Strider Balance Bike
When my four-year-old daughter went for her first pedal bicycle ride, I jogged alongside and gave her a gentle push – then away she went. That one push was all she needed, and within five minutes she was pedaling in circles and figures eights, having the time of her life. Literally, five minutes is all it took, and not once did she use training wheels. The secret of her immediate success is she had already taught herself for a year aboard the Strider balance bike.
A pedal-less two-wheeled trainer, the Strider bike is simple in design and function. It teaches children to balance on two wheels – the most critical skill needed to operate a bicycle, which is actually hindered by conventional ‘training wheels’. Kids can start on the Strider as soon as they can walk – and they intuitively teach themselves. Little tykes progress their riding skill along with their general development, and soon they are up to speed. Before you know it, you’ll be pushing them off for their first pedal bike ride too.
The Strider takes only a couple minutes to assemble. At less than seven pounds, it is incredibly lightweight and is durable too, with an easy-adjust seat post that can be raised as the child grows. Success of the initial model has led to the development of the Strider Super 16 – a larger design targeted to kids ages 6-10, which also serves older children with special needs. The Strider is a wonderful product that’s bringing the joy of riding to more people. I can personally vouch for its effectiveness, and my daughter’s pink Strider bike will soon be getting ridden by her one-year-old sister. – Bart Madson
MSRP: $109 for base model, with $189 for larger Super 16
Smooth Industries MX Activity Rug
The Smooth Industries MX Activity Rug will definitely come in handy for those rainy days when the kids can’t go outside and build their own mini-dirt tracks. Roll it out and voila, a full on race track that can be as gnarly as they want with a little imagination. The Activity Rug is made of polyester yarn and is approximately 6mm thick, so provides a bit of cushion for the little one’s knees during all-day competition. There’s also a gel-foam backing pad included which keeps the rug from sliding around when the moto gets heated and it measures 3 feet by 5 feet.
American Throttle, The Game
It’s a poker run and test of motorcycling knowledge, starting in Washington State and ending at the Hollister Rally. Up to seven players or teams can participate and you get to choose from 15 different makes and models of motorcycles as game pieces. Roll the dice and head on to the first rally, once there you’ll have to answer either a “Two Wheeler Triva” question or a “What The Hell is That?” question. Answer correctly, take a poker card and continue on. Once all players get to Hollister they will have seven cards, playing the best five card hand. Place a bet at the beginning of the game and the first player to finish gets half the pot, the player with the best hand at the end gets the other half. This one can be as wild or tame as you want it to be and will show who truly knows their stuff. Due to spots on the board like “take a swig of your drink” the American Throttle Game is recommended for 21 and over.
Milwaukee Mile Poster Puzzle
The Milwaukee Mile Poster Puzzle is based on the promotional poster for the 1926 National Motorcycle Championship at the Milwaukee State Fair track. It’s a vintage-looking 500-piece puzzle that would be suitable for framing once you get all the pieces in the right place. Measuring 19 1/2 inches by 26 3/4 inches, the Milwaukee Mile Poster Puzzle will look great in the garage once assembled and is a great way to pass the time when the weather is too bad to ride.
New Ray Yamaha R-1 Model
This die-cast replica of Yamaha’s R1 sportbike features lights and sounds and is of a quality to display in a window box, if pretending to carve mountain twisties isn’t you’re thing. For the kids this replica will provide hours of entertainment as one of the coolest toys in the toy box. There are plenty of New Ray replicas of other makes and models as well, if you’d rather have junior cut his teeth on a CBR600R or ZX-14R rather than the R1. There’s even a Ford F250 with Trailer replica in case the little one’s need a way to get the bike inside from the back yard. Check them out at Motorcycle-Superstore.com.
1000 Biker Tattoos (Book)
Stepping outside the bounds of the Toy and Game theme here, the 1000 Biker Tattoo book is a great gift for anyone who loves ink, the cultural intersection of tattoos and motorcycles or needs a new conversation-starting coffee table book. The work by Sara Liberte and Chad Lemme features 865 color photographs of tattoos and the bikers that wear them. One section of the book highlights the various tattoos of famous bikers, including Dave Perewitz, Jason Grimes, Indian Larry and many others. Other sections include photos of tattoo fails and the book closes with some of the artists currently producing some really great work.
Tucker Rocky – Ben Spies Bobble Head
Ben Spies may not be on the MotoGP grid anymore, but you can still show your love for the four-time AMA SuperBike champion with the Tucker Rocky Ben Spies Bobble Head doll. This one commemorates Spies’ first MotoGP victory at the Assen TT in 2011. It’s a limited edition as well, and each is hand painted and numbered. There are only 5000 of these going out worldwide, so move quick!