Celebrating 10 Years of Magic Moments with woom
As we pedal fast into 2023, we’re officially celebrating 10 years of woom bringing bikes to children and families around the world! Although we didn’t officially coin the term “Magic Moments” until 2020, Magic Moments have been our purpose since the very first woom bike. Our love of bikes that we share with each and every one of you has been sparking magic in families now for a decade—and that’s worth celebrating.
So buckle those helmets, inflate those tires, and get your bike in gear to ride with us down memory lane. Join us for a look at where we came from, where we’ve been, and where we’re going on this woomtastic journey.
Pedaling from Vienna to the U.S. and Beyond
What started as two dads in a garage has grown beyond our wildest dreams since those humble beginnings in 2013. Marcus Ihlenfeld and Christian Bezdeka were just two dads in Vienna with a passion for their kids and inventing: the perfect combination that ultimately led to woom.
Marcus was so excited about what they were creating that he sent one of the first woom bikes to his one-year-old nephew in the United States. This simple gift got the wheels turning for Marcus’s brother, Mathias.
Raised in Germany, Mathias Ihlenfeld moved to the United States in 1994 as a collegiate tennis player, ultimately earning his MBA at the University of Alabama. He found great success in the software consulting world. But receiving that bike for his son, Mathias says, “was a life-changing event for me.”
Inspired by these bikes—unlike anything else on the market—Mathias brought woom stateside. “Starting a business is like having another baby,” Mathias laughs. “Twins, actually!”
Those first years weren’t easy, Mathias recalls. As he launched woom domestically, he retained his full-time work in software consulting. “The first two years I often worked 80 hours a week,” he remembers. “It was wild. Sometimes I was in the middle of a meeting with a software client and got a call from someone who wanted to buy a bike. I’d have to excuse myself so I could sell it.”
But those challenging first steps paved the way for big success. With just 1,400 bikes sold in the first year on U.S. soil, we skyrocketed to more than 52,000 bikes in 2022. And the number of woom families just keeps on growing! Mathias has led the organization to become one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States, 20th fastest in Texas and seventh fastest in Austin, as recognized by Inc. Magazine.
From Austria to the United States, our ride around the world didn’t stop there! We’ve built roots in Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, France and more—riding the woom hype into over 25 countries worldwide.
“We want as many children as possible loving to ride their bike,” explains Mathias. “That is our mission.
How Magic Moments Began
Have you ever watched a child pretend to drive a race car or ride a bicycle before they knew how? They probably added some sound effects, like “vroom vroom.”
Sound familiar? That’s because “woom” is the equivalent German onomatopoeia, just like “vroom” is in English-speaking countries. Our company name is also an ambigram; flip our logo upside down and you’ll find it unchanged!
The name “woom” was chosen to spark joy, invite playfulness, and reflect the thrill a child feels the first time they pedal successfully on their own. It’s putting the “magic” in Magic Moments. If you’ve been around the block a few times with woom, you know what we like to call these exciting experiences on bikes: Magic Moments.
Although these moments have existed since day one of woom, we didn’t actually coin the phrase until 2020: year of the pandemic and global quarantines. The year when we put words to what was happening since that first woom bike was created!
While the circumstances of 2020 were anything but magical, they were the catalyst for families spending more time together than ever before. Suddenly, we were all at home together with nothing to do but bond. And at woom, we saw an opportunity to encourage families to do this in a way that wasn’t all about screen time.
Thus, Magic Moments were born: a challenge to families everywhere to get outside, connect with each other and make unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime. All you need to create a Magic Moment is the real world (no virtual magic here!), your loved ones, and a woom bike.
Magic Moments, Small and Large
Since our first days as a company, we’ve watched countless young Riders try their first balance bike, learn to pedal for the first time, or fall off their bike and bravely get right back on. We’ve fist-bumped your kiddos as they courageously master the bike parks (yes, even if they’re not the biggest kid at the park!). We’ve cheered on your children as they’ve conquered illness and disability through the power of riding a bike, even taking on cross-country rides.
These Magic Moments happen when kiddos come downstairs on a birthday or special holiday and see a brand new bike, assembled and ready to ride. There are everyday Magic Moments when families tackle Brooklyn by bike, complete with a stop for ice cream. There are bonding Magic Moments, like when an Olympian mother runs while her little ones pedal.
Of course, Magic Moments are about so much more than the bikes themselves. Magic Moments happen when kiddos take big steps towards growing up and building independence. It’s moments when they ride to and from school with friends every day, realizing that transportation is freedom. Moments when they pedal to Kindergarten and feel confident in spite of those first-day-of-school jitters.
Our hearts have swelled with pride right alongside yours as we’ve seen woom grow with your little ones, whether they’ve explored automatic gear shifting with the woom 3 AUTOMAGIC or embraced the commute to school with the woom NOW.
And we’ve seen how woom has changed your life. Yes, you! The parent, grandparent or caregiver! We’ve watched as your child’s strength and independence sparks something unexpected in you too. When their bravery encourages you to believe in yourself too, like conquering the Oregon Coast!
Sure, some Magic Moments may involve competitive racing or traveling around the world, but others are more everyday in nature. What makes these moments magical isn’t extravagant or complicated. It’s all about your family and the difference something as simple as a bike can make. What makes these moments magical is you.
The Magic Moments you share with us are the air in our tires! Your Magic Moments remind us why what we’re doing at woom is so important. We love celebrating the wins and watching your little ones learn and grow through Magic Moments, which is why we created the #woommagicmoments hashtag on Instagram, to invite all woom families to share their stories with us.
“I’m extremely lucky and grateful to have been part of this journey,” Mathias says. “Starting woom has been the ride of my life, and I feel like I’m just getting started.”
How We’re Celebrating This Magic Moment
Hitting that 10-year mark is a pretty special Magic Moment for us at woom, and we fully intend to make it a memorable occasion! To celebrate, we’ve created a series of Limited Anniversary Edition woom bikes, taking our original woom bike color and giving it a 10-year twist. Ready to cheer us on into ten more years of children’s bikes? Snag a Limited Anniversary Edition woom bike for your child’s next set of wheels, while supplies last!