A downtown business has a new owner and will soon have a new name.
Cleveland Bike & Sport, located at 415 W. Norfolk Ave., is purchased by cycling enthusiast Jason Tollefson, and its new name will reflect the age-old controversy over the pronunciation of the city’s name.
“I’m going to change it to Norfork Bike – like people say,” Tollefson said. “I will have a small bicycle fork in the logo.”
Tollefson has called the Norfolk community home since the mid-1980s, when his family moved to the area after his father retired from the United States Navy in 1986. He went to Lincoln University after the high school. He then went to work for a Norfolk company and changed his residence to Norfolk even though he was not a full-time resident until 2016.
His interest in cycling started right after high school.
“I bought a mountain bike freshman year of college and rode my brother’s old bike,” Tollefson said. “It got me started, and I got mine once I did that.”
Tollefson said Ponca State Park was his “favorite playground.” The terrain gave him the idea of trying mountain biking. He has now cycled in places like Colorado and Utah and regularly travels to Sedona, Arizona for a winter bike excursion.
In his enthusiasm for the bike, Tollefson got to know Nic Meyer, the store manager of Cleveland Bike, as well as Nick Cleveland, the owner. When he learned that the store was going up for sale, the opportunity piqued his interest.
“It was an idea of mine,” he said. “I knew the original owner of Andrews Bicycle Shop – Jesse Vincent – but the time was never right for me to step in and own the store.”
This time, the time was right for Tollefson to buy the Cleveland Bike & Sports business. Tollefson said he intends to see the business grow and cater to the variety of sporting interests of area customers, including winter sports and exercise equipment.
The company offers a line of bicycles, as well as bicycle accessories, apparel, parts and equipment. Tollefson said Meyer will help him with any tough mechanical questions that come up, and Cleveland is helping him with the business part as well.
“They are both very gracious in helping me,” he said.
Tollefson said there could be some minor changes to store opening hours, but he’s encouraged by the company’s outlook, as well as the community support the sport has shown so far. bike.
“It’s all very encouraging,” he said. “There is a great group of local runners, and the city has supported the group that has grown around Norfolk.”