*Note: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.*
Although I don’t have an official Holiday Gift Guide here on Listen to Lena, avid readers will take note of this post title and rub their hands with glee. Why? Because my “Put a Bow on It” series highlights some of my favourite gift giving ideas, and often, you can win them right here!
If you’ve got kiddos, chances are you’ve heard of the Strider Bike, available from Balance Bikes Canada. (And if you’re unfamiliar with the product, prepare to have your mind blown. Seriously.)
My first memory of learning to ride a bike was graduating from my Big Wheel to a small green two-wheeler, complete with rickety, hand-me-down training wheels. How I hated the “thump-thump-thump” of the wheels as I zoomed over the sidewalk, and couldn’t wait to learn how to balance on my own. While I can’t remember exactly how long the transition took, I do remember wanting to feel like a big girl – hey, even at 5 years old, I was embarrassed by my ride.
Ryder is now 4 years old, and until recently, showed little interest in riding a bike. (I blame the Fisher-Price Power Wheels Escalade in our garage, ha ha!) But, as he grew older and grew taller, I began thinking that maybe it was time to force the issue, because I didn’t want him to fall behind – even if it was just at play. My husband, bless his heart, was worried about what the neighbours would think because he was too old to be sporting training wheels.
“Ha!” I scoffed. “There’s no such thing as training wheels anymore! We’ll just get him a Balance Bike.”
Don’t know about Balance Bikes? Let me introduce you to their most popular model – the Strider ST-3 No-Pedal Balance Bike. “Give your kids a head start on learning balance and control of a two-wheeler! The Strider PRE-bike eliminates the need for a tricycle or training wheels and offers your child a vehicle he or she can have a blast riding for years. The Strider develops muscles, coordination, motor skills, and endurance… all under the guise of sheer fun!”
Here’s what makes it AWESOME:
Balance Bikes Canada generously sent one our way for review (and relief – finally, Ryder is on a bike!). Since he is on the taller side for a 4 year old, we also needed the Extra-Long Seatpost with Saddle. The seatpost extends the saddle height another 3″ to a maximum of 19″ from the ground.
Well, I wish I could say that we reviewed the item over weeks and had interesting tales to tell, but the truth is, Ryder got the balance thing down pat in a matter of days. DAYS, folks! (I’m pretty sure I was in training wheels for months.) The Strider bike offers a low center of gravity and the ability to place both feet on the ground, which made Ryder feel much more in control. Because he was allowed to push alongside the bike, find his rhythm and finally, have the confidence to balance his feet on the footrests, it allowed for a safe, secure and empowering bike riding experience! At last, I can honestly say that Balance Bikes are worth the hype – every child should learn to ride a bike this way.
And off he goes. I must admit that my husband did most of the “coaching” – I simply asked him, So can he ride a bike yet? And he said… “Yes”. At first I thought he was joking, because I was certain he had only taken him out a handful of times. Turns out, that’s all he needed!
More nice-to-know features:
Super lightweight at less than 7 pounds.
Unique frame design has integrated footrests for gliding.
Puncture-proof all-terrain tires with sealed bearings and 5/16″ steel axles. Tires never need inflating!
Durable welded steel frame and handlebars.
2 year warranty against manufacturing defects.
Adjustable handlebar and seat height fits riders from 30″ to 44″ tall.
Optional XL seat post increases maximum seat height to 19 inches for taller riders.
Paint certified to be significantly below the CA Prop. 65 limits for heavy metal content, including lead.
Optional foot brake available.
No need for tippy training wheels on a tall, heavy pedal bicycle or a tricycle with terrible pedal leverage ratios.
Rider weight limit of 60 pounds.
The Strider Bike retails for $129.00 at Balance Bikes Canada and is worth every penny. Now that Ryder has mastered the art of balance, we’ll be passing it along to little Reid – who at 2 years old is the perfect age to start learning!
One lucky Listen to Lena reader will win a Strider ST-3 No-Pedal Balance Bike (value $129.00). Alternatively, you may choose a $100 gift card to put towards the bike of your choice at Balance Bikes Canada. Simply fill the form below with your qualifying entries. Good luck!