New program helps youth stride into bike riding

By Amanda RavensteinFebruary 11, 2020

The Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's Outdoor Recreation has introduced new programs for families this winter. One of those programs, Strider Riders, is geared toward families with young children learning to ride a bike. Leigh Ann Slinger, Outdoor Recreation supervisor, said the 30-minute sessions have a twist.

"We are providing the bikes ... instruction on the steps and how to guide your child to learn how to ride a bike," she said. "But, it's the parents that will have the hands-on with the children. It will be them coming and working with their child on how to ride a bike."

According to the DFMWR website,, these no-pedal balance bikes allow children to focus on learning how to ride a bike with balance and coordination before pedaling.

"They will be learning based on weight shifting and pedaling their feet," she said. "And then, as soon as they get more confident and are able to pedal it fast enough, they lift their feet off the ground and continue their momentum based off of weight shifting front, back and side to side."

During the cold weather, the program is held at Long Fitness Center, 8069 Normandy Dr., but Slinger said when the temperature gets warmer this spring, they will be moving the bikes to Outdoor Adventure Park.

The last date for January is on the 29th at 9 a.m. for 2- to 3-year-olds and 9:45 a.m. for 4- to 5-year-olds. The classes will be held at noon and 12:45 p.m. on Feb. 5, 12, 19 and 26. Sessions are $5 per child and registration must be made 48-hours in advance by contacting the Outdoor Adventure and Travel Center at 785-239-5412. Spaces are limited to 10 per session.