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Racing Round-up: Pinkbike Balance Bike and Rippers World Championships

Aug 28, 2023
by Nick Bentley  


Words: Nick Bentley

This weekend saw the return of the Pinkbike Balance Bike and Rippers World Championships to The Malverns Classic, a family-friendly, must-attend event that gives the riders the opportunity to battle it out across multiple disciplines from Quad Eliminator (4X), to Dual Slalom all the way to Downhill. These young riders range from age 2-12 and are all about having fun on their bikes, and most importantly they show us all that no matter how long you've been riding or racing bikes the primary reason that we all do this is to have fun with our friends, these kids absolutely optimise this. So here's our summary of the weekend, as you can understand we can't give riders names but we wanted to showcase these amazing little riders in all their glory.

Friday: Quad Eliminator

Even with the rain parents were out in force cheering their kids on
Even with the rain, parents were out in force cheering their kids on

Riders put down the power in a tight finish line sprint
Riders put down the power in a tight finish line sprint

The Malvern s merchandise was out in force
The Malvern's merchandise was out in force

With riders going flat out eventually some of them were going to come off
With riders going flat out eventually some of them were going to come off

But thankfully everyone was able to carry on
But thankfully everyone was able to carry on

Even at this age some riders have plenty of race craft keeping an eye on just how close fellow riders are
Even at this age some riders have plenty of race craft, keeping an eye on just how close fellow riders are

Some of the older riders really enjoyed going bar to bar
Some of the older riders really enjoyed going bar to bar

The course had some little rollers to keep these riders on their toes
The course had some little rollers to keep these riders on their toes

Little riders means little start gate
Little riders means little start gate

Tyres against the gates. These Rippers were ready to go for some 4X action
Tyres against the gates. These Rippers were ready to go for some 4X action

With the kids racing it was time for dad to relax
With the kids racing it was time for dad to relax

The older riders for sure were just that little bit more competitive with each other
The older riders for sure were just that little bit more competitive with each other

This little rider was ready to go full moto
This little rider was ready to go full moto

Despite the wet weather these young riders were keen to send it
Despite the wet weather, these young riders were keen to send it

This sign says it all
This sign says it all

Just because they re balance bikes doesn t mean they re not going to go bar to bar through the slaloms
Just because they're balance bikes doesn't mean they're not going to go bar to bar through the slaloms

This rider might have got slightly distracted by the camera
This rider might have got slightly distracted by the camera

It s amazing to see just how well these kids ride their little balance bikes
It's amazing to see just how well these kids ride their little balance bikes

Mum s always your biggest cheerleader
Mum's always your biggest cheerleader

These kids were loving the Malverns track
These kids were loving the Malverns track

It s not an easy day for dad when he s got to pull you up the hill
It's not an easy day for dad when he's got to pull you up the hill

Tongue out for concentration
Tongue out for concentration

Feet out flat out smiles all round
Feet out flat out, smiles all round

And they re off
And they're off!

The rider was so keen to go they kept pushing on the gate
The rider was so keen to go they kept pushing on the gate

These young riders were super excited to see each other ride
These young riders were super excited to see each other ride

Riders were in the gate for the opening events of the Pinkbike Balance Bike and Rippers World Championships
Riders were in the gate for the opening events of the Pinkbike Balance Bike and Rippers World Championships

Riders were keen to give a wave to the camera
Riders were keen to give a wave to the camera

Fairy wings and a tutu should be mandatory at all 4X races
Fairy wings and a tutu should be mandatory at all 4X races

Saturday: Dual Slalom

Hannah Escott was once again on hand to provide the commentary crazy dance moves and Disney inspired sound track for the balance bike and ripper races
Hannah Escott was once again on hand to provide the commentary, crazy dance moves and Disney inspired sound track for the balance bike and ripper races

Last minute words of encouragement
Last minute words of encouragement

I found Wally Waldo for all American Readers
I found Wally (Waldo for all American Readers)

A great turnout from the crowd to cheer the riders on
A great turnout from the crowd to cheer the riders on

Fist bumps can be confusing
Fist bumps can be confusing

These balance bike kids really do show us all that bikes are just about fun
These balance bike kids really do show us all that bikes are just about fun

Who doesn t want to wear tiger print to go racing
Who doesn't want to wear tiger print to go racing!?

No gate for the kids. Dual Slalom is just a classic ready steady go
No gate for the kids. Dual Slalom is just a classic ready, steady, go!

Riders kept it pinned into the grassy turns
Riders kept it pinned into the grassy turns

Just like the adults the kids are keen to ride in trains with their friends
Just like the adults the kids are keen to ride in trains with their friends

The hillside was packed for the dual slalom for the Rippers and Balance bikes on Saturday
The hillside was packed for the dual slalom for the Rippers and Balance bikes on Saturday

Good to see some cross country riders trying out the dual slalom
Good to see some cross country riders trying out the dual slalom

This kid s ready to rock
This kid's ready to rock

Rad to see these young girls ride together and have so much fun
Rad to see these young girls ride together and have so much fun

Pigtails and balance bikes just fit
Pigtails and balance bikes just fit

Mum pointing out that you might need to go around the poles
Mum pointing out that you might need to go around the poles

Dad uplift in full force
Dad uplift in full force

Sunday: Downhill

Dad s shoulders are always the best seat in the house
Dad's shoulders are always the best seat in the house

Kids love getting air
Kids love getting air

Feet up coasting to the finish line
Feet up coasting to the finish line

Kids aren t afraid to send it
Kids aren't afraid to send it

Cow bells out to support their mates
Cow bells out to support their mates

These Red Bull riders are just getting younger and younger
These Red Bull riders are just getting younger and younger

This rider had only eyes on the finishing line
This rider had only eyes on the finishing line

Fist bumps with mum on the finishing line does it get any better than that
Fist bumps with mum on the finishing line, does it get any better than that?

Even the kids get Kashima these days
Even the kids get Kashima these days

Balance bike riders in full faces just look the best
Balance bike riders in full faces just look so cool

Not all balance bikes are made the same it doesn t mean their any less fun
Not all balance bikes are made the same, it doesn't mean their any less fun

Alongside the actual bike race there was the constant race for of the parents running down the hill supporting the riders
Alongside the actual bike race, there was the constant race for of the parents running down the hill supporting the riders


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19 Comments
  • 34 0
 best coverage of the year. please make a live stream and have rob warner yelling into the mic.
  • 2 0
 If there's a G rated version of Warner, this would be incredible.
  • 1 0
 RW on the mic for kids races could be, err, interesting if he kept up his usual type of commentary analogies
  • 18 0
 @a11y: HOW CAN HE SIT DOWN WITH DIAPERS THAT BIG?
  • 3 0
 @rrolly: Rob was here in Bentonville during the Bike Fest and did a great job with the Juniors (didn't see the balance bike kids.)
  • 6 0
 Looking forwards to the "bike check" article. What was stock, what did you upgrade and why? How much does the Kashima help on a dual crown rigid fork (and can it still be called USD)? If flat pedals win medals, what do no pedals get you?

The questions that need answers.
  • 6 0
 This has everything, toddlers, teens, parents. It's a pretty well-balanced article.
  • 3 0
 Video is a glaring omission but I'm sure PB will take that criticism in stride.
  • 4 0
 When it comes to bike advancements I’ve seen, balance bikes may actually top tubeless tires, tray racks, 1x, and dropper posts…so much better than training wheels! Thanks, balance bike pioneers!
  • 4 0
 This is fantastic...love seeing the groms out ripping!
  • 4 0
 Why doesn't this happen everywhere? My kids would have loved it.
  • 2 0
 Most of the CX races by me have a "little Belgiums" category.
  • 1 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: aren't they too young for beer?
  • 1 0
 @hubertje-ryu: Maybe your country, but we like to start them young, here.
  • 3 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: Pretty sure the Belgians start them younger.
  • 2 0
 This weekend here in Whitehorse, Yukon we're hosting the Kids Cookie Criterium! Do some laps, get some cookies!
  • 2 0
 Now we need an old farts category, 65 y/o plus. Must be an avid player of shuffle board
  • 1 0
 These photos are sheer joy Smile
  • 1 0
 Blinking smart







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