Do you remember learning to ride a bike?
Those wobbling stabilisers as you tried to learn how to balance enough to finally get them unscrewed and taken off?
It's a really tough thing to learn when you're just a small child. Indeed, you probably fell off quite a bit, getting a good few bumps and scrapes before you fully mastered the art.
But for some children the opportunity to learn how to ride a bicycle without stabilisers was never given to them. This was because the difficulty of learning balance with stabilisers was deemed too difficult for some children, particularly those with special needs or disabilities.
But that was before Strider Bikes were introduced into the UK.
Let Us Play are an amazing organisation based in Wolverhampton which provide arts, sports, play and outings for locally-based children with disabilities or special needs.
The charity was set up in 2003 by a group of parents who have disabled children and wanted other children like theirs to be able to take part in various activities.
The charity itself runs solely off donations from local businesses, kind individuals and charitable trusts. They get no Government funding.
Primarily they organise activities – particularly for low income families – to raise the self-esteem, motor skills and fitness of disabled and special needs children.
The Strider Rider Fund - everyone should be able to experience the joys of a bike ...
Let Us Play's Let Us Cycle project runs every Monday during term time and it was because of this project that they got in touch with our Strider Rider Fund.
Their application letter was extremely heartfelt and we were delighted to donate both a 16” and 20” Strider Bike for the children to enjoy.
Strider Bikes were designed by Ryan McFarland, a father who recognised the flaws in children learning with stabilisers. He felt it was simply too hard for children to learn the art of balancing effectively using this method.
So, as an alternative, he designed what would become the first Strider Bike - that focused on allowing little children to learn balance without the need for cumbersome stabilisers.
In particular the frame was lowered, allowing a child to lay both their feet flat on the floor comfortably.
It was this key element that removed the fear of falling; allowing children to concentrate on learning to balance instead.
The Strider Rider Fund believes that all children – including those with special needs or disabilities - should be given the opportunity to learn to ride a bike.
And we have helped numerous children with special needs across the globe to do just that.
These bikes remove any hesitation – with your feet flat on the floor learning to ride a bike is now as simple as putting one foot in front of the other.
The rest comes naturally.
Which is why the Strider Rider Fund was so honoured to donate two of our bikes to the Let Us Play charity.
We are excited to hear how their children get on with their Strider bikes, and we just love the grinning face of the little girl in the picture they sent us, (above), as she experiences the joy of a Strider Bike.