Britain’s top BMX rider, Shanaze Reade, today backed the UK’s first ever Strider UK World Cup balance bike event for children aged 18 months to 5 years-old at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester.
The event, on June 30th, is part of the first ever official series of balance bike events held in the UK. The series opened with a Strider Cup event in Nottingham (April) and will include events in Stratford (May), Coventry (June), Bolton (July) and London (September).
Shanaze Reade, Britain’s top BMX cyclist said: "I’ve loved cycling since I was really young and am never happier than when I am in the saddle.
"It’s events like the Strider UK World Cup in Manchester that not only give our youngest riders the chance to get on a bike and have a go, but even race against their friends on the same track that I train on. It’s an amazing opportunity."
Manchester’s Strider UK World Cup will be the focal event of the series with over 100 toddling racers expected to take part.
One lucky rider from the four age-group winners will also go on to win a trip to Florida and represent Britain at the Strider World Championships in October.
All of the Strider UK events will all be free to enter and will see toddlers and children race on pedal-less balance bikes over BMX tracks and pre-set courses. Organised by Strider, the world leaders in balance bike technology, the events are designed to encourage the next generation of British cyclists to get out and explore the world on two wheels in an exciting, fun and safe environment.
Nicola O'Neill from the National Cycling Centre said: "We’re really pleased to host the first ever Strider UK World Cup event at the National Cycling Centre.
"The BMX centre is a place for both our top elite riders and local community groups share in their joint passion for cycling. Now with the Strider event on the calendar, we can cater for our youngest rider to-date."
Strider Cup and World Cup races are held all over the world. The 2012 UK Strider Cup racing series marks the first ever official series of balance bike races held on British soil.
Melanie Thomas, Director of Melrose Kids Ltd (the official UK distributor for Strider) said: "This is a really exciting program of events which aims to encourage our younger cycling talent to have a go.
"No experience is necessary as children use their feet on the ground to push the balance bike along rather than pedalling. As long as your child can walk, they can use a balance bike."
Experts agree that it can be counterproductive to teach a young child to rely on stabilisers when they first make the move to a two-wheeler. It really doesn’t give them the chance to learn how to properly balance.
Balance bikes teach balance, coordination, and confidence that all develop naturally when children experience group play and friendly competition on Striders.
For more information on balance bike riding and the Strider UK World Cup in Manchester, visit www.stridercup.org.