George's Cycles enters a new era as this iconic Boise business turns 50-years-old

Posted at 10:33 AM, Feb 19, 2021

BOISE, Idaho — The owners of George's Cycles are retiring and they have sold this beloved bike business to new owners who look forward to carrying on the tradition.

George's Cycles began on Broadway in 1971, Bob and Joyce Sulanke were the original owners, but in 1981 two up-and-coming cyclists who grew up in Boise took over.

For the last 40 years, Mike Cooley and Tom Platt have not only run George's Cycles, but they were instrumental in helping to develop the cycling scene in the City of Trees.

The pair created the wildly popular Twilight Criterium, but they also were involved in the Ore-Ida Women's Challenge, the Bogus Basin Hill Climb, the 4 Summits challenge in Cascade and the Lyle Pearson 200.

“Basically those guys built a real dynasty with George’s Cycles in Boise and they are very well known because of everything they have done," said outdoor enthusiast Steve Stuebner. "I think the crowning achievement would be the Boise Twilight Criterium.”

The Ore-Ida challenge was created by Jim Rabdau, but the owners of George's Cycles were also key in creating what has been called one of the toughest events and a groundbreaking event for women.

That race lasted for 19 years and forced riders to pedal for more than 1,000 kilometers over a 16-day period and one of the cyclists that would go on to compete in this race would go on to win three gold medals at the Olympics, you may have heard of Kristin Armstrong.

“Kristin participated in the last race 2002 race and two years later she won her first gold medal in the Olympics," said Stuebner.

But this week Cooley and Platt sold George's Cycles and they turn the keys over to Nathan and Linda Lloyd.

“It’s a fun butterfly in the stomach kind of thing similar to a race," said Nathan Lloyd who competed as a professional mountain bike racer. "I love that Parks and Rec created the bike park with the jumps and we want to have more bikes that are purpose-built for that.”

Both of the new owners praised the staff and moving forward they will have more of a focus on E-bikes while also creating a custom bike fitting studio.

“I think I’m just really excited to see George’s grow," said Linda Lloyd. "We are really going to promote the fitting studio it will be just very exciting to have a thriving bike shop.”

But they have big shoes to fill to carry on the tradition of Cooley and Platt who took advantage of some of the perks of owning a bike shop.

“I tell you I’m so impressed how those guys are always incredibly fit," said Stuebner. "They are in their young 60’s and they don’t have one ounce of fat on them.”

George's Cycles will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year.