About Bow Cycle
In June 1957, Jim Sibthorpe Sr. founded Bow Cycle & Motor Ltd in the town of Bowness, Alberta. Initially located at the west end of the Wilbur Building, the store sold a wide variety of products, including bicycles, toys, miscellaneous sporting equipment and fishing tackle, as well as Lambretta scooters and NSU Quickly Mopeds. It remained at its original location for one year, at which point it was moved to what is now the store's Parts & Accessories Department. There, the store continued to do very well. But the true key to its success was yet to be discovered.
In 1959, Trevor Deely (whose family to this day owns the Canadian distribution rights for Harley Davidson) made a trip to Calgary to show off some Japanese motorcycles that had been manufactured by a then-unknown company called Honda. In what was more of a personal favor than a deliberate business move, Jim Sr. accepted three Honda Cubs on a consignment basis. And with that, Bow Cycle & Motor officially became Alberta's first Honda dealer.
Before Trevor Deely even made it back to Vancouver, Jim Sr. had sold all three Cubs... and all three were back in the shop with shifting problems. However, after ironing out a few minor parts glitches, Jim was well on his way to becoming a leader in the motorsports industry.
The years went by, and Calgary continued to grow and prosper. In 1963, Bowness officially became part of the city. At that point, the old Bowness Post Office was closed down, as it was no longer needed. In 1964, Jim Sr. recognized the need for expansion and purchased the post office, necessitating a move of one address east.
The next major milestone for Bow Cycle & Motor occurred in 1973, when the store underwent a renovation that added on what is now the main part of the Bow Motor showroom, extending east down Bowness Road. That same year, history was made when Bow Cycle & Motor became the only bike store (pedal or motor) in Calgary to have a separate accessories department (which was located downstairs). The accessories department also served as a distribution center for a number of products. It was named The Accessorist, after the hit movie of the era, The Exorcist.
After continued growth, the Sibthorpe family decided it was time for the store's two divisions (bicycle and motor) to expand and move into separate locations. In 1982, after sharing a building for 25 years, the Motor and Sport businesses separated to opposite sides of Bowness Road.
By the end of the 1980s, Jim Sr. was ready to pass his now very successful businesses on to his two sons. Jim Jr. and Brian were put in charge of the motor and bicycle stores respectively. Around the same time, Yamaha was added to the product lineup.
The final expansion to Bow Cycle & Motor as we know it today occurred in the late 1990s. Back in the '50s and '60s, a road existed between the store's original location and the post office. In 1997, the original location was purchased back, and plans were made for major expansion. Soon, the old location and the new 'post office' location were joined, the accessories department was moved upstairs and given a larger area to operate out of, and downstairs was converted back to storage. Finally, in 1999, Kawasaki was added to the store's lineup of motorcycles.
From 1999 to 2002, Bow Cycle & Motor remained a major player and innovator in the industry and was still 100 percent family owned by the Sibthorpes. In November 2002 Jim Sibthorpe Jr. eased his way into retirement and Todd Starchuk, a long-time employee and sponsored racer who's grandfather had been friends with Jim Sr, purchased Bow Cycle & Motor from the Sibthorpe family.
From 2002 onward Bow Cycle and Motor continued to prosper and in 2007 celebrated its 50th anniversary of doing business in Calgary.
In an effort to service and ever growing Calgary population, Bow Cycle South was opened in the fall of 2008 and is a full service Can-am ATV, Spyder, Sea-doo, Ski-doo and Sport Boat dealership focusing on servicng the population of South Calgary. Opperating at 7309 Flint Road S.E. it continues the legacy of quality customer service left by the Sibthorpe family.
Future plans for the company include the relocation of our original store to a piece of property purchased adjacent to Canada Olympic Park, just beside the Wendy's. We are currently in the process of finalizing our plans and expect to be in the new facility some time in fall 2012.
Bow Cycle and Motor has won the Calgary Herald's Reader's Choice award for best motorcycle shop more than any other dealer in Calgary and continues to set the standard in customer service by winning the award once again in 2011. We love what we do and look forward to continuing to grow with our loyal customer base. We will never forget that our customers are what has allowed us to prosper for 55 years. Thank you for your business and your continued support!
Bow Cycle is conveniently located near the areas of Edmonton, Red Deer, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat.