About

The Store

We’ve grown to become one of the largest bicycle retailers in Canada, but it’s our history that keeps us grounded and reaffirms our commitment to always be your “local bike shop”.

Our Story

Opened in 1957 by Jim and Mary Sibthorpe, Bow Cycle was first established as a small bicycle and sporting goods store in beautiful downtown Bowness, Alberta (at that time, Calgary had not yet grown to engulf the smaller outlying towns and communities). As the years passed and the business prospered, Jim and Mary’s two sons, Jim Jr. and Brian, became increasingly involved in its operation.The brothers have now been successfully managing and growing the business for 30 years. Longtime employees John Franzky, Darrell Elliott, Kurt Christensen, Kevin Senior and Dave Leung have also joined the ownership group to add long-term stability.

 

A lot has changed since the store’s early days. Today, Bowness is a permanent fixture in Calgary… and so is Bow Cycle. The store has grown to become one of Canada’s largest and most successful bicycle retailers. Boasting almost all of the industry’s largest names under one roof, Bow Cycle continues to exceed client expectations of customer service and product quality.

 

While a lot has changed at Bow Cycle, a lot has stayed the same. During a radio ad in the early 1960s, Jim Sr. coined the phrase, “Bow Cycle, this is where the fun begins.” From that day forward, those words have served as the blueprint for how our business is run. We truly believe that being on two wheels is fun, and we want all our customers and staff to feel the same way.

Meet The Owners

Darrell Elliott (aka “Larry-O”)

Darrell Elliott was born, raised, and still resides in Bowness with his wife and two children. Darrell attended grade school in Bowness and after graduation in 1988, went on to post secondary education at the University of Calgary.

Since Jr. High School, Darrell has had a keen interest in riding and working on bicycles influenced by his older brother who was into triathlon and cycle touring. His brother would get him to help clean his bikes and perform routine maintenance. Little did Darrell know, the seed was planted for what would turn into a career in the bicycle industry. In High School, Darrell had a part time job at a gas station and one day decided to ask the guys at Bow Cycle if they needed help in the shop. He was always in the shop buying parts for bikes and was hired immediately and began working as a bicycle mechanic in 1988.

For the following 7 years, Darrell worked part time at Bow Cycle while attending the University of Calgary. He studied Kinesiology for a year before pursuing one of his dreams to cycle tour for a year in New Zealand and Australia. Upon returning, Darrell studied sciences for five more years before deciding to pursue a full time job at Bow Cycle as a bicycle mechanic in 1996.

Darrell worked full time at Bow Cycle for the following nine years spending his spare time skiing and mountain biking. Throughout this time, he became the service manager and helped develop the service aspect of Bow Cycle.

In 2004, Darrell along with four other long term employees purchased Bow Cycle. With a brand new 23,000 square foot facility to work with, they moved the location down the street and created one of the largest single location independent bicycle shops in North America.

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Larry-O

David Leung (aka “Dave”)

Dave Leung was born and raised in Hong Kong. He attended politec in Hong Kong for three years where he studied electrical engineering. As a young person, Dave loved to play soccer and enjoyed riding bicycles. Since the invention of the computer, he has always been involved with them in one way or another.

Dave moved to Canada in 1974 and attended a one year transfer program in business at Medicine Hat College.  In 1975, he moved to Edmonton and completed his Bachelor of Commerce degree. In 1978, Dave moved to Vancouver and worked for an importing/ exporting company. In 1979, he moved to Calgary where he had the opportunity to work as an accountant at Nu-West Homes. He worked for Nu-West Homes until 1983, then changed jobs and worked for an Investment company in Calgary for a one year period.

In February of 1984, Dave began working for Bow Cycle and gained his CMA designation in September of that  year as well. He took care of accounting for both the motorcycle and bicycle aspects of the business for a twenty year period before buying into the bicycle shop in 2004 along with four other long term employees.

Dave is currently the controller at Bow Cycle & Sports (his business partners call him the bean counter). Dave keeps the administrative side of the business running smooth and makes sure all the bills get paid.

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Dave

John Franzky (aka “Franzky”)

John Franzky (aka “Franzky”) was born in Hinton, Alberta where he lived for three years before moving to Calgary. He currently resides in Calgary with his wife and two children.

Franzky attended grade school in Calgary and graduated from John G. Diefenbaker High School in 1985. While in Jr. high and high School, John played hockey, football, rugby, and enjoyed skateboarding. John held jobs as a newspaper carrier, maintenance person at Westborne Sr. Citizens Home, Mr. Mike’s Restaurant, Yum Yum Tree Restaurant, Woodward’s Food Floor, Sunshine Tree Farm, as well as working at a geological core sampling facility.

From a young age, John was into riding bikes and after attending Mount Royal, Franzky worked as a bike courier in downtown Calgary. In 1988, he got a job working at the Calgary Stock Exchange as a floor trader. In 1989/90, Franzky worked part time at Ridley’s Cycle and also did some part time work at Cycletech which was a Canadian distributer of bicycles, parts, and accessories based out of Calgary.

John has always enjoyed travelling. He got his first taste of cycle touring in 1988 when he and a friend toured the South Pacific. He has visited nine countries by bike and has recently travelled with his family to Asia and South America. He is also involved in several niche sports including mountain bike polo and disc golf. He has been active in both grass and hard court mountain bike polo for over 20 years. Some call him the “grandfather” of mtb polo, but he likes to be called the “god father”. His achievements include 2nd in MTB Polo at the Colorado State Championships, and 1st place in the Durango MTB Polo Championships. He also has a unique collection of Ritchey bicycles along with a variety of antique bikes.

In 1991, Franzky began working at Bow Cycle and has never looked back. John began his career at Bow Cycle as a mechanic repairing and building bicycles. Over time as the business grew, John worked on the sales floor and eventually moved into a purchasing roll. Buying into the business in 2004 with four long time employees has taken him up to this point in his career where he enjoys working full time supporting all areas of the business.

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Franzky

Kevin Senior (aka “Port”)

Kevin Senior was born in Edmonton and moved to Calgary at the age of 5. He attended elementary school at Marion Carson and Jr. High School at F.E. Osborne. Kevin attended high school at Shawnigan Lake School on Vancouver Island and graduated in 1983. Kevin was involved in many sports growing up including track & field, hockey, skiing, rugby, field hockey, soccer and bike riding. Currently Kevin likes to ski, golf and play hockey in the adult league.

Kevin is the nephew of the original founder of Bow Cycle Jim Sibthorpe Sr, and as a result began working at the shop as a student during the summers in high school. After high school, Kevin moved to Vancouver to attend Capillano College for a year before moving back to Calgary to continue his post secondary education at Mount Royal College. After one year at Mount Royal College, Kevin took a year off from studying and travelled to New Zealand and Australia. Upon returning in 1986, Kevin returned to post secondary studies at the University of Calgary for another three years.

In 1989, Kevin began to work at Bow Cycle full time and took on the role of purchasing bicycle parts and accessories. After three years at Bow Cycle, he was offered a position at Cycletech (a local distributer of bicycles, parts, and accessories) and became the product manager. In 1996, Cycletech was purchased by Bell Sports Canada and Kevin made the move to Montreal where he expanded his role to director of purchasing for the mass market and IBD segments. In 2000, Bell Sports closed down their Canadian distribution/ manufacturing facility and consolidated their Canadian operations with their main facility in San Jose California. At that time Kevin made the decision to move to San Jose and continue the role of Director of Canadian Operations. The following year, this position took him to Dallas Texas where he continued to work for Bell Sports for one more year. An organizational shuffle with Bell Sports forced Kevin to move onto other endeavors and at that point he began to work for Zefal USA where he took on the position of sales manager for North America.

In 2004, Bow Cycle & Sports was being reorganized and sold to four long term employees. At that point, the decision was made to try and involve Kevin in the purchase and reorganization of the new ownership group at Bow Cycle. Kevin accepted the offer and moved back to Calgary. With his extensive experience in the bicycle industry, Kevin took on the role of product manager and at the same time was elected president of Bow Cycle & Sports.

In addition to his work at Bow Cycle, Kevin has also been involved as a director with BTAC (Bicycle Trade Association of Canada) since 2009 and was elected president in 2011.

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Port

Kurt Christensen (aka “Knuckles”)

Kurt Christensen was born and raised in Calgary where he currently resides with his wife and three children. Kurt grew up in the neighborhood of Cambrian Heights attending Cambrian Heights Elementary, Colonel Irving Jr. High, and James Fowler High School where he graduated in 1986. After high school, Kurt attended SAIT for several years.

During Jr. high school, Kurt was a carrier for the Calgary Mirror and eventually moved on to deliver the Calgary Herald newspaper.  In high school, and for several years after, Kurt worked at the Calgary Sheraton Hotel as a bus boy and later a waiter. At the age of 22, Kurt began his 10 year career as a bartender where he worked at the Republik and the Mercury in Calgary.

Like most bicycle shop employees, Kurt has always been into owning and riding nice bikes. In the early 90’s, Kurt could often be seen riding his Kona Kilauea around town, frequenting Bow Cycle as a customer. In 1993, the owner/ manager at Bow Cycle recognized Kurt as “a friendly guy who knew a lot of people” and one day asked him if he would be interested in selling bikes for Bow Cycle.  Kurt said yes and another long term eventual bicycle shop owner was created.

As a key salesperson, Kurt has always been one of the familiar faces of Bow Cycle. Over the years, he has consistently posted above average if not top sales numbers for the company. We would venture to say that there are not a lot of people who have sold as many bikes as Kurt. For years, Kurt was the sales manager and today operates as the sales director providing input on bicycle purchasing and working with the customers on the sales floor. In 2004, Kurt was involved along with four other long time employees in the purchase of Bow Cycle & Sports and today continues to operate one of the largest independent bicycle shops in the country.

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Knuckles
  • Larry-O

    Larry-O

  • Dave

    Dave

  • Franzky

    Franzky

  • Port

    Port

  • Knuckles

    Knuckles

Video Flashbacks

Take a stroll down Memory Lane with us and enjoy some of these blasts from the not-so-distant past.