Fearless little riders sprint off the start line on balance bikes to race around a twisting course without pedals or brakes to help them
- Youngsters take on each other in winding course using ‘balance’ bikes
- Intense competition sees some fallers as others power through without peddles
- The basic form of bike is popular with parents trying to teach children to ride
- Brave bikers spotted in ninth ‘Wildrunner Cup’ which took place in Osaka, Japan
It’s not quite the Tour de France… but these kids sure know how to tear up a bike track – and aren’t even using pedals or brakes!
A dozen boys and girls were spotted crashing out on sharp turns and sprinting down the finishing straight of a ‘balance bike’ competition.
The video is of children competing in the Wildrunner Cup in Osaka, Japan.
On your marks: An expectant crowd awaits the starting bleep on the huge track that even has its own release gate the dozen children
Lining up for the hotly contested race, the footage shows a large crowd assembled on all sides of the cheering them on.
The impressively-sized track even has its own release gate to hold the kids back from getting an early start.
After a countdown the kids race using a combination of the wheels, leg power and balance to propel them down the road.
And they’re off! They all make a quick start out of the blocks, practically running to the first corner as they try to build up speed on the no-peddle bikes
As they comes into the first corner a couple feel capable of taking their feet off the ground and letting the bikes do some work
As they make their turn on the first corner, the child in fourth place takes a fall causing a few other children to fall on the track.
Despite the gnarly-looking accident, several determined children continue down the circuit.
The children weave their way through the final part of the track as a race official takes down times to determine the winner.
The race starts to hot as a leading pack emerge and come fast through the first bend
Crash! In scenes not too disimilar to a Tour de France stage, a whole bunch of riders crash out, but some are brave enough to jump back up and get themselves back into contention
But as the frontrunner wearing a pink coat thinks he could be on a victory lap, a racer in white comes from behind and dashes his chances, as he eventually falls to third place.
Balance bikes are a relatively new phenomenon which has cropped up in the UK and other countries such as Japan,
According to Cycle Republic, a balance bicycle or run bike is a training bicycle that helps children learn balance and steering.
As trio of racers head for the last section of the course as fast as their little legs will take them as dozens of spectators watch on from the sidelines
No need for a photo finish as one child in a white top takes first place after storming past the frontrunner in pink who appears to have fallen back to third place
There are no foot pedals, chain, gears, or in most cases brakes to worry about, and so children are more capable of understanding how to balance themselves .
Balance bikes are generally made for small children and they vary hugely in style. Some are more similar to toys, while others are clearly designed using features from ‘proper’ bikes.
While a normal bike with stabilisers might help them learn how to pedal, they don’t pick up any skills for when the stabilisers come off.
We have a winner. The balance bike riding competitions are said to be fiercely competitive