Press Release from Strider Sports: Strider Bikes brought the Strider Cup World Championship presented by FedEx to California for the first time ever, hosting riders from around the world at Pier 35 in San Francisco, July 29-30. Nearly 300 riders participated in the races, with over 40 international competitors.

The championship included races for 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds, with Japanese riders taking home first in each class. The day also included Special Needs Races for riders of all ages and abilities. Donny Robinson, 2008 Olympic Bronze medalist in BMX Racing, made a guest appearance at the Opening Ceremonies on Friday night.

Levi “Crazy Legs” Voyer of Stockton, Calif., was the youngest competitor at 18 months old. He’s been on his Strider Bike since he was walking at 11 months old. In the 2-year-old and under class presented by Golden Gate Urgent Care, Japanese female phenom Miku Shiozawa, decked out in a pink tutu, crossed the line with a huge smile as she took the top spot from the boys.

Japan brought 24 riders to the event, including Kei Murayama, who beat a tough field of competitors to take home the top trophy in the 3-year-old class, presented by Yelp. Close on his heels was one of the 14 Ecuadorian racers, Emilio Perez Fernandez.

In the 4-year-old class presented by Kidz Gear, Japanese rider Waku Kunitate made his countrymen – and parents – proud by taking home the first place trophy. He was also the winner of the 3-year-old class at the 2015 Strider Cup World Championship. In the final, 4-year-old heat this year, five of the nine finalists were from Japan. Two were from Ecuador and two U.S. riders made the final heat, including Diego Salinas.

“We loved the event, it was so kid-friendly,” said Diego’s mom Kristin Salinas. The Fremont speedster races at the local BMX track and transitioned to a pedal bike at age three years old. “He’s made so many friends!”

The winner in the 5-year-old class presented by Clover Stornetta Farms, Ao Yamashita led a field of nine finalists – all Japanese – from start to finish. His final win made it a clean sweep for the Japanese, who dominated the competition.

The Special Needs Races presented by CamelBak gave nearly 10 athletes a chance to show off the skills they learned, many on bikes donated by Strider Sports Int’l to Special Olympics of Northern California. In addition, Strider donated two customized Strider Pro models for a raffle, which raised more than $500, which will support five athletes in a sport.

Tyler Robinson of San Jose raced in the 3-year-old class, and his brother Miles Robinson (5) competed in the Special Needs Races. After Miles crossed the finish line, he exclaimed, “Mommy I did it by myself!” His mom, Candi, said riding a Strider Bike has increased his endurance and given him a sense of accomplishment.

Marissa Erickson (24) of Alameda received her bike in March and crossed the line first in the Special Needs Races. “Before starting on a Strider Bike, Marissa was scared of riding, and now she loves it,” said her mother Mary. “She’s lost 25 pounds in the last year, and riding the bike has really helped.”

Strider teamed up with CamelBak to give away 120 Strider Bikes to California youth in June, with many given away at the Giveaway Party hosted by CamelBak at their headquarters on June 29.

Several participants from previous national Strider Cup races attended, including Bodhi Harmon, of Bloomington, IL, who took 4th place in the 2-year-old class at the first Strider Cup race of the year on June 11 in Lincoln, Nebraska. The second Strider Cup race was held June 25 in Salt Lake City and the final race was in Spokane, WA, on July 9. The Strider event page, has more information on all of the races in the U.S. and around the world.