Some of that boosted confidence was on full display at the 2015 STRIDER World Championship in Rapid City, South Dakota. The event, which took place in August 2105, brought together 240 toddler racers from six countries to compete in balance bike races.
The event also included special needs races, which featured 40 additional racers.
The championship was the culmination of STRIDER's 2015 race series, which included races in Florida, California, Pennsylvania and Utah. Racers from Japan took home the gold in the 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old heats, while a Rapid City-native won the 2-year-old division.
STRIDER has already begun planning the 2016 race series, with races planned in Salt Lake City, Utah; Spokane, Washington; Lincoln, Nebraska; Atlanta, Georgia and more to come.
The Course1 of 18
An overhead shot of the STRIDER Championship race course.
Safety First2 of 18
Coolest. Helmet. EVER!
Bike Maintenance3 of 18
Gotta keep the ride maintained, bro.
On Your Mark. Get Set. GO!4 of 18
Racers take off to start one of the many races.
Picking Up Speed5 of 18
Racers crouch to make themselves more aerodynamic as another race begins.
Go for the Gold6 of 18
Special Olympics athletes race along the course.
Neck and Neck7 of 18
Some racers vie for position.
Water Hazard8 of 18
A racer tries to find his way through the fountain portion of the course.
Up and Down9 of 18
Racer traverse over one of the course's many obstacles.
Spinning Your Wheels10 of 18
Another racer pauses for some fun in the fountain portion of the course.
Turn on a Dime11 of 18
Racers turn through the course.
Finish Line12 of 18
A racer from Japan crosses the finish line.
Trophy Time13 of 18
Trophies on trophies on trophies.
Celebration14 of 18
More racers celebrate after the race.
On the Podium15 of 18
Special Olympics athletes celebrate on the podium after their race.
Victory16 of 18
A Japanese racer celebrates on the podium.
End of the Night17 of 18
All the racers and parents gather for a group photo after the day's events.