If the turnout is any indication, the inaugural Strider Cup races in Riverfront Park on Saturday were a big hit. More than 180 children ages 20 months to 5 years participated, competing in a race course that wove around the Rotary Fountain.
Kim Orlob brought her 4-year-old son Matthew to race. Her husband is a BMX racer and trick rider and Matthew has been racing since he was a year old, Orlob said. Matthew took eighth place in his age category on his Strider bike.
“These bikes are just awesome,” she said. “Great for learning.”
There are no pedals on a Strider bike, so tots riding them look more like they’re running while sitting.
“I don’t like bumps,” Matthew said. “I like the hills and the ramps. I have a ramp at home.”
Ted Huettl, events manager for Strider Sports, said the event had a good turnout, particularly in the younger age categories.
His organization came to Spokane for the first time this year because the Spokane Sports Commission “really pushed for us to come to town,” Huettl said. “It’s gone really well. It’s a beautiful venue for it.”
Adding to the excitement, an announcer voiced a play-by-play of each race. The kids ate it up, busting across the finish line with big grins on their faces.
Saturday’s event was the final of three in the national Strider Cup racing series.
Participation in the race qualified riders for the Strider Cup World Championship in San Francisco in July.