STRIDER Bikes Featured on Kelo Land News!
STRIDER recently had a really fun news story appear on KeloLand News statewide in South Dakota. We know that not every STRIDER rider lives in STRIDERville so we’re sharing it with you here!
Watch the video below to hear about how we began and how we’re growing. There is also some pretty good footage of Wyatt, Charlie’s (Head STRIDER R&D) little scene stealer and super cute STRIDER spokes-person!
RAPID CITY, SD – at least one Rapid City warehouse, it’s not all work and no play.
“I like coming here because I like to ride around here,” five-year old Wyatt Brumbaugh said.
The building is the headquarters for the Strider Balance Bike, a pedal-less bike that’s making it easier for children just learning the ropes. Forget pedals and training wheels. Balance is all any kid needs to hit the open road.
“I think Wyatt was probably 15-months, 16-months the first time he picked his feet up just a little bit. I think Cole was probably a little bit older. He didn’t go until probably 18 months the first time he picked his feet up,” Wyatt’s dad and Strider employee Charlie Brumbaugh said.
Even though they haven’t started school yet, both the Brumbaugh boys have already graduated to pedal bikes.
“I remember when we first started on a pedal bike, it was hard. My brother started when he was just turning three,” Wyatt said.
“You know, that’s pretty early. I didn’t start riding a bicycle until I was probably six or seven,” Charlie said.
It’s all thanks to a little bit of Midwestern ingenuity.
“I’ve been a motorsports, motorcycle and mountain bike enthusiast pretty much my whole life and when I became a dad I really wanted to share that with my little boy,” Strider’s founder Ryan McFarland said.
But at just one-and-a-half-years-old, McFarland’s son Bode was too small to get the hang of riding a traditional bike with training wheels.
“Some people may have just said wait a year or two, but I was just too impatient so I thought there’s got to be a way where we can make this work right now,” McFarland said.
So in true motorsports form, McFarland stripped the boys bike of everything it didn’t need including the pedals and the concept for the Strider was born.
“I got it to a point where it was extremely light and small and it was just like magic. He was tearing around on it and exceeding even my expectations of what he was capable of,” McFarland said.
Soon, people around the community started to take notice of the little boy on the pedalless bike and began asking where they could get one for their own kids.
“I pulled some friends together and we built some prototypes, developed it a little bit further and eight years later we’re selling them all over the world,” McFarland said.
Striders can be found at many different retailers including bike shops, motorcycle dealers and toy stores. But McFarland says the biggest sales boom has come from the Internet.
“We’re selling in about 36 countries right now. We’ve got about half a million kids that are on Strider bikes now, and if you figure that a lot of those bikes have also taught a younger sibling or neighbor kid we’re pretty confident in saying that we’ve taught over a million little kids to ride bikes,” McFarland said.
The little bikes have gotten so popular that they’ve even inspired their own nation-wide racing circuit; the Strider Cup.
“Even on our first round of bikes, we’d get kids together in the park and play. Sooner or later someone’s drawing a line in the dirt for a starting line and we’re lining them up to have a race,” McFarland said.
“One race we were in Florida, another race we were in Rapid City. A couple races we were in Rapid City,” Wyatt said.
Thanks to a ski attachment for the bike, the competition doesn’t end once the flakes start flying.
“We race up by Lead on Terry Peak in the winter, and I won first place this year,” Wyatt said.
“It’s been amazing to see the kids and the parent’s enthusiasm for coming together at these events; getting a taste for that competition but very friendly competition at this age, for sure,” McFarland said.
But win or lose, these kids are developing skills that will last a lifetime.
“With Striders, it’s not just riding but just the whole experience of being outside with your family and with other kids, especially,” Brumbaugh said.
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