Toddlers ages 2 to 5 stomped the streets of Los Angeles at L.A. Live entertainment complex at the opening round of the Strider Cup Series, May 4, 2019. Home of the Grammys and the Los Angeles Lakers, the venue's iconic skyline of palm trees and skyscrapers set the stage as over 275 racers (over 80 of them, no older than two) came from 12 different countries to compete on Strider Balance Bikes for the top trophy. Kids from LA lined up elbow-to-elbow with racers from Canada, China, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Japan, Mongolia, Panama, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and from a dozen states in the US.
The streets of the famous L.A. Live venue were closed for the race, which was filled with obstacles like the Noodle Monster, a fog-filled "Mount Scary" ramp, and other features to test the skills of the sport's youngest competitors while their parents cheered them on. Local news crews were on the scene to capture the action.
Racing was set up in a motocross format, with qualifying heats for the main events - top three racers, then top two, then single winners advanced to the mains. Many bold racers careened through the course (with varying levels of control). Some took a more leisurely approach, walking their bikes, waving at the crowd and just having a fun time getting their stride on as the crowd cheered. Racers ended the day smiling with their well-earned trophies, as a paparazzi of loved ones captured the cuteness. Smiles were contagious and the air was filled with cheers and happiness. Even passersby stopped to revel in the joy.
Friendships were made and the sportsmanship was strong, as little ones helped each other up from crashes, and cheered each other on from the sidelines. It was refreshing to see everyone lending a helping hand.About the Strider Cup
The South Dakota-based company, Strider Sports International, Inc. has organized Strider Cups around the world including, Malaysia, Japan, Russia, and the United Kingdom, just to name a few. So it is safe to say, the future looks bright for two-wheel racing locally and globally.
The 2019 Strider Cup Series will continue in North America with balance bike races in Boulder, CO on June 15. On July 6 races will be at The Commons in downtown Minneapolis. From there, the North American race series will take a trip north of the border, hosting a Strider Cup in Surrey, British Columbia on August 17. The 2019 toddler bike racing season culminates at the Strider Cup World Championship in Charlotte, NC on October 5 and 6, 2019.