Kids as young as two years of age are set to compete in Surrey during the first Strider Cup event ever held in Canada.
A day of “balance bike” races will be held on the plaza outside Surrey City Hall on Saturday, Aug. 17, as part of a series organized by American bike manufacturer Strider Bikes.
Strider Cup races are billed as “amazing opportunities that give kids from all over the world to put their Strider skills to the test at several stops across the continent,” according to an event post at stiderbikes.com.
“This exclusive race series is for Strider riders 2-6 years old who want to experience the thrill of racing. Children of all sizes and skill levels are welcome to participate.”
Similar races in U.S. cities have involved hundreds of kids who use their feet to push their bikes along, as Striders are not equipped with pedals.
Surrey was chosen as a Strider Cup event location after Brad McLean became the Canadian distributor for Strider bikes. He is president of Matrix Concepts Canada, based in South Surrey.
“Surrey is a good spot for this event, nice and central,” McLean said.
“Strider has been putting on this series in the States for the five past or six years, and there’s a world championship and other events, but this is the first one ever held in Canada. Other lower-level events have been held in Canada, but not like this.”
McLean said Strider Cup events are designed to be fun for young riders, but also competitive.
“It’s a cool experience for young kids,” he said. “It’s a fun event that gives them confidence and also the thrill of racing and competition, that experience of riding and showing what they can do on the track.”
A media advisory for the Surrey event promises visuals of “toddlers 20 months to 5 years old racing Strider Bikes for the first time in Canada and raising trophies (almost as tall as themselves).”
“Right now we’re sitting at around 100 racers (for the Surrey event),” McLean said Thursday, “and from past experience they tell me that a lot of kids are registered by their parents the week before, a good number of them.
“Being a first-year event in Canada, in Surrey, the numbers are a little lower than what they do in the States, of course, so we’re expecting that number to grow. Down there they get 200, 300 racers for a Strider Cup, and we’re hoping for around 150 for a first-time event, to build off that for future years.”
On race day, the action at Civic Plaza will start at 8 a.m. with an Open Course Parade of Racers, followed by 2-Year-Old and Under division races. Four-year-olds hit the track at 11 a.m., followed by a lunch break. Afternoon races include the 3-Year-Old Class and 14x Open Class. Race day will also include the “14x Experience,” an area where kids can try pedaling for the first time.
Online registration is done on the eventbrite.com website, for a fee of $32 in American funds (approximately $42.25 Canadian). The entry fee includes a Strider jersey, number plate “and other goodies” given out at Packet Pickup times. Race registration closes Thursday, Aug. 15 at 8 p.m., although 14x Open Class competitors can sign up on race day.