“Strider” Bikes donated to central Pierre elementary schools
PIERRE, S.D. (KEVN) - Elementary school students in the greater Pierre area got a nice surprise today in the form of a “Strider” bike.
The bikes make training easier for kids, with the ability to remove the pedals on the bike so that the person learning can practice pedaling and navigating the bike before learning how to peddle.
The bikes were donated through the “All Kids Bike” foundation and its partners, whose mission is to distribute the learn to ride bikes, helmets, and curriculum to kids across the country.
The foundation has donated bikes to several different schools in South Dakota.
“The thing about this program is it gets young people excited about the outdoors, about physical activity, about biking sooner than they otherwise would,” said Congressmen Dusty Johnson (R- South Dakota).
Ryan McFarland, inventor and founder of the Strider bikes, invented the product in 2007 in Rapid City while looking for ways to help his son learn how to ride a bike. Now, his product and charity are all over the world.
“Typically we are getting kids riding bikes without training wheels a couple of years sooner than normal, with Strider bikes,” McFarland said.
After bringing the invention to life, McFarland decided a few years later to start giving back through charity.
“We realized a lot of kids weren’t learning how to ride bikes and really the best way to address that issue was to bring bicycling, learning how to ride bikes, to public and private schools,” McFarland said.
Since the formation of the non-profit, “All Kids Bike” and its sponsors have helped thousands of kids across South Dakota and the country learn how to ride a bike.
“Thirty-six states across the nation and over two hundred schools, approaching two hundred and fifty schools so we are figuring about 40,000 kids are benefitting by the program this year with a program life of about five to six years, we should be impacting over 200,000 kids with what we have done so far,” McFarland said.
The hope is that these kids will take biking, a viable means of exercise, enjoyment, and transportation, and use it for the rest of their lives.