My name is Tom Priest, married to Kate & we have 2 wonderful boys. Lewis age 5, & Luke age 2.
Whilst Lewis is now pedalling around bmx tracks on his bmx race bike, it all began for him at 18 months old on a beautiful sunny day in Birmingham Bike Park. His 1st Strider® coaching session.
My love for BMX and a full of energy bundle called Lewis saw us head to Birmingham BMX track for Strider bike coaching sessions. There Lewis took part with kids of all ages in coaching sessions with Jason Bynoe, Mark Sleigh & Kathleen Philips. 3 people Lewis idolised. I can only describe these sessions as great fun. Progressing each week, gaining confidence & new skills, Lewis had the time of his life.
Age 3 Lewis entered his 1st race at Birmingham. Which just so happened to coincide with the birth of his baby brother Luke 2 days before. All day his thoughts were for his mommy & Luke. In fact when we got home Lewis put his medal in Luke's Moses basket. I was amazed at Lewis that day - a very proud dad! With so many people watching, cheering & having fun Lewis was very nervous. I took a second before his first race to crouch down next to him & simply reminded him that all he had to do was ride with a smile. Which is our thing we always remind each other of every time we ride.
His 3rd race was a funny memory that day. He literally blasted out the gate & found himself in 2nd place chasing down the leader. When literally yards from the line he stopped dead to watch a guy standing on the side drinking a bottle of pop. Where he simply asked me if he could have 1 of those. Absolutely fantastic.
He did race again in Birmingham & also finished 3rd in a time trial event as part of Staffordshire cycling festival.
His proudest moment on his Strider was the day we headed over to Redditch Premiers Bmx Club, where hejoined up with Jason Bynoe, Steve Smith & Chris Day who were taking part in a 100 lap challenge to raise money for more bikes for the local community to use. Lewis was very interested & wanted to have a go. He set himself the challenge of completing 5 laps by himself. He managed 20 & raised a few hundred quid along the way. Presented with an award from the Mayoress of Redditch, this was such a proud moment.
His coaching has continued at the Wrekin riders track in Telford with the awesome Kieran Edwards. A truely amazing coach & Lewis' best pal. Lewis has never really been a big fan of racing, he just loves to be free on his bike & also does love his coaching. I'll mention kieran Edwards & Jason Bynoe again. Also Christian Wilkins who coaches the pocket rockets at Nuneaton bmx club. They have made Lewis feel on top of the world even before he has stepped foot on a track. For now Lewis is planning his career as a professional wrestler, but his love for his bike & support for his little brother Luke are still there.
Luke, who just before his 2nd birthday took part in the Birmingham race in May. Luke literally lives & breathes for his Strider "bike bike bike". Bangs the garage door until we cave in & get his bike out. Plays with the Strider bike toys (yes they do exist, bit of marketing there for you Karen). He is an absolute full of life, no fear nutcase. Following in his big brothers footsteps Luke is Strider crazy. On Strider days we have to pack the car up without his knowledge that his bike is in the car as he would scream the place down to hold his bike all the way there.
Kieran Edwards will have his hands full coaching him. His coaching at Wrekin riders with Kieran & also with Kazzi Grahame at Ready Steady Riders are his favourite times of the week. I've not as much to write about Luke as of yet. But it puts me in the position of treasuring strider memories with Lewis. We are looking forward to Luke making new Strider memories for us.
Our boys are our world and the smiles & fun times with Strider are amazing. Confidence, social skills, respect, happiness. All things Strider events have brought to our boys.
Karen & the awesome team at Strider Bike UK, keep doing what you are doing. All the little rippers riding Striders everywhere, keep doing what you are doing. It all starts with the Striders.
We are always around usually at the Wrekin riders bmx track in Telford. Or at Burnham bmx club in Somerset. If you see us come say hi.