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November 15, 2007

Raising A Cyclist In 21st Century America: Part 2

Has it been a year since I first heard of the Glider Rider?

Last December I shared with you a series of correspondences between myself and Randy Eady, of MPS-Ready Solutions.

It was all about a childs bicycle called the Glider Rider, and 2 presentations planned for Velo-city 2007 Conference, in Munich Germany, on "The Challenge of Raising A Cyclist In 21st Century America", and "Human Powered Vehicles (HPV); the ANTI-Segway. (Exploring a Cultural Paradox; Back to the Future of Individual Traffic)."

He even shared a Letter to the Editor, of Bicycling, that he's not sure was ever published!

What was really interesting to me was something he was planning for the future.

You see he also shared with me an article he had just finished writing, and hoped to get published, about how innovative Bike Designs are good Start-up Business Ventures.

(Read my original piece from Xmas day 2006.)

Well, I recently received that long promised update e-mail. ;-D

He wrote:

Sorry for overlooking getting a copy of the presentation to you that we corresponded about last year.

1) Attached is the article that I presented in a paper at the Velo-City 2007 (The Challenge of Raising a Cyclist in 21st Century America)

We want to have our Glider Rider Adult Version (GRAV) on display in Brussels for 2009.

The beginning of this 5 minute video [promoting the Conference] really sets the stage for our new design.

I did a Google Search and found the article on Start-up Businesses! ;-D

So you, dear reader, are getting a two-fer. ;-D

As I wrote then "The article is an informative essay that discusses the balance principles, attributes, and benefits, of  four new bike concepts:  the Sideway bike (UK), the StreetSurfer (AUS), the StairCycle (US) and, the soon to be announced, Glider Rider-Adult Version (GE/US)."

On January 16, 2007 this article was published on Gather.com, and republished on the Glider Website on March 13th.

More recently the article was given a thorough overhaul, with pictures, and a whole new section on something fascinating called the COOL'cle.

This version of the article will serve as support of a Technology Demonstration at The International Conference on Aging, Disability and Independence (ICADI), St. Petersburg, FL Feb 2008

Here is the PDF version of the 4 page published article:

Bicycle Design: A Top Transportation Start-up Business Venture.

The article sent me in the update is part of a presentation he made at the 2007 Conference in June.

This presentation served to visually and verbally introduce the Adult Version of the Glider Rider (G.R.A.V.) to the world:

It’s a touchy subject bike manufactures have recently struggled to get their arms around: find a solution to diminishing rider capability and interest without sacrificing style and good looks for function.

The latest industry design emphasis seems to tilt toward pedal assistance or electric bikes (pedalecs as they’re known in the biking world)...these work if your balance, fitness and fiscal health are up to it.

Another alternative is to create a trike that enables people to stay mobile longer and to participate in everyday activities. Yet no matter how good you make it look, a trike is, after all, still a trike.

The auto manufacturer Volkswagen picked up on this theme with their 2006 Golf Gti car commericial which just shows a handlebar tassled tricycle and says, “for some, the man was always in the child.”

The advertising goes on to suggest that adults should not give up their adult status and leap back to the security of a trike before they have to.

That’s actually very sound health advice. And, a thought that has been undercored most recently in studies focused on specific physical activites that the Glider Rider in both the adult and children’s format accentuate: muscle balance development and bilateral coordination. Importantly, this product hits the scene on the heels of the social acceptance of healthy aging.

Here is the PDF version of the 4 page published article:

0 2 B 4 Again: What's to Know before you hop back on that Trike... (Yes, Page 4 is the 1st thing you see, but just scroll down to get to the start and you should be fine from there. ;-D)

In March Randy wrote an essay that discusses the notion that Glider Riders are smarter.

It's all about Concentrating better and learning faster.

In Elementary schools across this European nation, researchers have found children in the two to five year old age range who learned how to balance, coordinate and operate a new kind of pedal-free, balance learning bike called the Glider Rider, show greater intellectual ability, can concentrate on tasks better and for longer periods of time.

Read: Glider Riders Are Smarter.

Watch a video of a joyful toddler tooling around on his ride. ;-D

The Father writes: "My kid loves this bike and the other kids always ask him to
borrow it. It has been a great purchase!"

For a few other, older, articles, as well as alternative access to articles mentioned here, if the Gather Links go bad, check out the News Section of the Glider Rider Website.

Even if you are not convinced to plop your toddler on one of these babies, or try the eventual adult version yourself, there is a lot of food for thought here that is worth considering.

November 15, 2007 in Voices From The Open Road | Permalink


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I am looking for information on the glider type of bycycle for my child.

I have never seen one in action except online.

Are these truly sound principals?

He has difficulty pedaling because of a muscle condition but he wants to ride a bike like his big sister SO BAD.

What I want to know, without the sales pitch, is do these bikes really do what they claim?

Posted by: Joy | Apr 20, 2008 10:24:54 PM

I, too, have only the videos, and the articles to go by, plus my correspondence, but I am impressed by the presentations, and by the testimonials of support given by purchasers of the bikes, including at least 1 fellow BikeBlogger.

Posted by: Kiril, The Cycling Dude | Apr 21, 2008 1:08:10 AM

Just want to get the word out there about how great the Puky Glider Rider is in developing balance early on in youngsters.

In spring 2005 during a trip to Germany my wife and I noticed many very young children riding the pedalless bicycles around Schwetzingen.

We remarked about how young the riders were to be balancing already.

Upon seeing a Puky Glider Rider in a shop window we made a purchase and had one shipped to the states for our grandson's third birthday.

The story only begins here.

As our 3 year old grandson was enjoying the "Puky bike" in our driveway we noticed that he was already balancing on the two wheels and coasting along.

At the same time our older grandson age 5 was practicing on his two wheel pedal bike with training wheels. He was having little success.

As soon as he noticed that the 3 year old was balancing he said, "Grandpa take those wheels off my bike."

I did so, and during that afternoon, with great effort the 5 year old learned to ride.

We were amazed to see the 3 year old balancing at such a young age.

The motivation that provided for the 5 year old to get rid of the training wheels was even more striking.

Both boys are now avid bicycle riders and we credit their early success to the Puky Glider Rider.

Posted by: Bill | May 11, 2008 8:13:12 AM

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