“I thought of that while riding my bicycle.” ~ Albert Einstein on the Theory of Relativity ~
Have you ever heard of a Strider? This is a balance bike designed for children aged about 18 months to 5 years that encourages them to learn how to ride a two-wheel bicycle. It has no pedals and the child would simply stride along, learning how to balance, lean, and steer as they go. Confidence builds quickly; there is little fear of falling because their feet are always on the ground.
And as confidence builds, some children may want to step up their experience. Sarasota is unique in that we have a dedicated Strider track next to the BMX track on the corner of 12th Street and Tuttle Avenue. I’ve heard it’s the best in the country.
One of my daughters and her family were coming down from Virginia for a quick trip to go to a family wedding. The only free time we had was Wednesday evening to Friday evening. As luck would have it, the practices are held at the BMX track on Thursday nights. I spoke to my friend Alice, co-owner of Haps Honda, because she has been an integral part of Sarasota BMX for over 30 years, and asked how I could get my grandson Ethan on the track. She told me that loaner bikes and helmets would be available at the track and that he just needed to wear long pants and a long sleeve shirt. I checked with my daughter and it was a “go” – this was going to be the highlight of his trip!
We arrived on time so we could get as much of the experience as possible. Much of our family turned out to cheer him on and we were all so impressed with the track..
I was told that the BMX practice was from 6 to 8, but if the Striders arrive early, they can practice on the big track from 5 to 6. Well of course Ethan wanted to try that out too! We were here at the right place and the right time!
Our grandson approached the hill, took the ramp to the top, and paused. Before he made his descent, my husband heard him say “Whoa” in awe. And then he was off.
He rounded the embankment and kept going.
And we cheered and cheered, so proud of him.
One boy wanted him to wait up, but you don’t wait if you want to race!
My thanks to Alice Bixler for the Strider information and the opportunity to give my grandson and our family a wonderful memory of their visit.
This is the information I found on-line about the Sarasota BMX track:
Sarasota BMX has a dedicated Strider Track located next to the BMX track. Riders must have a USA BMX membership in order to ride on the track. We offer a One-Day-Free membership to all new riders so they can try out the track. The track is open on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6pm to 8pm for practice. Striders can practice on the BMX track from 5pm to 6pm. The practice fee is $3. Races are held on the 1st and 3rd Friday evening. Race fee is $5. Awards are giving to each rider. The USA BMX membership for one year costs $30 for Striders. With this membership the rider can ride at any BMX track in Florida and the USA. Strider racing is for children 1 yr to 5 yr. A child can stride on a Strider as soon as they learn to walk. Some have even learned to walk on a Strider. The Strider only weighs 6.7 lbs. light enough for the child to pick up and carry. There is never a need for a tricycle or training wheels. The child will learn to balance and goes directly to a pedal bike. For info call: Erma at 614-496-3999 also check us out on www.StriderBikes.com