From the time David could walk and talk he had the passion for riding, always wanting to “go fast” on his dad’s motorcycle. However, being born with Down syndrome, learning to ride a bike posed a challenge. David’s feet couldn’t reach the pedals of the tricycle his parents had purchased for him, and it seemed like the challenge was too great for him to overcome. As a toddler, David’s parents were beginning to accept that he was just going to be “one of those kids who couldn’t ride a bike.”
This all changed though when David turned four. During a Down syndrome conference in Denver, CO, David had his first taste of riding with a Strider. David immediately took to the bike and started riding like he was a pro.
Through continued participation at other Strider educational events, David had not only the skillset of riding mastered, but also a deep passion for living life on two wheels. Following his mastery of his Strider Bike, David graduated to a pedal bike. He wasn’t content though with just being able to pedal his way around. On his eighth birthday, David was given his first motorcycle and his passion for riding continues to this day!
"It was wonderful to watch the kids demonstrate the coordination and balance skills that we’ve been working on through the APE program and achieve a new level of independence when riding the bikes…And because Strider Bikes is donating the bicycles to the students, they can further their progress at home with their families."
Dr. Amanda Young, Physical Education Teacher, KinderFrogs School and Starpoint School
"Stability scores in all body planes were significantly improved during the five-week duration,” said Shim, who conducted the research at the Pier Center for Autism in Sioux City, Iowa. “Starting on a STRIDER Bike can assist children with special needs in transitioning to a regular, two-wheeled bicycle without the anxiety of falling or using training wheels."
Dr. Andrew Shim, Chair of Briar Cliff University's Kinesiology and Human Performance Department
"This is all about the process of learning to ride in the right steps and never contradicting what you’re learning. So, they learn the proper balance and steer techniques that are identical to when you move onto pedal bikes. And what happens is with that success, all that stuff was kind of…that was out of reach or filed away, you say, OK, we just broke through what they told us was going to be the barrier, so now we don’t know how far we can take this."
Ryan McFarland, Founder, President, CEO, and Chief Enthusiast, Strider Sports International
"I currently have 8 bikes for my classroom and a wide variety of students use them. Students with physical impairments, BLIND students, kids with Down Syndrome, kids with autism; basically, anyone who can walk on their own (and even several who are a little shaky). We use them for recreation, social skills, community skills, physical therapy, adaptive PE, language development, and behavior interventions. They’re incredible."
Amy Heuston, Special Education Teacher/Special Olympics Coach
"The training program is a wonderful opportunity for children and adults to overcome anxieties about riding bikes in a fun setting with peers. It was so exciting to see such joy and enthusiasm from the youth who participated in our first week of training. We look forward to seeing the youth develop confidence in their abilities in the weeks to come."
Kerry Zingg, Easterday Center Director
"We would often stride to Super America on Lake Street and his goal was to get there in less than 25 minutes and if he did so then he could get a cherry icee! It definitely was a motivator."
Kathryn Jensen, parent of a 9th grade student
"I have 2 students that are twins, 8 years old, and in the Autism Program in Minneapolis. In recent years, the 2 have made significant gains in their motor abilities. I had the opportunity to work with the two using a strider and it was extremely beneficial to their balance and coordination. They were so excited there was a bike their size that was not overwhelming because of the pedals."
Troy Kirby, D/APE teacher