In November of 1972 my father started the Cross Country Ski Chalet in Hopkins Minnesota. I worked there part-time while going to High School. In the spring of 1973 the 'Ski Chalet' started carrying Gitane bicycles and the company name was changed to Cross Country Ski Chalet/Now Bikes. During the winter of 1976 (at the age of 20) after 2 years of studying philosophy at the University of Minnesota, I left school and worked out a purchase agreement with my father so I could take ownership of the business.
As I've stumbled my way through life I've ended up with a career that makes me happy in many ways. I stay healthy, I help people get and stay healthy and work with healthy people. We've gone through much in our 30+ years, from one to seven stores, ending up with two great locations that put a product out in front of the public we can proud to say is ours.
I have been working in bike shops since the mid 90's. What I love about this industry is the variety of people that are passionate about riding bikes. I have a saying, " Weather you ride a Huffy or a $12,000 custom bike, As long as you love riding, you are welcome here."I really enjoy getting people excited about the sport and the gear. We are so fortunate to work in a place where the customers walking through our door WANT to be here.
I have been in a bike shop since I was little kid. My dad worked at Turin (famous road shop) in Chicago and I used to wrench with him since I could walk. I collected ball bearings and got used to the vibe of a bike shop there.
I started at Now Bikes when I was 14 years old and worked there for two summers in the mid 90’s. That was quite a time at the Now Bikes Uptown store, that I probably should not talk about.
I remember when I met Bob, the shop manager came rushing back with a pair of mountain bike shorts he took of the rack and said I had to change out of my ripped up jeans before Bob shows up and fires me. Bob walked in with his Ray Bans on, a yellow Polo shirt, pop top, never took off his blacked out sunglasses, walked through the store as everyone watched, said hi and left. That was first time I met Bob.
I then moved back to Chicago worked at a big Trek shop for 2 years, that shop was a huge and I was one of 8 mechanics, only one of us ever repaired bikes, everyone else was a builder.
I moved back to Mpls in May 2000 and went to work at the Now Bikes Warehouse store in Arden Hills, here I am 16 years later working for a company that has completely overhauled their image, St. Paul Now is certainly one of the most dialed shops around.
What can we say about Mike? His nickname is "Bustin' Loose" because he likes to wheelsuck up until the sprint and then blow it up. Even so, we all like him. He's probably our most knowledgeable salesperson from years of competitive racing. He gets his power from pulling his 80 lb. Black Lab around in his bike trailer.
Jeremi loves mountain biking on his favorite local trails and is also a serious snowmobile dude. Rumor has it that he snowmobiles into remote areas with his bike on his back to do some serious winter riding. We're not sure about this but he does sometimes bike into work in the winter pulling his snowmobile. Strong rider.
Ryan "Curly" Saathoff wrenches at both the St. Paul and Arden Hills shops. He's an awesome mountain bike rider who loves to go for crazy night rides. If you're interested, stop by and ask him how you can join him.
Meet Sam. He works in our shop helping keep your bikes in tiptop shape. He also runs our indoor riding programs and regularly leads club rides to help keep you in tiptop shape. As an dedicated road cyclist and avid track racer, you're almost guaranteed to find him on two wheels when he is not in the shop. Stop in to poke his brain on all things bike and follow along on his bike adventures in the shop at @whysamsam on Instagram. (Photo credit: @nateryanphoto)
Jeff Hagen was hired to execute our ecommerce and marketing. Soon after he was hired he was tapped to design and facilitate the build out of the new store in Arden Hills. Soon after that was finished he was put in charge of running the Arden Hills store.
Dave Clausen is Arden Hill's newest addition in the service department. He is a mountain bike racing phenom, which is amazing since his diet consists of Chocolate Chip Cookie dough and Mountain Dew. He thinks eating healthy means Doritos. Dave wheelies what ever he is on: which presented a problem during our move since he drove a big Ryder truck. Great guy, hard worker. Suggest healthy food choices when you see him.