David Himmelman opened the Cross Country Ski Chalet in November of 1972, and his son Paul 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. In the winter of 1976 (at the ripe age of 20) after two years of studying philosophy at the University of Minnesota, Paul left school, worked out a purchase agreement with his father and took over operations of the business.
In 1978, Bob Sumada (a friend of Paul's since 2nd grade and his college roommate) joined the business. One of the first things to change was the company name, which became simply Now Sports so "we could answer the phone without putting people to sleep!" according to Paul. In July 1980 we opened our 2nd location on James and Lake Street in Minneapolis. In addition to cross country skis and bicycles we sold and rented roller skates and windsurfing equipment. In April, 1981 we rented out a building at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds and billed it as "The World's Largest Bikes Sale." This annual event ran for 20 years and put thousands of bikes on Twin Cities roads and bikeways.
Over the last decade, Now has consolidated its business from seven stores to two (both over 6,000 square feet) offering a uniquely personal service not often found today in retail. We foster a culture of education and inclusion, and carry a wider variety of premium bicycle lines not typically found in many bike shops. Paired with our attention to detail and a passion for providing the best customer experience, we've grown into the shop you see today, nearly 50 years from its inception.
In this most recent chapter of Now Bikes' history, we've been fortunate to have the staff, vendors, and community to support us through the pandemic. We are so grateful for every one of you that has been there for us in the past, present, and on into the future. Here's to 50 more years!