Why are you called Rainbow Trainers?


People often are puzzled over the meaning and origin of the name Rainbow Trainers, Inc. As a point of explanation, the corporation’s roots stem from the research of Dr. Richard E. Klein, President and Founder. Klein is an emeritus faculty member of the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign IL. In his three decades of teaching and research (1968-1998), Klein became interested in bicycle dynamics — meaning the study using mathematics as to what causes a bicycle to be stable and how a bicycle essentially “works.” This activity then lead Klein into the area of studying how children learn to ride a bike.

Klein’s research soon uncovered the fact that when children attempt to learn or master bike riding, many children go through a set of predictable steps or phases. Klein, upon applying engineering principles, sought to improve and shorten the process by creating adapted or special benign bikes — bikes suitable to aid the learning process. The name or concept of the “Rainbow” came about because Klein realized that kids aren’t taught how to ride, but rather they discover how to ride. Klein hypothesized that if one had an array of different bikes, then thought of as representing the colors of the rainbow, that children in the process of play would indeed master bike riding, as each level of the rainbow represented a challenge level. Moreover, once the children master one level, their mastery then facilitates their success at the next level of challenge. In a nut shell, that is the origin of the name, “Rainbow Trainers.”

At Rainbow Trainers we believe that children can discover how to ride a bike if the proper environment is made available. As the child is successful, this success will bring about improvement in motor skills as well as confidence to try yet another bike, another bike in the progression of colors. This was and still is our ultimate dream, and we feel that we have made gigantic strides towards the achievement of that dream.

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