard to practice skills or tricks for a bit. See how long you can balance on a bike without putting your feet down. Practice wheelies, then laugh about how hard they actually are. Get a ramp or just put down a flat board and practice riding over. Maybe you try bunny hops or coming to a fast stop. Don’t take it too seriously. Laugh. All the while, both you and the kiddos are building skills that will help build confidence and ensure a lifelong love of riding bikes.

Mom and Daughter on Strider Balance BIkesFamily Trips

Going on one of those famous family road trips? Take your bikes along! We won’t pretend that getting the bikes loaded on a rack and gathering the extra helmets and tools in addition to everything else isn’t a pain in the butt. But you’ll thank us later. It’s totally worth it. Use rest stops as a chance to get on your bikes, stretch the legs, and wear out the kids so they will hopefully stop fighting. There are a lot of towns that are focusing on creating family-friendly bike trails and paths. Look them up and stop on your way through. And, if you’re feeling adventurous, let the kids take pictures and document the cool bike trails. They might have an interesting perspective. But, maybe get a cheap, durable digital camera. No one wants the trip highlight to be when dad lost it over a broken iPhone.

Explore Local OfferingsFamily on Strider Balance Bikes

Have you ever made good use of what your local community has to offer? Utilize the bike path. Check to see if there are skate parks or pump tracks in your town. These are great places to explore on a bike without having to travel far. Consider it your tax dollar payout in family bonding.

Go For a Jog

Sometimes the best way to relieve stress and clear your head is some good, vigorous exercise. And, let’s face it, jogger strollers make running so much harder. With a Strider Bike, even the smallest of toddlers can scoot along at a decent clip. You can work out a little tension, and your little one can work off some energy. Now, you can use naptime to read a good book (isn’t our optimism adorable). You will be spending time together (other than cleaning their messes) and instilling a love for bikes early. It’s a win, win, win, win.

Head to the Sled Hill

Not every day is sunny, blues skies, and singing birds. Snow comes too, and when it does, we’ve got you covered. Attach the Snow Skis Set to the tires of a Strider Bike. BAM! Snow bike. Head to your local sledding hill and let your kiddos show off their biking skills. For you and your older children, check out bikes with fat tires specifically made for riding in the snow. Snow biking is becoming increasingly popular, and some towns are even grooming trails. Family bonding doesn’t have to hibernate during the winter months.

2019 Strider Cup LA Live Participate in Events

When your family loves riding together, it’s hard to shut up about it. Going to bike races and events is the best way to meet other families who share your passion. With Strider Bikes, you become part of a close-knit club. Furthermore, you get access to all the amazing Strider events happening around the globe! The merriest way to bond, not just with your family, but with other families who are as committed to life on two wheels and togetherness as you are. As your toddlers become young adults, you can find races to enter and ride together. We’re not crying; you’re crying!

If riding a bike was just that, we wouldn’t have such a passion for getting more kids and families on bikes. We know first hand how transformative those two wheels can be for individual growth and strong family connection. Science calls it family cohesion. We call it a darn good time!

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Kids Don’t Know How to Ride a Bike Anymore

There are tons of valid reasons your kiddo doesn’t ride a bike. We get it! Life is crazy busy, and you have a lot on your plate. Traditionally, learning to ride a bike has been hard and teaching even harder. Who wants to spend the weekend fighting to get their kid on a bike? It turns out, not many. According to the National Sporting Goods Association, in the last ten years, there’s been a 35% drop in kids riding bikes for fun. Bikes ARE fun, and when kids aren’t riding, they are missing out.

Boy and Girl on Strider SportLuckily, Strider has invented and perfected the most simple, effective, and wicked cool ways to get your kids on a bike. There is a complete progression that takes your kid from drooling on themselves to drooling over their bike before they are out of diapers (sorry, we can’t help with potty training though). Let’s take a look at some of the obstacles you face as a parent when it comes to getting your kiddo started on a bike and ways to alleviate the stress. 

Obstacle: You don’t have time! 

Girl on green Strider Sport

Strider Solution: Of course, you don’t have an entire weekend to dedicate to coaxing your child onto a bike. That’s a lot of pressure. Plus, you don’t have that kind of patience; you’re not a saint! Strider Bikes take the work out of it, we promise! You can start them early. It’s as easy as handing them the bike and letting them get on and walk around. The rest comes totally naturally. Plus, we offer a Learn-To-Ride Guide that breaks down every progression. It’s easy, and you’ll still have plenty of time to get all your laundry done (we know how most weekends go).

Obstacle: You are not sure where to start or how to teach. 

Brothers on Strider 14x SportStrider Solution: First step, ditch the training wheels! By ditch, we mean destroy (or just throw them in the trash). They are making this bike riding thing WAY TOO HARD. Isn’t the point to have fun? The second step, choose an age-appropriate Strider and download the Learn-to-Ride Guide. We’ll tell you everything you need to know (and that’s not much). Honestly, your kiddo will likely teach themselves.

Obstacle: You live in a place without easy access to outdoor spaces.

Kid going off ramp on Strider SportStrider Solution:  Typical children’s bikes are clunky and heavy with awkward training wheels. Strider Bikes are made to be light and portable enough that even your barely walking toddler can maneuver with ease. Take that thing with you everywhere you want your little bean to keep up with you – the grocery store, furniture shopping, or mall walking. Heck, let them ride in the living room or basement. Now, if we could only figure out how they could bring their bike on a long flight.

Obstacle: You are worried about your child’s safety. Either traffic concerns or hard tumbles on the cement.

Strider Solution: As for traffic concerns, refer to the solution above. It’s worth saying again; these bikes can go almost anywhere. And, when it comes to tumbles and crashes, sure, accidents happen. You can start on the grass or carpet until you are both more confident. Make sure your kiddo always wears a helmet. For extra protection, check out our elbow and knee pads and riding gloves.

Obstacle: Your child prefers a scooter.

Strider Solution: Kids love scooters, and we don’t blame them. Especially the ones with the jet pack (those are real, right?). Both kids and parents tend to gravitate towards the scooter because they are perceived to be easier to learn and give immediate freedom. Don’t be fooled. In the long run, scooters won’t get kids as far or offer lifelong opportunities for riding. And, as you know by now, Striders are easy. Kids master the art of striding, then pedaling, practically without trying.

Brother and Sister on Strider 14x SportIt’s not too often that obstacles are this easy to overcome. You do a lot of hard things every day. There’s no need to make getting your kid on a bike one of those. Start with the Rocking Base. Your baby can literally start as soon as they sit up. Then, when your little love bug starts walking, pop the bike off the base, and, walla, you have yourself a 12” balance bike. It’s the awesome-sauce! The grand finale is the 14x. It starts as a balance bike and can magically transform into a pedal bike with the Easy-Ride Pedal Conversion Kit. If your kid is already out of diapers (congratulations!), or maybe even in grade school and hasn’t ridden a bike, no sweat, there’s no better time to start than now. Go easy on yourself. Get a Strider, get your kiddo rolling, and prepare yourself for a huge spike in family fun. At this rate, the next ten years will bring a 100% decrease in frustration with getting kids on bikes.

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Strider Racing with Pepe Montano

 

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From new rider to the savants of stride, Strider Cup races truly are for everyone to enjoy. Both beginner and professional will be in the crowds and inside the ropes at our Fort Worth race this Saturday. Luckily one of the pros isn’t there to race – but his son is! Pepe Montano has been a professional race car driver for over 27 years, and this year he is excited to bring his 2-year-old son Mateo to race in the Strider Cup.

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Pepe Montano had a long racing career participating in series including NASCAR Mexico and the Grand Am.  Now though, he’s taking time to slow down (just a little) and enjoy family time with his wife, Angie, and their two-year-old son, Mateo. While the pace has slowed, it’s just the first lap for little Mateo, who has recognized that racing is in his blood. At only one-year and two-months-old, most babies are still working on walking, but Mateo was ready to ride. Mateo started cruising on his Strider just after he turned one; which means he can officially say he has been racing for over half his life! With a silver 12 Pro and a blue 12 Sport to choose from, Mateo likes them both equally, because choosing from either means he gets to ride. We caught up with Pepe and asked a few questions about raising a little racer:

Strider: I saw you took Mateo skiing recently, how fun!! What are other activities that you hope to share with Mateo as he gets older?            

Montano: We love motocross and skiing, but I want to push Mateo to do whatever he loves to do. He will always have my support.

Strider: What does training look like for a 2-year-old?

Montano: We put him on the Strider every time he wants but don’t want to put pressure on him. The good news is that he is on the Strider every day because he wants to be.

Strider: Do you have any advice for new racers?

Montano: My advice for new racers is always be happy about what they do, be disciplined, persevere, and always believe in themselves.

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Our passion is inspiring the next generation of riders, and we love when parents support that love of riding with their own children because riding truly does change everything. Look for Pepe and Mateo at the Strider Cup Race this Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas. Be sure to give him a high-five, wish him luck, and ring your cowbells for all the riders making waves on their Striders! For more information on the Strider Cup ft. Worth Racing event please visit http://strdr.us/24 

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World Strider Day Randomly Selected Winners!

It’s our tenth anniversary and we’re giving away ten prizes to Strider parents from around the globe! The 2017 Strider World Strider Day Photo Contest had almost 200 entries from seventeen countries. The randomly selected winners are below, and all of the entries can be found on our Flickr page.

If you see your photo below you will receive an email notification with more information by next week. A huge thanks to everyone who entered…if you didn’t win make sure to keep snapping photos and send them in for the monthly photo contest and the Where Has Your Strider Taken You contest.

awebUSA

USA

bwebItaly

Italy

cwebCanada

Canada

dwebThailand

Thailand

ewebHongKong

Hong Kong

fwebCostaRica

Costa Rica

gwebUSA

USA

hwebUSA

USA

iwebsizeUSA

USA

jwebUK

UK

 

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A Tale of Two Sons: Transition to Pedal

Guest Blog by Tammy Billings

My husband and I have two boys, who are sixteen and five years old. The transition to a pedal bike without training wheels couldn’t have been more different. 

Strider, with their no-pedal bikes, turned our youngest son into an instant, bike-riding success story.  They taught him balance… which is really the key to riding a bike.  They gave him the confidence of a big kid, when he took off without training wheels, on the Big Boy Bike.

Here are their stories…

Frustration with the Oldest

When our older son was a preschooler, we bought him a bicycle for his birthday that had training wheels and a giant superhero shield on the handlebars.  He rode it everywhere we went, until he was simply too big for it any longer.  With an upcoming birthday, we bought him a bigger bike, and my husband and I spent an entire weekend devoted to Operation Learn to Ride.  We held the back of our son’s bike seat, and took turns jogging beside him, as he wobbled back and forth, and tipped over more times than either one of us could count.  We may have thrown our hands into the air repeatedly and declared, “He’s NEVER going to get this!  He’s going to be the only college kid on his campus who can’t ride a bike!” 

By the end of the weekend, we all high-fived one another, admired our well-toned calf muscles from all the running, and proclaimed our son to be a proficient bike rider.

We went to work on Monday morning, to rest and recover.  We had jogged beside that little blue bicycle for what felt like three consecutive marathons, before the wobbling and wrecking turned into a smooth, balanced ride.

New start with the youngest

Years later, it was time to buy our second son a tiny bike.  Some friends of ours recommended a brand called Strider.  My husband and I had never heard of Strider bikes before.  We were a little skeptical about the fact that these bikes… um… HAD NO PEDALS. What kind of bike didn’t have pedals on it?Tammy blog photo cropped 

Our friends insisted that their sons had skipped training wheels altogether, as they’d gone straight from their Strider bikes to big-kid bikes.  So… we bought one.  It was tiny and blue.  Our two-year-old loved helping his dad unpack the bike’s parts from the big birthday box, so they could put it together.  Once he sat down, he was completely smitten with it.

I still scrunched my brow and thought, “Is this even a REAL bike, without the pedals?”  But… he loved it, and off he went.  He was thrilled and content.

For the next three years, our little man rode that blue Strider.  He put enough miles on it to circle the globe twenty-seven times.  His balance improved so much, he was like a little mountain goat riding that bike. 

He could cruise along the sidewalks faster than his friends, who were using bikes with pedals and training wheels.  A few moms asked me, “Do his tiny little legs get tired on that bike?”  They didn’t seem to. 

He was so fast on that Strider, he became known as the Neighborhood Blur.

When he turned four, his grandparents bought him the Big Boy Bike. It was bright orange, with pedals.  It had training wheels.  He tried it out, and he liked it… but he couldn’t go as fast on it as he could on his Strider.  The training wheels created entirely too much drag, and his race times were flailing.  He gave up the Big Boy Bike, to go back to his Strider.  Faster is always better in our boy’s mind.

When he was four, we traveled through the Black Hills, in South Dakota,  and stopped at the end of the trip at a mall, where we saw a bunch of tiny little Strider Bikes set up on a race course.  We knew we had a long car ride ahead of us, so we told him to grab a bike and go.

He did.

As soon as he took off… like a fired shot from the starting line… the attendant said, “Um… He has one of our bikes at home, doesn’t he?”  Yes.  Yes, he did.  Our preschooler whipped through the Strider race course there in the mall like a professional.  He was given a little yellow ribbon when he was done, which he carried with him FOR WEEKS afterward, until it was crumpled and crushed.  He was as proud of that little yellow ribbon as an athlete is with an Olympic gold medal.

Youngest transitions with ease

This spring, our little man turned five.  I told my husband that we should take the training wheels off his Big Boy Bike, and give it a go, as soon as they were done raking some leaves around our driveway.  We have good friends who have a little girl who is four and a half.  She had just learned to ride her Big Girl Bike the previous weekend, after two years on her pink Strider.  She was the tiniest, cutest thing ever, riding a real bike without training wheels. 

After the previous, difficult experience with our older son, we psyched ourselves up for another weekend of running alongside our boy, helping him to balance and learn to ride.

Fifteen minutes later, my husband came inside and I asked him if he was ready to dismantle the training wheels.  He replied, “Yeah… I already did that.  He took off riding.  He did great.”

I was stunned.

The training wheels came off.  Our little boy, who had just turned five a couple of weeks earlier, sat down on the bike… and he pedaled off into the sunset.  There was no running beside him. There was no holding his Big Boy Bike, while he got his balance figured out.  Because that balance part?  He’d been doing that all along on his Strider! 

We had no idea that it was going to translate into him not needing his parents to help him ride a bike without training wheels!  He really and truly got on that big bike… balanced it like he’d been born doing it… and rode off down the street.

Strider saved us from an entire weekend of jogging beside a little bicycle, while we held onto the back of our son’s seat.  Strider took a parenting tradition away from us, which parents have been doing since the invention of the two-wheeled bike.  We wanted to clap and throw confetti everywhere!!  Our only regret is that our sixteen-year-old son had never gotten the privilege of owning a Strider bicycle. 

Difference a Strider Bike makes

Strider, honestly, makes learning to ride a bike simple.  They make kids immediately feel good about themselves.

Thank you, Strider.  We have recommended your bikes to every parent of young kids we know now.  Our friends with the four- year-old daughter said she learned to ride her Big Girl Bike the exact same way. 

Her mother even boldly said that Strider Bikes should be a standard gift for every baby shower thrown!  I couldn’t agree more!

Well done, Strider.  Well done.

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Tammy Billings

  Guest blogger: Tammy Billings is a mother of two. You can find additional musings at her blog https://www.jedi-mama.com/.

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Three Brothers and Their Well Loved Strider!

 This is the story of a very well loved Strider and its three proud owners!

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From left to right: Rhett (youngest), Trey (oldest), and Carter (middle)

all started riding on the same first generation green Strider ST-1!

 

It all started in the Spring of 2010 when Trey was 3 years old his Mom found a little bike without pedals. She says, “I was skeptical that it would be a ‘beginner’ bike and as soon as the kids learned to balance they would be on to a pedal bike, and the Strider would be obsolete for them. This wasn’t the case at all. They all (yes, even my 10 year old) still love the Strider Bike!”

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Trey – 2010

“My kids were 3, 2, and 18 months when they started riding the Strider, and they loved being able to keep up with older kids on pedal bikes.” Two of the boys (Trey and Carter), “never rode a bike with training wheels. They wouldn’t even get on a pedal bike until we took the training wheels off! If I had known how well they were made, and how many years we would get out of our Strider, I wouldn’t have waited so long to buy one!”

 

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Carter – 2015

After seven years, one Strider has taught two boys, and another “ten counting daycare kids, cousins, and friends! I was so hesitant because I felt like it was a beginner bike, and they would need to upgrade right away, and that’s just not cost effective. Boy was I wrong!”

 

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Rhett – 2016

“Our youngest just turned two and I’m sure that as soon as he can reach the pedals on his big brothers’ bikes, he will be off!” Until then he’ll be riding his recently upgraded Strider 12″ Sport that showed up at his door (above)! Can’t wait to hear about his future success, and to check back in with this Strider 7 years from now!

 

At Strider we love riding bikes, and we love encouraging kids to ride! We love hearing your success stories, and seeing amazing pictures of Strider riders from around the globe. Share your stories and photos with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To share your best photos you can enter our monthly calendar contest HERE. If you’re taking your Strider on vacation with you this Summer make sure to keep the “Where Has Your Strider Taken You” contest in mind for your truly epic shots!

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Photography Tips for Strider Parents!

Whether it’s on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter account we see a ton of photos from proud Strider parents! Honestly, it’s one of the best parts about our jobs. Our top 3 list of favorite photos is: 1. Smiling Strider riders 2. Strider staff members riding bikes 3. Puppies (because, puppies).

All of the photos that are posted on our wall or tagged with #StrideOn are amazing snippets of the global Strider story. In the last 10 years we’ve also taken a lot of photos at events, in studio, and even of our own kids when they come visit us at work. In this post we’ve put together some easy ways to improve your photos whether they’re for your family photo album, the monthly Strider Calendar Contest, or the recently announced “Where Has Your Strider Taken You” 10th anniversary photo contest. 

Hopefully you’ll find these tips useful whether you have a $5000 DSLR, a point and shoot, or you’re primarily taking pictures with your phone.

PhotoGuide11. Get down low – Do you want a photo of your Strider riders beautiful smiling face or the top of their helmet? If you get down to eye level you’re sure to capture a more interesting image then standing at fullheight, shooting towards the ground. Feeling really adventurous? Kneel or even lay on the ground for a unique photo perspective.

 

 

 

 

 

RuleOfThirds2. Rule of thirds  Many photographers will cite the “Rule of Thirds” as the basis for a well balanced photo. Imagine breaking down your image into thirds (horizontally and vertically). By placing the main subject of the photo at intersections the viewer is naturally drawn to a focal point and there is plenty of room left in the photo to give context to the image. You can do this by intentionally framing shots while taking them or afterwards in photoshop or other editing software. 

 

3. Flash On – When you are outside…yes, you did read that right! You can manually switch the flash on your DSLR or the camera on your phone. It will even out the shadows cast by that helmet they are wearing to protect that sweet little brain of theirs.

 

PuddleSplash4. Anticipate – Watch where your Strider rider is heading and you will catch the perfect moment! 

 

5. Photos in Motion – The faster the shutter speed, the easier it is to stop the action in front of you. Most DSLR or a point and shoot digital camera will have a “sports” preset on your camera.

 

 

Good luck and happy shooting!

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Last Chance to Enter the November and December Calendar Contest!

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November 15th will be the final day to enter your photos for November and December.

Head over to www.StriderBikes.com/CalendarContest to upload your best photos for a chance to win some Strider swag and be featured in our 2017 Strider Calendar! For ideas on the type of photos that have won in the past you can see entries, including the winners on our Flickr page.

StrideOn!

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Running with Strider Kids Makes Mom Faster and Stronger

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Special guest post from Danie Koskan – Runner/Strider Mom extraordinaire!

I’m 36 now, but started running in high school. I was the girl who always finished near the back of the pack during cross country meets, but I was dedicated to the sport. I loved it then, and I love it now. One of my goals before I finished college was to run a marathon. It was so awful and wonderful at the same time that I kept running them into my post-college and professional life. These days I run half marathons. Sprinting to keep up with my kids on their bikes for a few miles has turned out to be a great way to train. When my boys grow up, I’ll return to longer distances, but I’m not willing to sacrifice these fleeting moments with them to spend hours and hours training. 

I have three boys; Lincoln, Reagan and Thatcher. The 10.4-mile Heart of the Hills race is a tradition in our family because it goes right past our driveway. Last summer Reagan biked the whole way, and Thatcher joined me the last three miles on his pedal bike. Two summers before, I’d just had Lincoln. He was younger than two weeks old, so I wasn’t quite in running shape. But I promised Reagan he could ride the last three miles of the course on his bike for tradition’s sake (the 7-mile marker is near our mailbox). So Reagan took off, but so did Thatcher — on his Strider. He was 2.5 years old at the time, so I couldn’t very well just let him go by himself. And I was pretty sure he would run out of the steam, but he didn’t. He booked it all the way to the finish line. And I sprinted after him the entire 5K.

Six months later, he was riding a pedal bike like nobody’s business. Seriously, these bikes are amazing. My boys are in such great shape. Fitness is something we’ve achieved and maintained together. As soon as they transitioned from the Strider, they kept riding alongside me. Or more truthfully put, increasingly farther ahead of me.

FamilyJogRunning with your two-wheeled kid (or in my case, kids) probably isn’t every running parent’s idea of a good time. There are potty breaks, snack breaks, untied shoe breaks, look-mom-there’s-a-bug-on-the-side-of-the-road breaks. Running with my boys has literally forced me to slow down and breathe all this wonder in, to notice what I didn’t see before in my haste to get from Point A to Point B. And the really cool thing? Thanks to all this stopping and starting and sprinting to keep up, I’ve become a faster and stronger runner. But more importantly, I get to model to my kids what it means to be fit and have fun. And it started with a Strider.

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A Boy and His Bike

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We love hearing from Strider parents so when we got this letter and photo from Ryan’s parents we knew we had to share it:

Ryan is a beautiful, active, funny, smart, amazing child.  He is a six year old boy with diagnosed speech and motor Apraxia and ADHD.  Life, this far, has been difficult for Ryan – he has a hard time with speech, fine and gross motor activities – plus he cannot sit still!  He can understand everything you say but cannot always communicate with you understandably or effectively.  An easy-to-understand definition of apraxia is difficulty planning and producing.  Ryan knows what he wants to say and what movements he wants to make but cannot plan and produce the sounds/movement. 

Ryan has had all styles of bicycles –  from tricycles, “hot wheels,” scooters to training wheels on a “Big Kid” bike.  Ryan always ended up frustrated and mad at the bike.  When he was given his blue strider his Dad and I were skeptical.  Ryan got his Strider for his 6th birthday, which, unfortunately is in November.  Not optimal bike riding weather in South Dakota.  Ryan rode his Strider throughout the house all winter.  Dad and I decided that patching and painting walls was worth it.  It took him a little while to get the hang of using his legs for movement while sitting on the seat but he finally mastered it.

What has his Strider done for Ryan?  This bike has given our child so much and we are so thankful.  Not only can Ryan ride his bike, he wants to.  His bike has given him imaginative freedom.  The strider has been a riding lawn mower, a garbage truck and a fire truck.  The gross motor development has been huge – not only can he ride his Strider but his running, walking, jumping and all gross motor movements have gotten better and stronger.

If Ryan is playing outside he is usually on his Strider.  The other day he was riding in a few inches of snow.  Ryan wants to go on bike rides on the bike path and he is proud that he can ride his bike.  The confidence that his Strider has given Ryan is priceless! 

Keith and Erin (Ryan’s parents)