“You know when you have any kind of vehicle in motorsports, someone says, ‘Let’s race them,’” said Ryan McFarland, founder of Strider Sports International.
Because that’s often the case, it shouldn’t be a surprise that his company has started the Strider Cup, a racing program designed to promote its pedal-less bicycles for children.
The Strider Cup features three levels of racing. The Adventure race allows children unfamiliar with the bikes to ride casually for 15-20 minutes each around a track. The Strider Cup regional races are also less structured, though they do include a starting gate, and kids are brought up by age range — at 2, 3, 4 and 5 years old.
The Strider World Cup is the marquee race, with age classes and full moto scoring and qualifying procedures. The national anthem is even played before the event.
This year, the Strider Cup will be run at every U.S.-sanctioned BMW race. Strider races will also be featured as part of some motocross and motorcycling races, though usually to a lesser extent, with children racing half an hour before the main event starts or during intermission.
Strider supports the races by offering rules and operating procedures and by providing pennants, banners and demo bikes. McFarland says it’s good to get kids in these events because it teaches them how to race side-by-side and in front of a crowd.
“There’s a big barrier between being a spectator and being a participant in those events, and if you can get kids into that, it’s far easier to get them into [riding],” he said.
(This story is a sidebar within Strider Sports shapes tots into riders.)