In recognition of his contributions to his native state, the governor of Wisconsin proclaimed Sunday, Sept. 25, as Chris Kegel Day throughout the state.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Mayor Dan Devine of Kegel’s hometown of West Allis, Wisconsin, have also named that day as “Chris Kegel Day” in their respective cities.
A Milwaukee-area icon and fixture of the local and national bicycle advocacy movement, Kegel, owner of Wheel & Sprocket, has spent more than 40 years in the cycling industry promoting numerous bicycle charity events and bicycle infrastructure projects throughout the country. Kegel was recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.
Known for his big personality, curly hair and black-rimmed glasses, Kegel has served the Milwaukee community since the early 1970s, when he became the fourth employee of a fledgling bike shop in Hales Corners that, under his direction, would become one of the biggest bicycle retailers in the U.S.
During that time, Kegel would go on to help found PeopleForBikes, serve as president of the League of American Cyclists, chairman of the National Bicycle Dealers Association (NBDA), as well as sit on numerous boards including the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), and the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin.
“Cyclists across this country, Milwaukee and beyond have a lot to thank Chris for,” said Trek Bicycle president John Burke. “He has been a tireless advocate for cyclists everywhere and to call him anything but a visionary would be an understatement. The man is a legend.”
“Chris Kegel has built one of Wisconsin’s most iconic businesses while working tirelessly to make Wisconsin a better place,” said Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. “Great Wisconsin bicycling didn’t happen without Chris Kegel.”
“Chris Kegel has touched so many people, organizations and charities throughout his over 40 years of work,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. “To celebrate all that Chris has done I encourage everyone to jump on your bicycle today and ‘Enjoy Your Ride’.”
“Chris Kegel is a national treasure,” said West Allis Mayor Dan Devine. “We are proud to call him a son of West Allis.”
Kegel’s family and friends celebrated Chris Kegel Day with a bike ride throughout his hometown.
For more information, visit ChrisKegel.com.