Some quick feedback from our visit to the Santos Tour Down Under
Oh yes, it was a great day, that last Sunday of the Santos Tour Down Under on 24 January 2016. Early in the morning, when the sun hadn’t yet risen, we headed out with the children in tow to Elder Park in Adelaide to set up our balance bike trial track among the other great features the South Australian Government organised for this big Family Day and the Final stage of this UCI World event.
Our track was only a few meters away from the race track which made it extremely convenient to follow the day’s happenings while still overlooking our children and our balance bike and road bike range. As soon as the family day schedule hit off we could swing back and forth from our little event to the big one.
At 9:30am the BUPA Mini Tour for Kids started on the final stretch of the big race and I have to say, I was deeply impressed with many aspects of this event. The main reason for this was the participation rate of the children, something I have not witnessed in any other city in Australia. From an age group of 6 up to 12 years there were kids lining up to ride their loops on part of the Be Safe Be Seen MAC Stage 6 circuit. To keep it safe, the organisers categorised the races in age groups. The first race was for 6 year olds, then followed by 7 years etc.
Irrespective of age, what caught my eye was the pride and joy these kids showed while riding their bikes. Some were happy just to be part of it. Those would cruise along the stretch and cycle until finished. But then there were the competitive ones, who took their part very seriously and would overtake the entire group several times. Whatever type the riders were, they all had their place and fun in this race. It is great to see that such a big tournament offers the possibility for the growing generation to really feel and be part of it.
It was not only the children’s participation that deserves such praise. The whole City of Adelaide did a fantastic job and stuck to the principles of this event. It was a bike event, so anything that could be on a bike was on a bike; even the police.
After the Bupa Mini Tour for Kids finished the interest shifted into the direction where we were. All of a sudden our stand was flooded with little ones, who were too young to take part in the Bupa Mini Tour (ages 6+), but wanted to ride and give our balance bikes a go as well. We set up our balance bike track on a grassed area with a gentle slope and it turned into a huge success with children constantly being on the bikes and riding their laps. A few times throughout the day, the queue of kids seemed never ending!
These type of family days are always such a reward to us. Yes, we do these events to market our brand, I am not going to lie about it, but we also do it to contribute to society in our own little way. We want to encourage parents to get outside and get active with their kids. These trial tracks are set up by us at our own expense. We offer the bikes for free and don’t put time limits on how long the children can ride them. We believe most parents and children understand when it’s appropriate to hand over the bike to others waiting in line. We also believe, by letting the children ride as long as their parents allow it, they might discover something that is of great benefit to them … how to learn to balance in a playful and fun way. And it works. Parents not sure about the concept of balance bikes really do see the point after having some time on our demo fleet. Children who were not that confident to ride, all of the sudden discover a new dimension of movement and fun and sometimes cannot be taken off the bikes. They become confident and want to enjoy their liberty. Some parents are so intrigued by their child’s happiness, they decide to park at our stand and stay there until we close. This happened in Adelaide as well. Two families decided to stay at our stand and let their children ride. They would not stop going around and around. I truly enjoyed watching the happy little faces and at the end of the day, I received a huge thank you with the most beautiful smile. Knowing that these kids had a great time on our bikes is certainly a priceless accomplishment.