Rapid City, SD (April 29, 2015) — Strider® Sports International, Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of no-pedal balance bikes, hosted the Strider Championship Series kick-off race, sponsored by CycleTrader.com, Saturday, April 25 in Lakewood Ranch, Florida. More than 100 racers toed the starting line, including 25 athletes with special needs participating in the Special Needs Races, which are new this year.
One of the biggest smiles came from a rider in the 2 and under race. Stealing the show with his cute grin, 18-month-old Brently Blanton of Lakeland, Florida, rolled up to the start with a cheering section led by papa Corey. The dapper, diaper-clad toddler has been riding his STRIDER® since he started walking at just 10 months old.
A swift 5-year-old, Eito Tokunaga, from Hoffman Estates, Illinois, turned the fastest lap of the day, powering down the field with propeller-like legs. A semi-pro in terms of Strider racing, Eito has been competing on the world’s number one selling balance bike since he was 2 years old. Elito’s 3-year-old brother So entered a race earlier in the day, but the heat and humidity were a bit much for the tyke, so he didn’t have quite the success of his older brother.
Not all racers had years of experience though. In the Special Needs Races, kids and adults—some of whom had just started riding a two-wheeled bicycle two weeks ago— sped down the course. Through its Rider Fund, Strider donated more than a dozen of the larger 16” and 20” STRIDER Bikes to Special Olympics Florida—Hillsborough County and prepared the athletes for the race. All of the riders conquered the turns and ramps with ease.
12-year-old Brian Brewer of Sarasota, Florida, has Down syndrome and has enjoyed riding his STRIDER for nearly a year, tearing it up at the local BMX park. He breezed through the race grinning from ear to ear.
The 2015 Strider Championship Series now moves on to the following cities:
· Ventura, CA – Saturday, May 9
· Pittsburgh, PA – Saturday, June 6
· Salt Lake City, UT – Saturday, August 8
Participating in any of these events will automatically qualify the rider for the Strider World Championship. The international series-ending race will be held August 28-29 in Rapid City, South Dakota — world headquarters for Strider Sports International, Inc. For more information, please visit www.StriderWorldChampionship.
In its continued commitment to pay it forward, Strider Sports created the Strider Rider Fund in 2014 to facilitate providing balance bikes to non-profit organizations serving individuals in need. One percent of Strider Sports’ gross revenue from worldwide sales each month is allocated to the Rider Fund, and $1 is added for every STRIDER Bike registered online. To date, the Rider Fund has donated more than $300,000 in bikes and accessories, and Strider expects to exceed this amount in 2015, with more than half of the fund earmarked for special needs organizations. To learn more about the Rider Fund, and to join the cause, please visit www.StriderBikes.com/join-the-