SALT LAKE CITY—Turns out that the Tour of Utah won’t be the only world-class “biking” event coming to the Beehive State. Strider Bikes, the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of children’s no-pedal balance bikes, is welcoming hundreds of balance bike racing toddlers – some still in diapers – to the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City, July 21-22, for the 7th Annual 2017 Strider Cup World Championship presented by Dannon.
Organizers say racers are coming from across the U.S., as well as more than 40 competitors from nine countries; China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Japan, Russia, Tahiti, Taiwan, Thailand and Canada. The bikes are unique no-pedal balance bikes designed to help children at a very early age learn the art of riding.
The Wall Street Journal attended a previous Strider Cup Race and created a recap video declaring Balance Bikes: The End of Training Wheels. In the WSJ article, Welcome to the Tour de France of Toddler Racing, the writer asserts, “Training wheels have been disrupted.” ESPN shared that article on Instant Awesome: Say hello to the ‘Tour de France’ of toddler bicycle racing, adding, “Honestly, this is something you need to see to believe.”
The Strider Cup World Championship includes the 2 and under class and the 3-year-old class, both sponsored by LDS Hospital. Competitive Cyclist is sponsoring the 4-year-old class. The 5-year-old class is sponsored by The Color Run. The registration fee is $25 online before July 20 at 7 p.m. MST. There will be no onsite registration. Racers will receive a Strider jersey, number plate for their bike and a goodie bag valued at more than $50. Registration is at http://www.stridercupworldchampionship.com.
All eyes will be on the 24 Japanese racers, whose technique and stamina are unrivaled in Strider Bike racing. Siblings Kei and Kai Murayama are registered for the 2017 championship event and both raced in 2016; Kei won the 3-year-old world title and Kai placed 10th in the 2-year-old class.
The youngest registered racer so far is 19-month-old Xarin Galindo of West Jordan. Toddlers will put their Strider Bike skills to the test during these family-friendly races. The event will also feature a free Strider Adventure Zone play area on both days for kids age 2-5. Strider Bikes and helmets will be provided.
During Strider races, hundreds of relatives cheer on racers while ringing yellow cowbells. Toddlers kick their short legs and embark upon a 600-foot plus journey which includes obstacles such as the Strider tunnel and wooden ramps. All racers are treated to a podium award ceremony, where they receive either a trophy or a medal.
The Strider Cup World Championship event also includes the Special Needs Races sponsored by Chick-fil-A for athletes of all ages and abilities. Strider donated bikes to several local organizations. These athletes will race the 12” models, as well as the 16” and 20” balance bikes.
Prior to the championship race, Strider hosted three Strider Cup races in cities around the country: May 6 in Fort Worth, Texas, May 27 in Pittsburgh, Penn., and June 10 in Lincoln, Neb. The Strider event page, http://www.striderbikes.com/events, has more information on all of the races.