We returned last week from five amazing days in Chicago just in time to celebrate Thanksgiving. After spending a fun Sunday sharing a few hours with friends and then decorating our Christmas tree, here we are today with Black Friday and Small Business Saturday behind us…

Welcome to Cyber Monday! The evolution of our holiday shopping rituals continues. (Did I mention that we have THE ABSOLUTE BEST balance bikes at Legaci Bikes?)

While in Chicago, we visited the Museum of Science and Industry (www.msichicago.org). Imagine my excitement when I discovered “The Art of the Bicycle,” a permanent exhibit at the museum highlighting the history of the bicycle! It’s probably no surprise to anyone that life at our house is relatively cycling-oriented, so the newer “high-tech” bikes are only as far away as our garage and basement. It was also fun to see the bikes of my childhood- high-rise handlebars and banana seats were the ‘thing’ when I was a kid, but what I found most fascinating was looking and reading about the history of the bicycles. Check out the exhibit  online at www.msichicago.org/explore/whats-here/exhibits/art-of-the-bicycle/ and if you are close enough- visit the museum! It’s an amazing place to spend a day!

It’s interesting that few weeks prior to our trip, we posted an article on the history of the bicycle on our facebook page (visit us! www.facebook.com/LegaciBikes/). As it turns out, the first bikes WERE balance bikes! An adult rode the first ‘bicycle’ in 1818. Known as the ‘walking machine,’ the Laufmaschine was invented by German engineer Karl Drais. His ‘bike’ weighed in at forty-five pounds, and soon after his first ‘ride,’ he was able to travel 60km in four hours. It’s not surprising that within a short period of time, there were many people- mainly young and middle-aged men- clamoring to have the machine that would soon begin its evolution into what we now know as a ‘bike.’ The new invention was known as a ‘draisine’ in Germany, a ‘velocipede’ or ‘draisienne’ to the French, and in England they called it the ‘dandy’ or ‘hobby horse.’ At the same time, the Americans considered it to be complete nonsense and the Baltimore Sun rejected the idea as ‘Transatlantic nonsense.’

Fortunately, resistance gave way to acceptance, and eventually even the skeptical Americans began to embrace the bicycle. For most of us today, it’s hard to imagine a childhood without a bike. Many of us continue to ride as adults, for some it is competitively and for others it’s pure recreation. Isn’t it great to have something we learned as children that we are able to continue to enjoy at any age?

At legacibikes.com, we believe that balance bikes are the perfect beginning to lifelong enjoyment of cycling! Forget the tricycle… it’s easier (and natural) to learn to balance first. Add the pedaling later! Kids as young as 18 months can ride a balance bike and with the holidays coming up- these bikes make great gifts! And if you are impatient and have a younger future cyclist, check out the Kazam mini- a great little ride-on for 12 months and up! (legacibikes.com/product/kazam-mini/)