Custom builders, especially builders with decades of experience and focused knowledge of powersports culture, draw upon a myriad of touchstones when they take on a project. In the case of Kirk Taylor and the tiny custom Strider here, inspiration came from the “First Lady of Drag Racing” Shirley Muldowney. Continue reading Kirk Taylor’s Strider Custom
“They are wicked cool little bikes,” said Jody Perewitz when I asked what she thought of Strider balance bikes. In fact, she said she’d bought one for her niece and also told how a friend’s son got right on a mini bike after starting out on a Strider. Continue reading Jody Perewitz’s Strider Custom
For immediate release: Hamsters USA, the international motorcycle group with big hearts, are at did it again! These great guys came together throughout the year to raise funds for LifeScape Children’s Care of Rapid City culminating in almost $207,000 raised to support children with disabilities in Western SD!
Hamsters USA has raised and donated funds at their annual meeting for the last twelve years, wanting to give back to the greater Black Hills community, which many Hamsters consider their second home. This year’s event brings their cumulative total for 12 years to over $2.7 million in total dollars raised for LifeScape Children’s Care in Rapid City. Their gifts help provide services to children in their Black Hills area homes and communities, delivered by LifeScape Children’s Care personnel who drive over 10,000 miles a month to provide services.
Mary Helen Hlucny, a five-year-old from Whitewood, SD, and her family, spoke at this year’s event. Mary Helen, a young lady whose smile lights up a room, was born 13 weeks early to parents, Cris & Ana. Ultrasounds done at one-week-old showed “holes” in her brain, and when she was eight months old, they received an official diagnosis of spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy.
The Hlucnys are proud to be ambassadors for LifeScape at the Hamsters’ event this year, thanking them for their fundraising efforts that directly impact their family. Ana and Cris were told their daughter might never talk or walk or learn anything. However, Mary Helen continues to prove doctors wrong. Ana believes her daughter can do anything! She doesn’t set “goals” for Mary Helen, because they do not define her. Mary Helen first came to LifeScape to be screened in 2013. To this day, the progress she continues to make there is amazing! Ana explains, “Our time at LifeScape has been a real blessing. The Mustang gait trainer she got through them has truly been life-changing. She shocked therapists by running down the hallway the first time we put her in it.”
Mary Helen continues to come to LifeScape once a week for a therapy session that is “an incredible hybrid of occupational therapy, physical therapy, and make believe, while incorporating NeuroMovement principles the family is learning in Denver.” She loves it, and there are tears if she has to miss an appointment.
Ana adds, “Mary Helen’s future is very bright, in part because of the help and support our family receives from LifeScape. Like any parents, we want Mary Helen to lead a life she finds fulfilling, to be someone who is respected and well thought of, to be independent, and to not feel trapped.” With the mission of empowering children and adults with disabilities to lead fulfilling lives, LifeScape is the perfect place for Mary Helen and her family.
Proving again that bikers have big hearts for kids, the international motorcycle group Hamsters USA raised a record $285,395 for LifeScape Children’s Care of Rapid City in fundraising events this year, culminating with their annual gathering in Spearfish during the Sturgis Rally on Monday, August 8th.
Funds raised will provide physical, occupational, and speech therapies, plus psychological services, to children in Western South Dakota–plus parts of Wyoming–through LifeScape Children’s Care of Rapid City.
Hamsters USA has raised and donated funds at their annual meeting for the last eleven years, wanting to give back to the greater Black Hills community, which many Hamsters consider their second home. In 2015, the Hamsters broke the $2 million mark in total dollars raised for LifeScape Children’s Care in Rapid City. Their gifts help provide services to children in their Black Hills area homes and communities, delivered by LifeScape Children’s Care personnel who drive over 10,000 miles a month to provide services.
A highlight of this year’s event was the presence of James Habeck and his family. James is four years old, working with LifeScape therapists to overcome hurdles due to his cerebral palsy, the result of a severe brain injury caused by lack of oxygen during birth. His parents, Jim and Melissa Habeck of Belle Fourche, continue to hope that one day their youngest son will walk and talk with help from LifeScape.
The Habecks were proud to be an ambassador for LifeScape at the Hamsters’ event this year and loved the opportunity to thank them for their fundraising efforts that directly impact their family. James stole the show and stole the hearts of everyone there. Because of the impact he made on several Hamster members, donations totaling $36,950 were given in his honor, which added to the overall total for the evening.
The Habecks first came to LifeScape for therapy when James was just two months old. Now that he’s in preschool, Melissa brings him to Rapid City for three 30-minute sessions of physical, occupational and speech therapy four days each week during summer breaks. LifeScape also gives him access to the latest resources – state-of-the-art assistive equipment and the most recent therapies, designed specifically for children.
“No two kids with CP are the same, but James’ situation is so specialized, and their level of expertise is just great. I could go to other therapists closer to home, but they may not know how to work with kids like LifeScape does. If I didn’t have them, where do I go?” she asks. The Mustang gait trainer that James uses to scoot around his family’s rural home (or escape from his mother in Walmart) is such a new innovation that even some physical therapists who don’t specialize in children’s treatments have never seen one, Melissa said.
Perhaps as important as what James receives at LifeScape is what his mother also finds there: emotional support. “I have a kid with cerebral palsy and four teenagers at home,” Melissa said. “Sometimes I just need someone to listen.”
Melissa knows her hope of seeing James walk and talk one day is still a distant dream. “It’s taken a lot to get him this far,” she said, “but LifeScape is there with us every step of the way.”
LifeScape Children’s Care of Rapid City, SD, is affiliated with LifeScape (formerly Children’s Care Hospital and School and South Dakota Achieve), based in South Dakota. LifeScape is a private, independent, non-profit organization with a mission to empower children and adults with disabilities to lead fulfilling lives. The organization as a whole served over 2,800 children and adults last year.
Jessica Wells, President,
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-