Get to Know Fresh Air — Sponsor Q&A
We love our sponsors, and without them, Blacksheep wouldn’t be able to do what it does today.
This week, we got in touch with Fresh Air and spoke to the owners, Jeff Pylypchuk and Pete Tofinetti. Here is what they have to say.
When did Fresh Air first open in Thunder Bay?
Fresh Air as its known today, combining the old Cyclepath/Static and Fresh Air Experience has been in business for over 60 years combined. We have found a new home at 710 Balmoral Street. A fire caused us to make a new home for ourselves and we have come from 7,000 square feet to become over 13,000 square feet.
Who are the people that own and operate the business?
Jeff Pylypchuk and Pete Tofinetti are the proud owners of the new “Fresh Air”. They are childhood friends that wanted to eventually have the best and biggest bike shop in the city, or anywhere for that matter anywhere. With our current full time knowledgeable staff we have over 260 years of experience. Our staff are not just sales experts, but they are also hard core users of all the products that we sell.
What is Fresh Air’s main mission?
That’s a tough question as we have many missions. Fresh air is not just a bike shop. We are the biggest cross country ski centre in North America. We have been gold sponsors of the National Training Development Centre here in Thunder Bay for a few decades. We run a series of trail runs at Kamview Nordic Ski Centre where all proceeds of the race fee is given back to Kamview. We follow that up with a Half Marathon Trail run each fall. We have a running group every Thursday out of the store at no cost to the runner. We also have a learn to train for the Ten Mile road race from January until May every year for the last 10 years. We do all sorts of fundraising events through the store and we have picked the Canadian Diabetes Association as our charity of choice. This was started many many years ago and continues on today. For thirty-five years we have had the Fresh Air 10km run with all donations given to the George Jefferies Centre, as well as Al donates a few days each year to get the kids at George Jefferies mobile! On the bike side we have 2 fully certified bike fit personal, that not only find the right bike for you, but we will get you properly set up so the end result is a perfect ride all around! So we do have many missions and our mission ultimately is to make you realize your passion, whatever that may be.
How are they making an impact in the cycling community in Thunder Bay?
Fresh Air has been involved with the Black Sheep Mountain Bike club since its inception, as well as the Thunder Bay Cycling Club. We currently have staff on the executive of the Black Sheep and well as staff that help out with the Thunder Bay Cycling Club and also the Women’s Ride component of the cycling club. We have been full support to both clubs either prizes, time volunteering with the rides and grooming winter fatbike trails, and monetary donations and trail building and maintenance.
What are Fresh Air’s goals.
Fresh Air will continue to support everything as we always have, and we never stop looking for new great events to be involved with or organize. Fresh Air has supported many individual athletes over the years in helping them realize their goals and we shall continue on that path.