Hi, I’m Paul, a Strider parent and a cyclist and I’ve got to know Karen and the people at Strider® through the RideStaffs cycling events I organise, so when my daughter arrived in this world a little over 2 years ago, it was fairly certain that she’d be striding just as soon as I got the chance. Here’s a few thoughts on our Strider experience:
1 - I still have no idea how soon is too soon
There was a strider bike floating around our house long before our daughter could know what it was, let alone what she might do with it once she’d learned to walk. But, as soon as she showed an interest in it, we would pop her on and wheel her around a bit from time to time. From that point (probably some time around the age of 12 months) to the point where she actually started to walk, then scoot around unaided in some form was another 12-18 months. Was that time spent doubled over pushing and guiding wasted? From a developmental point of view, I’ve no idea. But as a dad, they’ve been great times to spend with my little girl so I’ve no regrets.
2 - I don’t think there’s another bike we could have put her on so early.
The strider has been great for adjustability, it’s seen our daughter through a year and a half with just a longer seat post needed to keep it relevant for her. I’ve not seen anything else on the market that would have done the same.
3 - Make it part of the day to day if you can
We’re the type of family that likes to be out and about. One of the things that I think has been a successful in terms of our daughter learning to ride has been using the bike to get to places we were going to anyway. Just having the bike with us meant that she could try it in bitesize bits without it becoming a lesson to learn or thing to get anxious about. Over time, the periods of time she spends riding have got longer and the breaks in between shorter. I guess most kids want to do what their parents do. We ride a lot and our daughter has been on the back of the bike from about 9 months, so progressing to spending time on her strider was natural and made it much easier.
4 - It’s ok not to.
Some days she just wants to be carried, or (less and less) go in the buggy. For us, it’s felt more natural to let her decide how she gets there whenever we can. Sometimes that’s meant carrying the bike around more than being on it. But the strider is light, so there’s worse stuff you could have to do in life.
Enjoy your striding and if you can, come and say hi to us at RideStaffs on July 2nd at Chillington Hall, South Staffordshire. There is a Strider Adventure Zone (run by Ready Steady Riders) and good food and drink. Tour De France fans won't be disappointed with the large screen either! Maybe try our sportive? See you there.