Zachary was in the Special Olympic Strider group at Rapid City Central High School. Being athletic, he took to riding very quickly with an excitement for the freedom the bike provided him. Over the course of two summers, Zachary attended two Special Olympic Strider workshops with his Strider bike. These workshops further allowed him to develop his riding abilities along with his balance and coordination.
After a week-long Strider workshop, Zachary made the transition and graduated to riding a pedal bike! The excitement of his family in reaching this milestone almost matched that of Zachary. His mom immediately texted his teacher at Central High School with a video of him riding his pedal bike.
Now, Zach has harnessed his confidence and self-assurance to make waves in other interests of his, including performing in local plays.
"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 Speidel, 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