Strider – The No Pedal PREbike

About a year ago, I saw toddlers gliding around the local races on a Strider bikes. Shortly after I reached out to Strider and they sent me one to test for my son Jake. At the time, he was approximately 1.5 years old. I was exited to get him on a bike…

Out of the box the Strider needed just minor installation – the tires, handlebars and the saddle. Within five minutes, it was ready to roll. At almost 2yrs old, Jake was excited with his new toy – a bike. Intrigued, he was quick to sit on it. I lowered the saddle to the lowest position so he can easily touch the ground with his feet flat.

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When Jake first received the Strider bike

For the first few months Jake just walked with the bike while straddling it. At times he would walk next to it while holding the handlebars. It’s all about the comfort level. Sometimes I’ll have him put his feet up on the chainstay/swingarm and give him a push him. This gave him an idea of how balancing and acceleration would feel.

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Jake’s first Kid’s Race… I was running with him

One thing for sure is he was attached to the Strider!

As Jake was getting comfortable with the Strider I gradually raised his seat. This gave him leverage to run while feeling secure with the saddle under his bottoms. We took frequent trips around our neighborhood to build his comfort level. It was eventually working. The key is patience…

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Jake’s second race. Fontana Nat’ls. He was off and running on his own (see video below)

Note that kids will learn at different times/stages. Some will learn much quicker than others. Again, I stress for patience. While we want to see our younglings zoom with a bike, we want to make this FUN for them 🙂

One of the key factors that help Jake acclimate to the Strider was as soon as he was comfortable with running and balancing, we would go on a family group rides. Because we were all on bikes, he was a lot more comfortable. Comfort builds confidence and at times he’d want to race us.

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Boost of confidence – little jumping session. Not quite perfected, but he certainly gives it a shot!

In my opinion, this is the best way to teach kids at an early age to ride a bike. They learn to balance and steer at their own pace while in full control to stop the bike if needed. I highly recommend the Strider bike – it’s well worth it for your little ones!

Specs:

Light weight steel frame
12” wheels
EVA Polymer tires (puncture proof)
Simple set-up – NO chains, pedals, gears

The Strider bike retails for $99.00. More information can be found on their website www.stridersports.com.

Below is a compilation of Jake’s progress on the Strider bike.

Next step – pedals!
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Post Ride Chit Chattin’ Session

After a ride many of us are rushing home to get on with our lives. For me, weekday morning rides means rushing back to the house to shower and get ready for work. Night rides means getting back to the family. For many people that’s just life: carve out a couple of hours to ride, then off to ferrying around your kids to soccer games.

Well, this past week I’ve been able to move away from the fast paced life of finish riding then rush back home. Why? Because this week my wife has taken the kids to visit her family 6 hours away. And you know what they say: When the cat’s away the mice will play!

Just kidding about that, but I have taken advantage of the fact that the rest of the family is out of town by not only riding more often but also relaxing after group rides and chit chattin’ with my fellow riders. Because of this, I have developed a helpful guide for the post ride chit chattin’ session for those who get this great opportunity and don’t want to look/sound/act/be deemed as foolish.

Do’s:
Name dropping: In many facets of life name dropping is extremely discouraged. In fact many people see name droppers in the same light as cow droppings: ugly, stinky and not something you want to be around. But in the post ride chit chattin’ sessions name dropping is very fashionable, especially if you do it loudly and in opportune times. This works perfectly when you want to bring the conversation back to yourself, as we all like to do.

Know your local bike shops (LBS): And when I mean “local? I mean all stores within a 200 mile range of the current ride location. Know all the store’s name, all the store’s address and location, all the bikes lines the store carries, all the store’s mechanics, the weekly group rides the store leads and – most importantly – the price of a water bottle with the store’s name emblazoned on it. These life essential facts should be easily recalled from memory and you should be able to quickly interject this information into conversations. If you are unable to do this practice before embarking on the post ride chit chattin’ session.

Stand with your arms crossed or if you’re sitting around a table for a post ride beer, still keep your arms crossed. Only move said arms when reaching for your beer or your neighbor’s beer… but be careful when doing the latter. Sure science has scientifically proven that listeners who cross their arms during a conversation are being closed off and are in general showing hostility to the speaker but in the post ride chit chattin’ session crossing your arms is socially acceptable and even encouraged. In fact if you see a rider not crossing their arms, look out – they may be listening or even genuinely caring about what you have to say!

Plus or minus 2 to your current bike stable. The question always arises in post ride chit chattin’ sessions: How many bikes do you have in your stable? The correct answer is equal to the number of bikes you actually have plus two. If you have more than 10 bikes you minus 2 from your total. This is to keep you from looking like a bike hog which is not appreciated by those who are poor or rich, or anybody else in between. If you originally have less than 10 but when you add 2 to your actual bike total, this exceeds 10, then divide your actual number by 3 and add 6. Don’t forget to round up.

Don’ts:
Don’t mention the spouse or kids. If your spouse is a rider like you, do not mention that you left your toddlers at home alone with the TV on as entertainment. Even in the post ride chit chattin’ session leaving minor minors unattended is frowned upon. Leaving minor minors unattended with the TV on AND with lunchables on the counter is, surprisingly, acceptable. WAIT, no it isn’t… let’s just skip this one, okay?

Don’t mention how great that ride was. At most you can say that the ride you all went on was “pretty good? but always point out that the ride at blah, blah, blah was better. Wherein blah, blah, blah is the gnarliest singletrack you’ve never ridden but want others to believe you have. To make this work you must have intimate knowledge of blah, blah, blah. Make sure to google blah, blah, blah before talking about blah, blah, blah. If you don’t google blah, blah, blah you will sound like blah, blah, blah. This is bad, bad, bad.

Don’t feel bad about cutting people off mid-sentence. After all, how else will you be able to interject loudly the name of the mechanic from that boutique bike shop 17 cities over from where you live? Feel free to always interrupt people especially if they’re detailing how to fix a mechanical to a newbie. This is the best time to interject “Brian at The Path!? at full volume.

Follow this helpful guide diligently and you too will soon be accepted into your post ride chit chattin’ sessions with gleeful aplomb. If not, just buy everyone a round of beer. You can always buy my acceptance.