My sister sent me this Facebook video last week. 6 little girls in motocross helmets were lined up on tiny bicycles behind the starting gate of a race. The clock counted down, gate dropped, and like bullets they took off, with one girl quickly surging to an early lead. Wearing pink leggings and a skirt, her pigtails streaming behind under her helmet, she and the other girls sprinted the straightaways and slid around turns — running, not pedaling, on what are known as balance bikes. My jaw dropped open as I watched them cross the finish line, and I found myself replaying it – again, and again, and again.
Forget training wheels. Balance bikes have become the new way to teach your kid how to ride a bike – and get into competitive racing! Pushing with their feet, balance bikes are pedal-less and low enough to the ground so that kids gain confidence learning how to coast – and balance – on two wheels before they graduate to pedals. Strider has become the biggest selling manufacturer of these balance bikes with over 1.6 million bikes sold and distributed in over 75 countries.
The Strider Cup World Championship and racing series are held across the US and all over the world. With both competitive and non-competitive events, Strider bike races are created to be fun and positive experiences for the entire family. With 2-and-under, 3-, 4-, 5- and 6-year-old classes – it’s huge! And as I watched these little girls haul ass around that track, all I could think was ‘Where was this when I was growing up?’