Toddlers lean forward at the start gate, cowbells ring, the gate drops, and—vroom!—they’re off on their balance bikes, on a trek around tires, through water features, and over wooden ramps. That’s the scene awaiting families in Boulder on Saturday, July 21, when competitors as young as 18 months gear up for the 2018 Strider Cup World Championship. Racers might look tough in their helmets and jerseys, but the atmosphere at the Strider Cup is pure fun, as parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends gather around the 650-foot course to support hundreds of brave young riders.
Started by the Strider balance bike company in 2011, Strider Cup races are “race and play” events that give young riders an opportunity to participate in competitive racing. “Too many kids get sucked into video games or just play structured sports. But riding a bike is something you can do every single day, from age two to 100,” says Ryan McFarland, CEO and founder of Strider Sports. Balance bikes like the ones made by Strider are beginner bicycles sans pedals or training wheels that give kids as young as 18 months a strong and early start on two wheels.
Children of all sizes and skill levels can get in on the race-day action, in multiple races divided by age. All participants are treated to a celebratory podium award ceremony following their race, and will receive a medal; top finishers earn trophies. Don’t forget to bring a Strider, helmet, sippy cup, and sunscreen, along with enough energy to cheer on these small-but-mighty athletes.
Need To Know:
- Race day is July 21; register riders age six and under by July 17, 10 p.m. In addition, race day registration is open to children ages three to six who are participating in the Strider 14x Sport, a new race category for those using Strider 14x Sport bikes in balance bike mode.
- Located at Central Park & Boulder Civic Area, 1236 Canyon Blvd., Boulder, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There’s a one-hour lunch at 11:30 a.m., food vendors, and free Strider demonstrations on site.
- $27 registration fee includes an official jersey, number plate, and swag from sponsors.