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SALT LAKE CITY — Thousands of toddler bike riders converged Saturday on the Gallivan Center for the seventh-annual Strider Cup World Championships, a 750-foot obstacle course for tykes on 20-inch standup bikes.
Racers came from across the United States, as well as 10 countries, including Aruba, China, Japan, Russia, Thailand and Canada. Japanese racers swept the world title events. Kaiser Nishimura won the 2-year-old class, Reito Kaneko won among the 3-year-olds, Taiga Kuwahara took the 4-year-old division, and Waku Kunitate won the 5-year-old class.
“The race is a natural occurrence and outgrowth of the company," Strider Bikes founder and CEO Ryan McFarland said. "We just want to get kids on bikes and live an active lifestyle ... Any time you get several kids together, they want to have a race.”
Strider Sports builds and markets no-pedal balance bikes for children. The bikes are standup only, meant to help small children transition to bikes without the use of training wheels and other similar aides.
"Their feet are on the ground, and even a 2-year-old has really good control of the bike," said Ted Huettl of Strider Sports. "You’re confident in it.”
Click the video to watch the competitive toddlers compete for glory.