I don't know about you, but using the stride bone can a burdensome process for most. Luckily, the upcoming version of Blender (likely to be released in late December or early January) has a new solution that is far easier to set up and may be your new favorite animation tool.
Committed to the CVS in November by Ton, walk cycle modifiers are a welcome addition to Blender and will certainly be a highlight of the upcoming release. Ton writes:
Forward Cycling and Matching
Up to no now, adding multiple actions in NLA with walkcycles required to animate them standing still, as if walking on a conveyor belt. The stride option then makes the object itself move forward, trying to keep the foot stuck on the floor (with poor results!). This option now allows to make walk cycles moving forward. By indicating a reference Offset Bone, the NLA system will use that bone to detect the correct offset for the Armature Pose to make it seamlessly going forward.
Best of all, this option works as for cyclic Action Strips as well as for individual Action Strips. Note that for individual strips, you have to set the strip on "Hold".
Action Modifiers (motion deforming)
The above option was actually required for this feature. Typically walk cycles are constructed with certain Bones to be the handles, controlling for example the torso or feet. An Action Modifier allows you to use a Curve Path to deform the motion of these controlling bones. This uses the existing Curve Deformation option. Modifiers can be added per Action Strip, each controlling a channel (bone) by choice, and even allows to layer multiple modifiers on top of each other (several paths deforming motion). This option is using the dependency graph, so editing the Curve will give realtime changes in the Armature.
The Walk Cycle Modifier page has several nice videos as well as .blend examples. Definitely worth checking to get a glimpse into Blender future... especially if you find the stride bone a bit difficult.